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17 September 2014
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Ancient woods | Forest of Dean

Forest of Dean map

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The ancient Forest of Dean is one of the few remaining Royal forests in England.

It was created by the Normans as a hunting forest to provide food for the king's winter court at Gloucester.

Ancient woods index (Image: Osprey chick c/o Forestry Commission)

Return to ancient woods

Ancient woodlands are great places to watch wildlife especially birds and mammals such as deer and wild boar.

Ancient wood activities (Image: Peregrine Falcon)

Ancient wood activities

  • Get out and about in spring woodlands for birds of prey, badger watching and wild walks.

Forest of Dean - Visitor Guide


Forest of Dean and Symonds Yat, near Coleford, Wye Valley, Gloucestershire.

Postcode GL14 2
Telephone:Tourism info centre - 01594 812388

Tourism fax - 01452 812330
Location map: Multi map of Forest of Dean
Ordnance Survey:Grid reference SO630109
Key attractions:

If you want to see some of the shyer wildlife, keep your dog on a lead because they do like to chase other animals.

Essential kit:Camouflage clothing for nature watching. Walking shoes. Binoculars for woodland birds.
Nature watching:

Bird watching - RSPB telescopes at Symonds Yat for Peregrine Falcons.


Mammals - Deer, Wild Boar, Badgers.


Wildflowers - spring Bluebells and Wild Garlic.


The forest is managed by the Forestry Commission.

Access:Online access guide available
Getting there:

Car - the Forest of Dean is located in west Gloucestershire, close to the border with Wales and is within easy driving distance of the M4 (M48), M5 and M50 motorways.


Rail - the Forest of Dean is served by Lydney, Chepstow and Gloucester railway stations.


Bus - contact Coleford Tourist Information Centre on 01594 812388 or call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608.


Parking - fee at some Forestry Commission sites including Symonds Yat Rock, Beechenhurst and Mallards Pike.

Opening times:Year round.
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