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Explore Forest Of Dean
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.4/5)

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 - 9pm 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.

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?

Ref parking permits...It only hits 4 attractions...Could you not do something for the locals or penshioners that use the forest quite a lot

Theresa Buckley, 27/Jun/2014

The Discovery Pass is really good value for local people at 25 for a year of parking plus other benefits. Enquire at Bank House or any of the Forestry Commission sites' cafes.

Forestry Commission Response

Hi, I work of a company called Renishaw and in September we will be bringing around 150 graduates and apprentices to the forest (based in the Cinderford Cadet Centre)to carry out orienteering and command task exercises. As we are planning to make them walk around 14 miles during the day I am writing to ask if it would be possible to gain vehicular access to cover the event of an emergency? It would be one 4X4 vehicle which we would like to base fairly central to orienteering area. Many thanks in advance. Brian

Brian Marsh, 12/Jun/2014

Thank you for your request, I have passed your contact info to our Permissions Administartor

Forestry Commission Response

The cycle track at the end of the Linear Park, behind Winners garage is blocked by a fallen tree, cyclists are having to use the footpath, making it even muddier than usual, can this be sorted please.

Doreen, 12/Jun/2014

Thank you, our rangers will check this out

Forestry Commission Response
More user comments

Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at westengland@forestry.gsi.gov.uk if you have an enquiry or would like a reply to your comments.

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Chalara ash dieback

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

Location

OS Grid ref: SO 624 114

Get directions

Contact

West England District
-
01594 833057
westengland@­forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Useful sites

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified