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Forest of Dean Forest of Dean Forest of Dean Forest of Dean Forest of Dean Forest of Dean

Explore Forest Of Dean
(Average user rating: 2 unrated 2/5)

The Forestry Commission look after the Forest of Dean for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a mountain biker or a lover of nature, a great day out awaits...

This ancient forest has changed many times over the centuries. In medieval times it was a royal hunting forest, before becoming a source of timber for the navy's Tudor warships. By Victorian times it was a major site of industry, with coal mining and tramways punctuating the landscape.

Today the forest is home to a wide variety of wildlife, and a great place to explore. See if you can find the hidden remains of industry as you enjoy this wild and beautiful forest.

The forest has four main visitor sites, as highlighted below, but many more places to visit.

Symonds Yat Rock

Walk through the Iron Age fort to find stunning views over the River Wye and beyond. Can you spot the birds of prey?

Cannop Cycle Centre

We’ve got trails for everyone, so bring your bike or hire one from the shop. Explore the forest then refuel in the cafe.

Beechenhurst Lodge

The best place to start your forest adventure! Discover the Sculpture Trail, play area, cafe, shop and climbing tower.

Mallards Pike Lake

Enjoy a walk and a picnic by the lake, swing onto the Go Ape high-ropes course or explore the forest on an all-terrain segway!

Opening times

The four main visitor sites above are currently open to the public from 8am - 7.30pm although individual opening times for the cafes and other facilities will vary, please check the individual websites for further details.

Charges are as follows:

Cars and minibuses:
March - October £3.50                                       
November  - February £3.00
Coaches: £10 all year

The day ticket is transferrable between all of the four sites on the same day and also includes visiting Wenchford. 

Please bring the correct change with you, credit card facilities are not available at the ticket machines due to poor mobile phone coverage.  Tickets can be bought by credit card at Forest of Dean Adventure, Beechenhurst. 

Please note that parking charges apply to Blue Badge holders.

Forest Learning

If you are intending to visit the Forest with a school or group, please refer to Learning in the Forest of Dean for essential information. 

Overnight stopping

Please note that overnight stopping in the Forest is only permitted on authorised campsites.  (Forestry Commission Byelaws 1982 section 5 (x)) Camping in the Forest is located on the outskirts of Coleford and has direct access into the surrounding woodland.

Go Ape. UK’s No.1 Forest Adventure Enjoy two to three hours of adventure high above the forest floor, taking on Zip Wires, Tarzan Swings and a variety of Crossings.
Take a look and book at our Go Ape page.

What do other visitors say?

I wanted to get a local phone number to report a sick/injured fallow deer who needed attending to in the forest of dean, guess what, there is no local phone number on this website-poorly planned& very frustrating

Kevin Salter, 28/Nov/2015

The advertised number 0300 067 4800 goes straight through to the local Coleford Offices.

Forestry Commission Response
2 Stars 2 Stars

Sites full of advertising are all very well, but there is no information here about the Forestry Commission itself.

Who is in charge locally? Who does What? To whom does one report fly-tipping to? There used to be a list of personnel and their responsibilities. Where is the information about the actual Forestry Commission?

Laurence F Still, 12/Nov/2015

replied by email

Forestry Commission Response

The way to keep people coming to the Forest (and why is it often assumed that more people is always desirable?)is to grow trees, thus providing and preserving a rare quiet and peaceful natural environment for when we finish practising youthful exciting adventure all over the rest of the world. For hectic activity go to where it is already provided, or encourage the use of city ex-industrial sites as cycle training grounds so as to be near more people !

ejb, 8/Oct/2015
More user comments

Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at if you have an enquiry or would like a reply to your comments.

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Last updated: 11/24/2015

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What's Here?

  • No swimming
  • Arboreta
  • The Cyril Hart Arboretum can be explored for 200 + varieties of trees
  • Arts
  • The Sculpture Trail can be joined at Beechenhurst Lodge.
  • Barbeque
  • BBQs stands/stones at Beechenhurst and Wenchford. Please do not place disposable BBQs on the picnic tables. No fires allowed.
  • Cafe
  • Cafe facilities at Beechenhurst, Cannop Cycle Centre and Symonds Yat Rock. Refreshments available seasonally at Mallards Pike, Wenchford and Cannop Ponds
  • Camping
  • Camping is on authorised sites only. Camping in the Forest and Forest Holiday cabins are based just outside of Coleford.
  • Cycling
  • Visit Cannop Cycle Centre for a variety of waymarked trails and bike hire.
  • Fishing
  • Day tickets are available at Cannop Ponds
  • Hi-Rope
  • Go Ape High Ropes course is located at Mallards Pike.
  • Horse riding
  • The stoned road network is suitable for riding. Try starting from Mallards Pike Lake or Symonds Yat Rock
  • Picnic
  • Plenty of picnic sites
  • Play area
  • Large childrens play area at Beechenhurst Lodge
  • Segway
  • Can be found at Mallards Pike
  • Walking
  • Visit Beechenhurst, at the heart of the Forest to start your walk.
  • Viewpoint
  • Symonds Yat Rock is an internationally renowned viewpoint, New Fancy is also worth a look too!
  • Toliets
  • available at all four main visitor sites
  • Wildlife
  • Available at Nagshead Nature reserve
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: SO 624 114

Get directions


West England District
0300 067 4800

Useful sites

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified