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Walks & trails at Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

Step from your cabin and take any of the many woodland walks. Maps are available at the Forest Retreat with trails from under 1km up to 8.5km. The magnificent River Wye can be reached at two spots. The quickest route is 3.8km through the woods, but it is worth taking the slightly longer route to Symonds Yat Rock for the stunning views and the chance to see the nesting peregrine falcons on the cliff face. An 8.5km loop takes in both spots and the lovely thing about all these walks is that they are completely within the forest, so there are no roads to negotiate.
The Forest of Dean

Explore the ancient woodlands

You can extend your hike through the woods to Symonds Yat with a riverside walk. Drop down from Symonds Yat Rock and catch the ancient pull ferry across the river. A bridge back is about 2km upriver after passing the rapids and Lord’s Wood, which has about 20 species of butterfly. If you are keen to spot wildlife, the Heart of the Woodland Wildlife Walk covers habitats for a wide variety of species including great crested newts, nightjars, common shrews, treecreepers and bats.

Exciting family walks

Keeping the children interested

King Arthur’s Cave and the Seven Sisters is a moderate 5.6km walk. The children will love exploring the cave, climbing the rope ladder and walking between the rock walls, and you will love the views across the valley from the hill fort. The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail is another walk with added interest, with nature-inspired works of local artists dotted along the way. 

May Hill in Gloucestershire

Views across the countryside

The short, dog-friendly walk up May Hill in Gloucestershire is half an hour’s drive from your cabin. Straddling the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire, May Hill is a famous local landmark, unmissable for miles around. It’s a short, exhilarating climb and the views from the clump of pine trees at the top is what make it worth all the effort. On a clear day, you can see the River Severn, the Forest of Dean, the Cotswold Hills to the east and the Welsh hills to the West.

Longer walks and trails

Discover local landmarks

Try this local walk, which offers spectacular views of the River Wye and takes you through three counties and two countries! At just under 20km it’s the perfect longer walk to explore the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley. Slightly further afield, this 12km walk takes in the glorious view of the Tintern Abbey ruins from the Devil’s Pulpit viewpoint. It meanders through Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire and includes a section of the Offa’s Dyke National Trail.

Long distance routes

Hiking across Gloucestershire

Our cabins at Forest of Dean are well-placed for a number of longer distance routes. The Wye Valley Walk is a 218km hike that follows the length of the River Wye through forests, ravines, orchards and meadows. The Monmouth to Ross on Wye section is nearest to our cabins. The 88km Wysis Way runs through the Forest of Dean and the Gloucestershire Way cover the full width of the county. Again, you can pick up both of these for local sections which offer tranquil riverside paths, ancient ruins and spectacular views.