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The Enchanted Forest – Why you must visit the Forest of Dean

The Royal Forest of Dean is a truly magical forest. Covering a vast area in the west of Gloucestershire, on the Welsh border, it covers 204 square miles and is home to over 20 million trees. It really is an enchanting place to be. It has inspired many people – poets, artists and authors – Tolkein took inspiration for Middle Earth from the strange and unique Puzzlewood, near Coleford, and a trip to Clearwell Caves is like visiting another world (in fact, it many television programmes have been filmed here, including Doctor Who, which goes to show how other worldly this place is!). So take a trip back through time, to this area of outstanding natural beauty, and see for yourself what has been inspiring people for hundreds of years, and still continues to do so…

The Enchanted Forest – Why you must visit the Forest of Dean

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The Forest itself first belonged to the Saxons for hunting. The King quickly caught on to the area’s potential and so it became the Royal Forest of Dean, a title that has granted many privileges to the area for hundreds of years. In 1939, it became the first English park to be designated as a national forest.

Symonds Yat, with its spectacular views over the River Wye is a great place to start if you are looking to explore the forest. Its main attraction is Yat Rock – home to the Peregrine Falcons who successfully nest and breed in the area – these birds were very near the brink of extinction not so long ago, and it is amazing to come here and watch them as they go about their lives. For a lasting reminder of these beautiful creatures, https://www.gillparker.com/ creates beautiful bronze animal sculptures, a lasting reminder of the beauty of the Forest. Symonds Yat also has a leisure park, and you can take a boat cruise from here, so there is really something for everyone.

Another great place to visit is Beechenhurst – visitors flock here for the brilliant sculpture trail – a walk through the forest, discovering sculptures along the way. For the adrenalin seekers, it is also near to Go Ape, where you can have an adventure above the trees on the tree top trail!

Puzzlewood – as mentioned before – is a real must see. This unusual forest is an intriguing maze of trees and caves – it’s unique geography is down to, what is locally known as Scowles – a geological feature formed millions of years ago, originally underground caves, they became exposed at the surface causing the formation of the peculiar landscape.

The Enchanted Forest – Why you must visit the Forest of Dean2

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If you get the chance to visit the Forest of Dean at Christmas however, then Clearwell Caves is a must. Explore the ancient iron mines decked out ready for the festive season, and you will come across Santa, waiting for you! The caves are beautiful anyway, but it is a real magical treat to see them in the festive season!


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