Forest of Dean Walks
Enjoy miles of trails, bluebell woods, pretty ponds, lakes and wonderful sculpture trails in 110 square kilometres (42 sq mi) of mixed ancient woodland.
Use the links to view full route information including elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Forest of Dean Walk Map>>
|Cannop Ponds||1 miles (2 km)||These two large ponds in the Forest of Dean are a lovely spot for an easy afternoon stroll. It's a nice gentle walk of just over a mile on good footpaths with lovely scenery and wildlife to enjoy.|
You can start the walk from the car park on the New Road, next to the northern pond. Then pick up the waymarked trail which heads between the ponds and then south along the pretty Cannop Brook to the other ponds. Look out for Mandarin ducks, reed warblers and a pair of nesting mute swans on the water. There's also lots of interesting plants with common spotted-orchid, marsh pennywort, common valerian, skullcap and creeping jenny adding to the area's charm. View Full Details>>
|Chepstow||11 miles (18 km)||A splendid circular walk around Chepstow making use of the Wye Valley Walk and Offa's Dyke Path to visit some of the highlights of the area. There's lovely views of the River Wye, lots of peaceful woodland trails and a visit to the historic Tintern Abbey as you pass from Wales into England. |
The walk starts at Chepstow Castle, the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain. From here you can pick up the Wye Valley Walk and follow it past the town before picking up woodland trails through Alcove Wood and Pierce Wood. You then pass Piercefield Park and Piercefield House, a largely ruined neo-classical country house dating from the late 18th century.
You continue past Chepstow Race Course, before climbing to the Eagle's Nest viewpoint. Here you will stand high above the Wye at Wyndcliff, looking out over the sweeping curve of the river around the Lancaut Peninsula.
The route then descends through Wyndcliff Wood and Black Cliff Wood before coming to Tintern Abbey. Here you can explore the fascinating ruins of a 12th century monastery. It's a beautiful area with the atmospheric ruins and the river flanked by the attractive woodland of the Forest of Dean.
After passing the abbey you cross the river on the old Tintern Railway Bridge which carried the Tintern Wireworks Branch trains over the river until 1935.
Heading south the next section picks up the Offa's Dyke Path and climbs to the viewpoint at the Devil's Pulpit. From here there are more wonderful views over the abbey and the AONB.
The route then continues to Plumweir Cliff and Worgan Wood before coming to the village of Woodcroft. Here you will pass Wintour's Leap where there are some magnificent limestone cliffs and Peregrine Falcons to look out for.
The final section takes you from Woodcroft back into Chepstow, crossing the river before returning to the castle. View Full Details>>
|Coleford||5 miles (8.8 km)||The village of Coleford is in an ideal place for exploring the wonderful Forest of Dean.|
This circular walk uses part of the Gloucestershire Way to visit Cannop Ponds, located just to the east of the village.
The walk starts from the car park at Milkwall, just to the south of Coleford. From here you can pick up the Coleford Milkwall and Parkend railway path and follow it east to Bostonbury Hill. Near here you pock up the waymarked Gloucestershire Way which you can follow north to the ponds. There's a nice trail heading around the ponds where you can look out for lots of wildlife on the water.
After rounding the ponds you can follow woodland trails through the Nagshead Plantation back to the car park. View Full Details>>
|Coleford Milkwall and Parkend railway path||3 miles (5 km)||This short cycling and walking path follows the disused Coleford Milkwall and Parkend railway from Coleford to Parkend. You will head into the peaceful Forest of Dean passing Milkwall station and the disused Darkhill Ironworks on the way. The route links with National Cycle route 42 with more details on the Forest of Dean Family Route.|
Also nearby is the fascinating Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail where you'll find a lovely walking trail taking you to a collection of high-quality, contemporary sculptures in a beautiful woodland setting. View Full Details>>
|Daffodil Way||9 miles (14 km)||Explore the pretty countryside, orchards and woodland surrounding the village of Dymock on this circular walk in the Forest of Dean. The trail runs for about 9 miles through Dymock Woods and Kempley Green with lots of wild Daffodils to look out for in early spring. Also look out for bluebells and butterflies in the section through Dymock Woods.|
To extend the walk you could further explore the woods which include Hay Wood and Queen's Wood.
The Poet's Path also runs past Dymock. You could pick this up and enjoy a walk along the river Leadon to Ketford. View Full Details>>
|Devil's Pulpit||3 miles (5 km)||Climb to this wonderful viewpoint and enjoy views over the Wye Valley AONB on this circular walk in the Forest of Dean.|
You can start the walk from the car park off the B4228 just north of Tidenham. You then head west through woodland before a moderate climb to the Devil's Pulpit. From here there are splendid views over Tintern Abbey and the River Wye.
