The Central England / Cotswolds / Cheltenham / Gloucester region
This is one of the last of England's ancient forests, covering over 110 square kilometres of woodland. The Forest of Dean is situated between the Wye and Severn rivers, in the western part of Gloucestershire, on the borders of Wales and Herefordshire.
The Forest is one of Britain's most distinctive areas having a certain seductive charm and character that is uniquely its own. The stunning landscapes and spectacular scenery have inspired artists, craftspeople, inventors, poets and playwrights, as well as the many visitors who return year after year.
This area is popular with both the English themselves and visitors from around the world. The area is celebrated for its beautiful rolling hillsides, sleepy villages and range of activities. Whether you want to enjoy the historical architecture or take part in some extreme sports you will be right at home.
The Royal Forest of Dean is walker's paradise. Keeping the family entertained is easy with so many things to see and do.
Forest of Dean area
This is an ancient forest set between the rivers Wye and Severn with spectacular scenery and rolling wooded hillsides that have changing beauty each season of the year. The view of a meander of the River Wye at Symonds Yat is a must for any visitor.
The Speech House at the heart of the Forest was once the seat of the ancient Verderers Court. Now it is a hotel but it is still a prominent and beautiful building.
The Forest of Dean is ideal for walkers, there being many footpaths and trails. A visit to the Beechenhurst Centre (about 4 miles outside Coleford), for example, affords several trails including the picturesque Sculpture Trail. It is also a good spot for a picnic. There are also many other footpaths including the Offas Dyke footpath.
The Forest has a mining heritage exemplified by the brass Dean Forest Miner plaque that may be found in the historic “Cathedral of the Forest” at Newland. Both iron ore and coal have been mined in the area. Both Clearwell Caves and Hopewell Colliery are open to the public for tourist tours. A visit to Puzzle Wood shows pre Roman iron ore workings.
Various adventure activities are available, for example canoeing, quad biking, llama trekking and much more.
Wye Valley area
The area between Ross-on-Wye and Chepstow is truly picturesque with pretty villages and Monmouth situated on or close to the river banks not to mention the historic ruins of Tintern Abbey. For those who like walking there is, among others, a riverside pathway, but this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has other more adventurous activities such as diving, water sports, and climbing etc.
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