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Gloucestershire Things to do

Find freedom in the Forest of Dean

Visit Dean Wye has launched five new experiential itineraries as part of its Find Your Freedom campaign, to inspire visitors to explore the hidden gems and lesser-known wonders of the Forest of Dean nestled in west Gloucestershire between the River Wye and River Severn.

Whether you’re a foodie or thrill seeker, nature lover or explorer, this beautiful area has so many memorable experiences to offer.

It’s a place to free your mind, body and soul, express yourself with arts and crafts or simply explore a wealth of hidden gems and interesting things to do.

And with vast forests, two majestic rivers and breathtaking vistas, there’s no better place to pull off your facemask and breathe.

Mark Terry-Lush, from Visit Dean Wye, said: “The Forest of Dean is one of the UK’s best-kept secrets, offering a rich variety of businesses, experiences and mesmerising destinations off the beaten track for the adventurous, curious or creative.

“It’s an area of natural beauty, wide open space, rivers, hills and fresh air: the perfect spot to find your freedom.”

From the sounds of rare birdsong to the soft perfume of bluebells, it’s the perfect place to experience the Japanese practice shinrin-yoku or forest bathing, while its miles of byways and tracks are great for exploring on foot or two wheels.

Join a wildlife safari to get close to the creatures that call this area home and, for the ultimate feeling of relaxation, climb into a floatation pod and let its warm water gently carry away your aches and worries.

The Forest of Dean is in a league of its own when it comes to food, with everything from delicious meat from livestock reared on lush pastures, to tasty cheeses to savour.

The area provides plenty of opportunities for thrill seekers to release energy built up over lockdowns.

Rev your engine for a 4×4 splashdown, saddle up for an exhilarating mountain bike ride or see the forest from the tree tops with a high ropes adventure challenge.

Those who prefer to let their creative spirit run wild have plenty of bookable experiences from workshops on pottery, photography and mosaic making, and for retail therapy there’s a vibrant arts and crafts centre, home to a diverse range of independent businesses.

Alternatively, cook up a culinary masterpiece at the award-winning Harts Barn Cookery School, which offers a mouth-watering array of foodie experiences.

Explore some of the little-known towns and villages, take a trip on a steam locomotive at Dean Forest Railway, explore the picturesque market town of Newent or experience the power of the River Severn at its estuary in Lydney.

Head deep underground to discover a coal mine near Coleford, or watch a classic movie in the comfort of Cinderford’s Palace Cinema, one of the oldest purpose-built cinemas in the UK.

To find out more, including how to download the five itineraries or book an experience, click here.

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