After taking in the views you pick up the Offa's Dyke Path to take you through Worgan's Wood to Tidenham Chase. You then follow Miss Grace's Lane back to the woods from the start of the route.
To extend the walk you could continue along the Offa's Dyke Path to Woodcroft and Chepstow in Wales. If you head north you can visit Caswell Wood and Oakhill Wood. Caswell Woods consist of a variety of interesting plants and trees with bare limestone rock which attract Kestrels. At Brockweir you can cross the river then follow it round to the fascinating Tintern Abbey ruins.
Heading south along the path will take you to the magnificent limestone cliffs at Wintour's Leap. The popular rock climbing spot is a couple of miles south of Tidenham near the village of Woodcroft. View Full Details>>
|Dymock Woods||2 miles (2.5 km)||These pretty woods in the Forest of Dean have miles of peaceful woodland trails to follow. You can park at the medium sized Queens Wood car park to start your walk. It's located just to the south of Kempley. From here you can pick up several different trails, heading west into Queen's Wood in the Dymock Forest. Heading east takes you into Dymcock Wood.|
The woods consist of Norway Spruce, Douglas Fir, Oak and Beech. In the spring months you will see lots of wildflowers including bluebells, heather, wood anemone and the Wild Daffodils which are a feature of the area.
You should see lots of butterflies fluttering around the flowers too. Look out for pearl-bordered fritillary, wood white and the uncommon white admiral as you make your way around the site.
This walk takes you along a pretty stream to a large pond in Queen's Wood. Leave the car park and head west before turning south along the stream. You then return on other paths through Brandhill Wood.
The long distance Daffodil Way passes through the eastern section of the woods. You can pick it up to extend your walking through the Forest of Dean. It will take you on a tour of the countryside, orchards and woodland surrounding the village of Dymock. View Full Details>>
|Forest of Dean Family Route||9 miles (14.22 km)||Family Cycle ride around the Forest of Dean:|
This circular route takes you along National Cycle route 42 and the Wye Valley path through the delightful Forest of Dean. The route takes place on off road paths making it ideal for families.
This route is also suitable for walkers.
The route passes close to the fascinating Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail. The trail takes you to a unique collection of high-quality, contemporary sculptures in a beautiful setting. You'll also pass the delightful Cannop Ponds which is a lovely place to stop for a picnic.
You could also try the Coleford Milkwall and Parkend railway path. The trail follows the disused Coleford Milkwall and Parkend railway from Coleford to Parkend. It is suitable for both cyclists and walkers. View Full Details>>
|Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail||2 miles (3.5 km)||This delightful walking trail takes you to a unique collection of high-quality, contemporary sculptures, within the Forest of Dean. Highlights include include Kevin Atherton's 15 foot by 10 foot stained glassed window 'Cathedral' which hangs high in the canopy over the heads of walkers and Neville Gabie's 'Raw', a giant cube assembled from the entire mass of an oak tree. |
You can park at the visitor centre car park off Speech House Road to start your walk. From here you can pick up the marked trails to the artwork. The trail is free to access and the visitor centre also includes a picnic site and a nice childrens' playground.
Just to the east of the site you will find the interesting Woorgreens Lake and Marsh Nature Reserve. Here you'll find a pretty lake with lots of wildlife to look out for. This includes several species of dragonfly and birds such as spotted redshank, greenshank, green sandpiper and curlew. It's well worth a small detour from the main trail. Also nearby is the Speech House Oaks. The site is a linear band of open woodland of oak on either side of the Speech House Road near the trail. There is a variety of interesting flora here and a wonderful mosaic of different types of tree. Look out for the redstart bird in this area. View Full Details>>
|Gloucestershire Way||94 miles (151 km)||Travel from Chepstow in Wales to Tewkesbury in Gloucestshire and visit the Forest of Dean, the Severn Plain and the Cotswolds on this beautiful and varied walk.|
The recommended stages for the walk are:
Chepstow to Parkend - 13.5 miles
Parkend to May Hill - 14 miles
May Hill to Gloucester - 13 miles
Gloucester to Crickley - 12 miles
Crickley to Salperton - 12 miles
Salperton to Stow on the Wold - 11 miles
Stow to Winchcombe - 13 miles
Winchcombe to Tewkesbury - 11.5 miles
Worcestershire Way Link - 12 miles.
The walk takes place mainly on field and woodland paths and is well waymarked with a yellow disc featuring Gloucester Cathedral.
