The Royal Forest of Dean is nestled between the River Severn and the Wye Valley, two great tidal rivers that protect and preserve a unique landscape and way of life on the border between England and Wales.
The Forest of Dean Greenways project uses a network of new tracks and well-established bridleways to link large areas of the Forest of Dean with private woodland, tourist attractions and local facilities. Horse riders, walkers and cyclists can safely explore and enjoy these 30 miles of tracks – 12 miles of which are also suitable for carriage drivers – and use these routes to connect with local towns and villages and the many other places of interest that are to be found across the Forest of Dean district.
On this page you’ll find some useful links to help you get the most of out of your visit to the Forest of Dean Greenways network.
Whether you’re looking for camping sites or log cabins, historic inns or guest houses, you’ll find something to fit your needs in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley.
To find up-to-date details of the 250 accommodation providers in the area, check out the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism Association website. There’s an easy-to-use filter system to help you plan your stay and any accommodation that has been quality assessed by either VisitBritain, the AA or Visit Wales will display the relevant logo and star rating to help you make an informed choice. There are also lists of places to stay on the Explore Gloucestershire website.
You’ll find a wide range of food and drink in the area – from locally-produced cider, wine, artisan beer and cheeses, Gloucester Old Spot bacon and smoked Severn salmon, to organic juices and vegetables, free range chicken and eggs.
To find out more details of the many cafes, pubs and restaurants in the area, as well as the regular farmers’ markets and food festivals that take place, visit the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism Association website. All of the establishments listed are inspected and rated under the National Scores on the Doors Food Hygiene Scheme.
If you want to extend your trip and visit some local attractions, you’ll find the Forest of Dean has a great range, all of them well worth a visit. There’s plenty to do and see, from museums and caves to steam trains and river cruises. You can try canoeing and kayaking on the nearby River Wye, or visiting some of the historic attractions within the area.
The British Horse Society website contains contact details of nearby BHS-approved livery yards and equine B&Bs, equitation and equestrian centres, riding stables and schools, as well as local grooms and qualified instructors.
Nearby Hartpury College is an internationally-recognised centre for horse competitions and shows. Show jumping, dressage, eventing and carriage driving events are held at the David Broome Event Centre at Chepstow and the Forest of Dean Driving Trails Group also runs a regular programme of events.
All of the Greenways are suitable for leisure cyclists but, as the routes are shared with other users including horse riders, carriage drivers and walkers, this makes them unsuitable for competitive or speed cycling. The Forestry Commission website has details of other nearby cycle routes where you can enjoy a wide range of cycling experiences. They also provide a useful guide to cycle and mountain biking safety or you can find out more in the Code of Conduct for Horse Riders and Cyclists.
Cycling UK, the national cycling charity has member groups in Gloucestershire, as does British Cycling, the national governing body. And, when you’ve finished riding the Greenways, the nearby Cannop Cycle Centre is on the site of an old colliery and is the starting point for a Family Cycle Trail which includes 11 miles of waymarked surfaced tracks. If you don’t have your own cycles, you can hire them at Pedalabikeaway near Speech House (OS Ref: SO 624 114) and Dean Forest Cycles near Parkend.
The Forestry Commission website provides information on other walking trails within the Forest of Dean, along with a useful guide to managing dogs in woodlands, produced in association with the Kennel Club.
The Ramblers Association, Britain’s walking charity, also offers advice for walkers – from how to get started for people new to walking to practical tips on safety and how walking can benefit your health. Plus information on maps and advice on how to navigate. You can also search for led-walks and designated routes.
Other useful links
We welcome any ideas for further links to be added to this page, so please get in touch if you have any suggestions – firstname.lastname@example.org
There are several Pay and Display car parks in the Forest of Dean district, 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.
Where the Greenways make use of bridleways, maintenance problems should be reported to the Gloucestershire Public Rights of Way team via their online reporting system. Where the Greenways travel through land owned by the Forestry Commission, route maintenance problems can be reported via e-mail.
Links to external sites
Please note that the Forest of Dean and District Horse Riders’ and Carriage Drivers’ Association is not responsible for the content of any of the websites linked to here, and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. FODADHRACDA cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time and has no control over the availability of any of these sites.