Explore the Forest of Dean

The Forest of Dean is a geographical, historical and cultural region in the western part of the county of Gloucestershire, England. It forms a roughly triangular plateau bounded by the River Wye to the west and north-west, Herefordshire to the north, the River Severn to the south, and the City of Gloucester to the east.

The area is characterised by more than 110 square kilometres (42.5 sq mi) of mixed woodland, one of the surviving ancient woodlands in England. A large area was reserved for royal hunting before 1066, and remained as the second largest crown forest in England, the largest being New Forest.

Although the name is used loosely to refer to the part of Gloucestershire between the Severn and Wye, the Forest of Dean proper has covered a much smaller area since medieval times. In 1327 it was defined to cover only the royal demesne and parts of parishes within the hundred of St Briavels, and after 1668 comprised the royal demesne only.

Dean Forest Railway

Dean Forest Railway

Founded by the Dean Forest Railway Society in 1970, the Dean Forest Railway runs along part of the old Severn & Wye Railway lines, which were first built as a tramroad over 200 years ago.

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The Dean Heritage Centre

The Dean Heritage Centre

With five acres of forest to explore, the centre has something for everyone to enjoy and learn in amongst a spectacular backdrop. Wander through our five modern learning galleries, explore a number of historical outdoor displays, marvel at our exciting arts and crafts demonstrations or head out on one of our activity trails.

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Clearwell Caves

Clearwell Caves

Underneath the mysterious Royal Forest of Dean lies something spectacular and unseen, an unfathomable natural cave system that has been mined for more than 4,500 years.

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Forest of Dean

Forest of Dean

This ancient forest has changed many times over the centuries. In medieval times it was a royal hunting forest, before becoming a source of timber for the navy's Tudor warships. By Victorian times it was a major site of industry, with coal mining and tramways punctuating the landscape.

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Severn Bore

Severn Bore

The Severn Bore is one of Britain's few truly spectacular natural phenomena. It is a large surge wave that can be seen in the estuary of the River Severn, where the tidal range is the 2nd highest in the world, being as much as 50 feet (approx. 15.4m).

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Puzzlewood

Puzzlewood

Experience twisted trees in an otherworldly woodland through a mile and a half of paths, bridges and lookout points. It’s a wood like no other, and its magic will cast a spell to entice you back time and time again.

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