View Full Details>>
|Highnam Court||1 miles (1.2 km)||Enjoy a stroll through Highnam Park and Highnam Court gardens on this short walk in Gloucester. Highlights include the 19th century Pulhamite winter garden with rock gardens, waterfalls, evergreens and ferns. There is also an orangery, a kitchen garden, a number of ornate statues and a formal flower garden. The footpaths are well laid out and include a great surfaced path alongside the lake with views to the 17th century grade I listed country house. Look out for a series of attractive wooden sculptures as you make your way through the park. The gardens are only open at selected times and for private visits by request. Please see the link below for more details.|
To extend your walking in the area you could enjoy a stroll around the village of Highnam with its attractive 19th century church of the Holy Innocents and village hall. You could also visit the nearby Highnam Woods. It is located just a mile to the west and has a 2km nature trail through ancient woodland. View Full Details>>
|Highnam Woods||1 miles (2 km)||Follow the 2km nature trail through this pretty RSPB reserve near Gloucester and Maidenhall. There are nice woodland paths where you can look out for a variety of bird species including the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Marsh Tit, Nightingale, Song Thrush, and Spotted Flycatchers. Also look out for woodland butterflies such as white admirals and white-letter hairstreaks. |
The Wysis Way and the Gloucestershire Way both pass close to the reserve so there is scope for extending your walk along one of these long distance paths.
If you head a mile to the east you will come to the lovely Highnam Court with its beautiful gardens, lake and 17th century grade I listed country house. View Full Details>>
|Lydney Harbour||4 miles (6 km)||Enjoy a walk along the Lydney Canal and Lydney Harbour on this delightful waterside stroll in Gloucestershire. There's nice views over the River Severn towards Sharpness on the opposite side and the two Severn Bridges further down. It's an idyllic spot with well marked footpaths and lots of birdlife to look out for on the water.|
The walk starts from Lydney Train Station on the Dean Forest Heritage Railway. You can catch the old steam train from Lydney Town and then pick up the footpath along the canal to the harbour. It's a pleasant waterside stroll with lovely views across Saniger Sands on the Severn towards the end of the walk.
To extend your walking in the area you can head to the Lydney Park Estate where there are beautiful gardens, woodland trails and a fascinating Roman temple.
Lydney is also located near to the Forest of Dean where there are miles of nice cycling and walking trails to try. The Devil's Pulpit and the Coleford Milkwall and Parkend railway path are two highlights of the area and located not far from Lydney. View Full Details>>
|Mallards Pike Lake||1 miles (1 km)||Enjoy an easy stroll around this pretty lake in the Forest of Dean. There's a well surfaced trail running around the lake which is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. There's also a car park at the southern end of the lake and a nice picnic area. Trails head off into the surrounding woodland towards Staple-Edge Wood and Blakeney Walk Woods.|
The Forest of Dean Family Route passes the lake so you could pick this up to extend your exercise. Heading west will take you to the delightful Cannop Ponds. Just north of there you will find the splendid Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail. View Full Details>>
|Monmouth||6 miles (10 km)||A lovely circular walk around the Welsh town of Monmouth, visting Monmouth Castle, The Kymin viewpoint and the River Wye. The walk makes use of the Offa's Dyke Path and the Wye Valley Walk long distance trails to expose you to some of the beautiful surrounding the town.|
The walk starts from the Grade I listed Monmouth Castle, located on a hill above the River Monnow near the town centre. The castle was established in 1067 immediately after the Norman Conquest, by William fitz Osbern. It was also the birthplace of Henry V in 1386.
From the castle you can pick up the waymarked Offa's Dyke Path. It heads east through the town to the Wye Bridge where you cross the Wye River. The path then climbs to The Kymin, where you can enjoy wonderful views down the Wye Valley, up into the Brecon Beacons and across to the Malvern Hills. There's also a number of neo-classical monuments, including the Roundhouse and the Naval Temple, built between 1794 and 1800.
After taking in the views the path then descends through the woodland of Harper's Grove to Upper Beaulieu Farm.
You continue to Upper and Lower Redbrook in Gloucestershire. Here you join the Wye Valley Walk which leads you along the river back to Monmouth. It's a beautiful section with the river flanked by attractive woodland and countryside. View Full Details>>
|Monmouth to Symonds Yat||8 miles (12.9 km)||A lovely riverside walk from Monmouth to the wonderful viewpoint at Symonds Yat. The walk runs for about 8 miles, following the River Wye on a flat path before climbing to Symonds Yat for wonderful views over the Wye Valley, Wales, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.|
The walk starts at Monmouth Castle and heads a short distance to the river where you pick up the Wye Valley Walk. Follow the waymarked trail north east passing Dixton, the Fiddler's Elbow National Nature Reserve and the farmland and woodland of Hadnock on the other side of the river.
