Getting to the Forest of Dean Greenways
The Forest of Dean is located in the county of Gloucestershire, on the border between England and Wales and, although it is tucked away between the River Severn and the River Wye, it is remarkably easy to get to by road (M5 and M50) or rail.
You’ll find all of the information you need to plan your trip on the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism Association website or the Forest of Dean District Council website. The site includes details of distances from nearby cities and has contact details for relevant transport providers.
There are several Pay and Display car parks in the area but visitors with horse boxes and trailers should check the BHS EMAGIN® website for information about nearby equestrian centres and farms, etc. which may be used, by prior arrangement, for parking larger vehicles.
The Dymock Forest Greenway
Queens Wood, Hay Wood and Oxenhall – approximately 7 miles long
The Dymock Forest Greenway comprises approximately 2.5 miles of high-quality off-road track loacated within Queens Wood and Hay Wood and 4.5 miles of quiet country lanes and existing bridleways. It is the most northerly of our four Greenway routes and it is at the centre of a number of small picturesque villages comnprising Oxenhall, Gorsley and Kempley Green.
Queens Wood and Hay Wood are connected by a widened and improved bridleway that connects Swagwater Lane with Queens Wood via a large underpass that goes under the M50 and which is suitable for horse riders, walkers and leisure cyclists. Both woods can now be enjoyed individually or as a single continuous circuit.
The Queens Wood route is best accessed from the Queens Wood car park just south of Kempley Green (OS Ref: 678285) and the Hay Wood is best accessed from the Forestry Commission gate next to Pound Farm (OS Ref: 689275). Two major roads provide access to the general area and they are the B4221 from Newent to Ross and the M50, junction 3.
The Huntley Woods Greenway
Newent Woods and The Plantation – approximately 9 miles long
The Huntley Woods Greenway comprises 1.75 miles of newly-dedicated bridleway and an additional 0.75 miles of existing bridleway, connected by approximately 6.5 miles of quiet country lanes.
The route is located between the May Hill SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and the village of Huntley. The Plantation is accessed from the south via Huntley Church / Garden Centre (OS Ref: 713196) or Ganders Green Lane (OS Ref: 707204).
The much longer Huntley Woods section is reached from the village of Cliffords Mesne in the north (OS Ref: 702226) and from Bearfoot Woods in the south (OS Ref: 701207). The A40 (Gloucester to Ross) is the nearest main road and the Greenway can also be reached via the town of Newent.
The Hope Wood Greenway
Hope Wood and Flaxley Woods – approximately 4.5 miles long
This self-contained, figure of eight Greenway is an attractive 4.5 mile long circuit that’s all off-road. Car parking at Hope Wood is limited, so users should try to make arrangements at nearby equestrian centres, stables and farms, etc. or use the road network to access Hope Wood from nearby Flaxley, Longhope, Littledean, Cinderford and Plump Hill.
This Greenway can be accessed only via the Forestry Commission track just south of the village of Shapridge (OS Ref: 676160) via the A4136 at Mitcheldean.
The Blakeney Greenway and Carriage Driving Circuit
Blakeney, Yorkley, Ruspidge and Soudley – approximately 12.5 miles long
This spectacular figure of eight Greenway and Carriage Driving Circuit is almost all off-road apart from one very short section of a country lane near Blakeney Hill. This circuit is centred around the Forestry Commission car park and leisure area at Mallards Pike (OS Ref: 637088) and is also suitable for para-carriage drivers.
To find the start of the Greenway going north from the Mallards Pike car park, either use the Forestry Commission barrier directly in front of the new carriage entrance beside the cattle grid. If going south, cross over the road to the green metal barrier. Both of these entrances are waymarked. (Please note that you will need keys from the Forestry Commission to open these and other barriers, see contact details below.)
There are five other points of entry into this much longer circuit and they are at Mallards Pike (OS Ref: 637087), Blackpoor Bridge north (OS Ref: 653088) and Blackpool Bridge south (OS Ref: 652086) and Blakeney Hill Wood south (OS Ref: 655074).
Visiting carriage drivers wishing to use the Blakeney Greenway must contact the Forestry Commission’s office in Coleford (by phone 01584 833057) or by email firstname.lastname@example.org) to buy an annual permit which will provide them with keys to the barriers that control access to this route. Please allow at least 14 days for your application to be processed.