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.
Walk through the Iron Age fort to find stunning views over the River Wye and beyond. Can you spot the birds of prey?
We’ve got trails for everyone, so bring your bike or hire one from the shop. Explore the forest then refuel in the cafe.
The best place to start your forest adventure! Discover the Sculpture Trail, play area, cafe, shop and climbing tower.
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!
The four main visitor sites above are open to the public from 8am (except Christmas Day) and close as follows:
Nov- Feb 5.00pm
May - Aug 9pm
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.
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.
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?
Terry Hendry, 14/Jul/2016
Hello, am I permitted to canoe on the Cannop Ponds in the Forest of Dean.
Thanks in anticipation
Forestry Commission Response
Sorry, no boating/canoeing allowed on these ponds at all. Canoeing by organised groups is permitted at Mallards Pike Lake - contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Is there anywhere to park a horse box to ride around the forest of dean? or can we use the main carparks?
Forestry Commission Response
We have three Greenway routes in the Dean and one in Dymock woods. Two of the Greenways in the Dean have good car parking facilities as they can start at either Mallards Pike or Wenchford Pools, pay and display at usual price. The Greenway is signposted with green arrows. If you are driving (Carriage driving) then you will need a key from Forestry Commission office in Coleford for the gates. Can also park at Symonds Yat and ride the hard stone tracks there isn’t a trail as such but some lovely riding.
A big thanks to Francis from the Forestry Commission who saw me broken down on my motorbike and gave me a lift to school. You're a gentleman and a life-saver.