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Forest of Dean

Explore Beechenhurst Lodge
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 3.8/5)

Beechenhurst lies in the heart of the forest, and is a great place to start your adventure. Discover the Sculpture Trail, play area, cafe, shop and climbing tower. 

Superworm text copyright © Julia Donaldson 2012. Superworm illustration copyright © Axel Scheffler 2012Superworm Trail

From the creators of The Gruffalo and Gruffalo's Child, Superworm tells the story of how a superworm and his mini-beast friends defeat the villainous Wizard Lizard.  Trail open until November 2015.  Sign up to hear more at

New for Summer 2015 - Tree Top Junior 

This junior version of Go Ape is aimed at 6-12 year olds and is now open!  The course can be found at the edge of the main car park.

Fantastic forest trails

Beechenhurst is the starting point for the famous Sculpture Trail, there are additional waymarked walks of varying lengths beginning from the site.

Adventure play

The main play area includes a zip wire, swings and fireman's pole and a mini picnic area. There is a separate toddler area for our younger visitors. 

The Gavellers Cafe and restaurant

The cafe provides a range of hot and cold food. To check cafe opening times please phone 01594 827357

The cafe closes at the end of August 2015 at which point mobile catering will be on site.  This is to enable improvement works to be carried out to the Lodge building, all other facilities will remain open as normal. 

Contain-A-Cafe will be serving fresh coffee and homemade cakes amongst a range of tasty hot and cold food options from 10am - 4pm daily as of September 1st. 

Forest of Dean Adventure

Charcoal BBQ hearths, 'The Glade' events area (with a group gas BBQ), and a loft suitable for meetings and seminars, can all be hired from Forest of Dean Adventure  Call 01594 821003 for details.  Forestry Commission leaflets and Discovery Passes are also sold from the shop.

The Climbing Tower

The climbing tower is an exciting way to let off steam! 36 routes from easy to extreme and 2 vertical abseils. Great for children and adults, friends, families and group bookings. Check the Climbing Tower website for opening times.  Archery sessions can also be booked.

Forest Learning 

If you are interested in bringing a school or group to Beechenhurst there are options for self led visits (see for downloadable resources such as activities and lesson plans) or the chance to use a Forestry Commission approved learning provider, A breath of fresh air or Rachel Shilston

On your bike!

Beechenhurst is an ideal start point for families with their own bikes, there is easy access onto the Family Cycle Trail from the main car park. Cyclists are asked to keep to hard stone tracks and not to cycle on the forest's waymarked footpaths.

What do other visitors say?

3 Stars 3 Stars

Its all very well putting notes on the disabled spaces to remind visitors that they have to pay but then they have to walk several hundred yards to the caf to put money in the machine. If you are going to put disabled spaces where they are right by the exit of Beechenhurst surely it makes sense to put a pay machine in that area too. No wonder the disabled spaces in that location are always empty no matter how busy the site is!

Anonymous, 13/Aug/2015

The disabled badge holder parking spaces are the closest parking spaces to the machine with an approved grade slope down the the machine, cafe and seating areas.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

What are the opening hours of the caf - on two occasions lately a sunny afternoon during school holidays and a sunny Sunday afternoon and the caf has been closed. This Monday was lovely and sunny - at least 50 children with their parents - most wanting a drink or ice cream - only 4.20 in the afternoon and the caf was closed. The lady in the shop was very nice but they sell nothing to drink, eat or indeed icecreams. Cmon Forestry Commission you are missing a trick here - gear the hours of the caf to the amount of people in the area. This should be a gold mine but you are missing out big style.

Anonymous, 13/Aug/2015

The present cafe tenancy comes to an end at the end of August 2015. We will then have a mobile catering offer in place over the winter months whilst necessary building works take place at the Lodge. A new catering offer in the cafe will then be in place from next Spring.

Forestry Commission Response

hi my wife and daughter wish to visit the sculpture trail and play area and I would like to ride the freeminer cycle trail. if I park at bechenhurst is there a obvious/easy way between the two centres?

Anonymous, 12/Aug/2015

Trail starts behind the Lodge, follow the Family Cycle Trail to Cannop Cycle Centre. Over the bridge and straight ahead the Freeminer Trail is straight ahead (Red Sign)

Forestry Commission Response
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What's Here?

  • Baby Changing
  • Dog bin
  • Educational
  • Shop
  • Walking
  • Toliets
  • Arts
  • The Sculpture Trail is a 4.5mile walk with art installations along the route
  • Barbeque
  • Please do not place disposable BBQs on the picnic tables. No fires allowed.
  • Cafe
  • Gavellers cafe
  • Cycling
  • a cycle trail link leads down to the main family cycle trail
  • Parking (chargeable)
  • Cars and minibuses:
    3.50 Mar - Oct
    3.00 Nov - Feb
    10 year round
  • Picnic
  • several picnic tables scattered along the grassy area
  • Play area
  • there is a main play area and special toddler area
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: SO614120

Get directions


West England District
0300 067 4800

Opening & Parking

Opening Times:
8am - 9pm
Cars and minibuses:
3.50 Mar - Oct
3.00 Nov - Feb
10 year round
Discovery Pass
25 car
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedenjoy England quality assured visitor attractionForest Stewardship Council certified