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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 3.5/5)

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.

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?

Hi

I'm a keen user and visitor to the forest and regularly hit the trails at pedalabikeaway centre.

I have a proposition/idea for an attraction to bring more people to FOD. I'm a keen obstacle course racer (OCR), but apart from standard exercises, find it hard to train for actual event obstacles, rope climbs, monkey bars, vast half pipes and 8ft wall jumps, etc, etc. This sport is gaining massive momentum and with the new added ocr event of forest warrior, it would be a great attraction to have obstacles permanently set up with say purpose laid out 5k running trails to train on, 7 days a week in the natural environment. Theirs nothing like it this side of the country, I think the guys who run nuclear races over south east have a forest obstacle set up for training and with these big brand events such as Tough Mudder, Spartan Races (Reebok) and Mud Runner (Malverns) bringing 2000-5000 per weekend per event, theirs a big following of people who would use it regularly to train, I think it would bring a lot of people to the forest who want to train from Wales, midlands and south West and would be unique this end of the country. I think this would be a great opportunity for FOD to bring something new and unique and promote yet more physical activities to the forest. If theirs any further information or help I can give to help further develope this idea, don't hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis , 23/Jun/2015

Thank you for your idea, we are replying by email.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

I am trying to find out how many tree's where lost in the forest of dean in last years gales on our walks we saw dozens of them blown down. also out of that number how many where oak tree's. Thank you.

Denis Hodson, 29/Mar/2015
1 Star 1 Star

Just heard that The forestry commission will not allow downhill bike races over the summer season to be held is this true and if so why ?

Anonymous, 15/Feb/2015
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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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

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified