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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: 4 unrated 3.1/5)

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, Tree Top Junior 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!

Autumn at the Forest of Dean

Make the most of the spectacular colours of autumn, visit us to explore the Forest of Dean's autumn activity trail, or get artistic at your local Woven woodland! Symonds Yat Rock also hosts one of the top 10 autumn walks!

Opening times

The four main visitor sites above are  open to the public from 8am (except Christmas Day) and close as follows:

Nov- Feb 5.00pm
March 6.30pm
April 8pm
May - Aug 9pm
Sept 7.30pm
Oct 6.30pm

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, unfortunately credit card facilities are not available at the ticket machines due to poor mobile phone coverage. 

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.

What do other visitors say?

There is a small amount of Japanese Knotweed growing pretty close to the Blaize Bailey viewpoint. For precise location, please contact me

kim lock, 7/Nov/2016

Thank you for your comments - passed to Beat Forester who will be in touch direct

Forestry Commission Response

Hi can you go night time shooting here

Anonymous, 29/Oct/2016

Absolutely no shooting (Day or Night time)by the public on the Public Forest Estate

Forestry Commission Response

Japanese knot weed infestation, next to trig point on chestnut hill, chestnut woods, George lane, little dean

Lulu Sanderson, 26/Sep/2016

The Beat Forester for the area will reply by email

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, a complaint or would like a personal reply to your comments.

Email addresses will not be shown
"5OH"
 

Last updated: 7th December 2016

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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

Location

OS Grid ref: SO 624 114

Get directions

Contact

West England District
-
0300 067 4800
westengland@­forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Useful sites

Family activities

Forest Plans

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.