Must do list:
- Symonds Yat Rock – Britain’s favourite view
- Canoeing the Wye (but you can take the easier option with a river cruise!)
- Old hand ferry
- Clearwell Caves
- Walk in the Forest of Dean
- Tintern Abbey
- Sculpture Trail
- Goodrich Castle
- Butterfly Zoo and Hedge Puzzle
Film Locations: Atmospheric Puzzlewood has stood in for alien planets (Star Wars VII – The Force Awakens), medieval forests (Merlin) and sci-fi settings (Dr Who) as well as inspiring Tolkien’s Middle Earth. The River Wye and its views feature in Harry Potter (and Gloucester Cathedral became parts of Hogwarts) and Shadowlands. Clearwell Caves hosted Dr Who’s stone angels. The hugely successful Netflix series Sex Education is filmed here.
Wildlife: Without leaving the grounds you may see deer, wild boar, peregrine falcon and buzzards. Symonds Yat Rock is renowned for the peregrines nesting.
Local Producers: Cider, wine, artisan beer and of course Gloucester Old Spot bacon, wild boar sausages, smoked Severn salmon and eels and Double Gloucester cheese.
The Seasons: The walks through the Forest of Dean from Symonds Yat Rock Lodge change with the seasons (and we have more trees now than in the Iron Age!) Spring brings boar piglets, fawns, crested newts, butterflies and bluebells everywhere.
The Forest zings with colour in autumn, villages of red and white spotted toadstools spring up and you can feast on ceps or pick berries for the local forest and hedgerow jams. If you don't fancy walking, the Dean Forest Railway will steam you through on its Bluebell and Autumn Colour specials.