A Visit to The Forest of Dean

The Forest of Dean is just on our doorstep but we hardly ever visit! We went this weekend as we reviewed a lovely new holiday let called ‘Lilac Lodge’ and decided to research a few of the things you can do in the area.

There are loads of things to do! For active types: cycling, canoeing, climbing and archery. For those interested in something more relaxing: train rides, heritage sites and a sculpture trail. You can also find great quality food and drink in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley from cider and wine to cheeses and Gloucester Old Spot bacon.

We stayed near Littledean, at the newly converted ‘Lilac Lodge’ which sleeps 4 people. The owners, Laura and Liam, live next door and are keen to welcome anyone from walkers and cyclists to dog-owners and families. The spacious converted garage has everything you would need for a weekend or longer stay. The self-catering lodge has a kitchen with an extensive range of equipment. They provide breakfast items at an extra cost. It also has two TVs along with children’s books and games.

We loved staying there and enjoyed being the first ones in! It was also really near to everything in the Forest of Dean. We went for a walk on the first day to Soudley Ponds and then to a pub by the estuary called The White Hart. On the second day we went further into the forest and hired bikes with PedalaBikeAway and went on a lovely 10-mile circular ride through the forest along the old mining train route. They have bikes with chairs on the back for little ones or ‘tandem’ style ones for children slightly bigger who can pedal along behind. It was such a beautiful ride and we stopped off at Cannop Ponds on the way round.

If we were there longer we would have wanted to visit:

1) Puzzlewood
A magical woodland with a mile of pathways through ancient woodland. They take you through a wonderland of deep ravines, moss covered rocks and wooden bridges.

2) Canoe the Wye
There are a number of places where you can canoe hire. We might do it when Ed is a bit older.

3) Perrygrove Railway or Dean Forest Railway
Both offer relaxing trips through the forest and have themed days. Check for opening times as they vary.

4) Clearwell Caves
Discover the wonders of nine old mining caverns.

5) The Highway Rat Trail at Beechenhurst
Aimed at younger visitors, complete activities and interact with the forest as you head on a journey with The Highway Rat and all the characters from the story.

We’ll have to go back!

We stayed at Lilac Lodge as it belongs to a friend of a friend! They also wanted us to review it. You can book it for £75 per night here.

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