The river then bends round to the east passing the Grade II listed Wyastone Leys and Lord's Wood. Here you can visit King Arthur's Cave just to the north of the river. Flint tools and woolly mammoth bones have been unearthed within and around the limestone caves.
You continue through the Upper Wye Gorge which contains many species of trees that are locally and even nationally rare, forming one of the most extensive areas of semi-natural, broadleaved woodland in the entire valley. Look out for wildlife including badgers, fallow deer, buzzard, nuthatch, peregrine falcon, pied flycatcher, raven, tawny owl and the wood warbler as you make your way through this area.
The next stage passes the Symonds Yat Rapids where you can see canoeists and kayakers whitewater training and playboating. You then climb to Symonds Yat Rock where there are wonderful views over the Wye Valley. It's also a popular spot for birdwatching with peregrine falcons, buzzards, goshawks and hobbies regularly seen. View Full Details>>
|Newent||9 miles (14 km)||This interesting Gloucestershire village has a pretty local lake, country trails and lots of woodland to explore in the surrounding Forest of Dean. The historic town centre is also well worth exploring with the 17th century market hall and a number of listed 13th century buildings to admire. View Full Details>>|
|Offa's Dyke Path||177 miles (285 km)||This incredible 177 mile trail starts on the River Severn Estuary in Gloucestershire in England before taking you over the border into Wales and on through some truly splendid mountainous scenery. Highlights on the route include the gorgeous Wye Valley AONB, crossing from England into Wales along the splendid Hergest Ridge and the awe inspiring Brecon Beacons National Park. You'll also pass the popular Moel Famau and Moel Arthur in the stunning Clwydian Range. View Full Details>>|
|Puzzlewood||1 miles (1.5 km)||Try the delightful family trail in these magical woods near Coleford in the Forest of Dean.|
In the woods you will find ancient trees, rope bridges, interesting rock formations, secret caves and overhanging boulders. There's a number of maze like paths to follow around the 14 acre site with fascinating geological features. These originated through the erosion of natural underground cave systems formed in the Carboniferous Limestone many millions of years ago.
Puzzlewood is thought to have provided the inspiration for the forests of Middle-earth in the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien. It was also used as a film location for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. View Full Details>>
|Symonds Yat Rock||2 miles (4 km)||Enjoy wonderful views over the Wye Valley from this well known viewpoint on the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire border. From the elevated position you have a great view of the beautiful wooded gorge below. It's also a popular spot for birdwatching with peregrine falcons, buzzards, goshawks and hobbies regularly seen. The area is great for walking and cycling with miles of waymarked woodland trails and riverside paths to try. This circular walk starts from the car park and follows good footpaths to the viewpoint. You then continue along the river through the woodland, passing Huntsham Hill on the way. A section along the Perigrine Path then takes you along the River Wye before heading through Riddings Wood to the car park. |
There are several other waymarked trails in the area which visit the Iron Age Hillfort and Mailscot Wood. There is also a nature trail with nature boards through an attractive section of mixed woodland. You can buy refreshments from the excellent Log cabin cafe.
This route is designed for walkers but cyclists can try the Symonds Yat Rock Cycle Trail which runs for about 3 miles from the campsite. You can also pick up the Perigrine Path cycle route which runs through Symonds Yat. View Full Details>>
|Wye Valley Walk||138 miles (222 km)||This walk takes you through the beautiful Wye Valley in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Wales.
The walk begins on the mouth of the River Wye at Chepstow Castle in Monmouthshire and follows the River Wye north to Monmouth, passing the fascinating ruins of Tintern Abbey on the way. You continue through Ross on Wye to Hereford and then onto Hay on Wye. You then return to Wales and head to Builth Wells, Newbridge and Rhayader before the final stretch takes you towards the source of the Wye on the slopes of Plynlimon mountain in the Cambrian Mountains of Powys. View Full Details>>
|Wysis Way||55 miles (88 km)||The Wysis Way runs for 55 miles from Monmouth in Wales to Kemble, in Gloucestershire. The way links the Offa's Dyke Path and Thames Path national trails. |
Starting from the Wye Bridge in Monmouth the Wysis Way heads eastwards up to The Kymin and on into the Forest of Dean. Continuing east the trail goes through Hillersland before continuing through the Forest, passing through Nailsbridge, Harrow Hill and Mitcheldean on its way to the top of May Hill where there are fabulous views of the River Severn. From May Hill, it continues eastward through Glasshouse, Taynton, Tibberton and the edge of Highnam before reaching Gloucester. At Gloucester, the trail heads south east to Robinswood Hill, before continuing southeasterly through Painswick, Bisley and Oakridge Lynch before reaching its end in Kemble, where it meets the Thames Path. View Full Details>>