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Trail details

Grade of Trail:

  • Moderate

Trail Waymarking:

purple arrows

Length of trail:

4.5 miles

Trail description

Beechenhurst - Forest of Dean

The sculptures on this trail are inspired by the forest - its trees, wildlife and industrial past.

Since 1984 The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust has raised funds to commission artists to celebrate and help us appreciate and understand the life of the forest.

The Sculpture Trust works in partnership with the Forestry Commission which maintains the sculptures and trail.

The sculptures are mostly constructed from natural material from the Dean - wood, stone and iron. They are interspersed along the trail through majestic oaks and towering Scots pine trees

A Sculpture Trail leaflet, containing details of the sculptures for £1, is available at Beechenhurst Lodge from Contain-A-Cafe. 

There are waymarked shortcuts: Shortcut A (first 6 sculptures) is approx 2.2 miles in length and Shortcut B is 3 miles (first 12 sculptures)

Some of the Sculptures can be accessed with a power assisted wheelchair, please ring the the Forestry Comission, Tel 0300 067 4800, or e-mail using the link provided for further access information.

A New Era

A series of new sculptures have been introduced in 2016 for visitors to discover and enjoy.

Since the founding of the trail, artisits from all over the world have been invited to respond to the unique heritage of the Forest of Dean.  The trail's sculptures were not simply sited here but developed and inspired by the distinctive qualities of the place.  They have been intentionally left to be reclaimed by the forest over time, naturally eroding from weather, animals, plant growth and the footfall of the visiting public.

The new artworks will replenish the trail at a time when some older sculptures are coming to the end of their life cycle or have been removed for safety reasons (including Place, commonly known as 'The Giant's Chair')

The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust, a registered charity, has raised the funding for the new artworks.  The trust works in close partnership with the Forestry Commission as part of the Forest Art Works programme to support achieving great art for everyone in England's public forests.




What do other visitors say?

1 Star 1 Star

Hardly any sculptures, contrary to impression given on websites. Confusingly marked trail. There is a free leaflet with a map available in the walkthrough passage at the cafe (there is no shop). Its called 'Forest of Dean Explore our family cycling and walking trails', it would be better if there was one called 'Sculpture Trail'. We only found this at the end of our walk. Websites indicate that a trail guide is available at the (now non-existant shop). I would not attempt this with small children, or school children. Nice walks. You definitely need a map, or to photograph the sign at the beginning of the trail. You need 'you are here maps' at frequent intervals and sculptures where they should be. If there are only a few sculptures in situ, there should an updateable map at Beechenhurst Lodge. It was shame. A sizeable school party (?11 year olds) that we saw must have been very disappointed. We drove a long way to see the trail. I was entertaining guests from abroad.

Sheila Ely, 18/Jul/2016

I am sorry you were disappointed. There are 17 Sculptures on the trail including 4 brand new ones created over the last month or so! The trail has just been completely re-marked with purple arrows on posts clearly marking the route (plus short cuts). The walks map is free and the newly updated Sculpture Trail map is available in the archway, café or ranger hatch when open. A complete redevelopment of the site has meant a much larger café and the shop has gone, it is no longer mentioned on Forestry Commission website. I have asked the Sculpture Trust to update their website. Many schools and other groups come and enjoy the trail.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

We went on the sculpture trail today, it could be a bit better sign post as sometimes it was a bit confusing. We also saw peoplehad left their dog poo bags lying around, but when we were left carting our dogs poo bags for the whole of the trail as there are no bins could see why, more dog bins are needed. We completed the trail in 2 and a half hours with a lovely stop in the woods for a picnic, the sculptures we good and it was a fantastic walk in the beautiful forest.

Helen bates , 23/Jun/2016

Thank you for your comments - they have been sent to our recreation staff.

Forestry Commission Response

Can you cycle the route? And is there cycle hire nearby?

Emma, 26/Apr/2016

The nearest cycle hire is at Cannop Cycle Centre from where you can use the family cycle trail to cycle out. The Sculpture trail is best done on foot as there are some steep climbs.

Forestry Commission Response
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OS Grid ref: SO614120

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West England District
0300 067 4800
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