Lots of destinations in the UK are, in my opinion, massively underrated. While being a famous natural beauty spot, the Forest of Dean hasn’t got quite as big a reputation for its virtues as a holiday destination. That’s a real shame, because its attractions are quite unique – after all, it’s not everywhere that you can find beautiful holiday homes and great outdoor activities in such a picturesque setting.
So, today’s post will be dedicated to the wonderful Forest of Dean – and what makes it such a unique place for a break.
Wonderful natural environment
Of course, the most obvious advantage of staying in the Forest of Dean is the scenery. One of England’s ancient woodlands, this area is home to gorgeous landscapes – think dense trees, romantic paths, ponds, lakes and more.
What’s more, there’s a wealth of ways to explore this natural environment; yes, you can simply sit back and relax in your holiday park while taking in your surroundings, but why not make life more interesting by checking out the woodland’s mountain biking trails, going canoeing or taking a gentle walk as a family?
Personally, I’m really fond of the mountain biking trails, and I think it’s worth mentioning that there’s a lot of variety here. Yes, there are routes that should only be attempted by experienced cyclists, like the Freeminer Trail, but there are also child-friendly options, such as the Forest of Dean Family Trail.
Both in and around the forest there are some wonderful natural attractions just waiting to be discovered, such as Symonds Yat Rock. This pretty lookout point offers amazing views over the forest and the River Wye – and you might be interested to know that it was actually used as a setting in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I’ll let you figure out which scenes when you get there!
Puzzlewood (I know what you’re thinking – great name!) is another attraction I’d recommend. This place has a real fairytale feel about it and, like Symonds Yat Rock, it’s been used as a filming location. Doctor Who is just one of the series to have shot scenes here.
Of course, the Forest of Dean and the surrounding area are hardly the only places in the UK to feature in TV and film – but I think it’s the sheer beauty and air of mystery these locations possess that helps to give the forest the edge over other destinations.
Holiday homes, glamping and camping
Another nice thing about staying in the forest is the flexibility it gives you. For instance, if you fancy quite a cosy holiday in a home away from home, the log cabins and premier apartments at Whitemead Forest Park (within the forest) are great options that can sleep four to eight people. The log cabins are particularly nice, I think, since they are detached and come with their own verandahs.
By choosing the Forest of Dean, though, you also have the option of staying in the great outdoors. Whitemead Forest Park offers both traditional camping – which is perfect if you want to have an adventure – and glamping pods. The latter are a bit better suited to all weathers, since they’re made of wood. You can find out more about them on this website, but they are, in essence, very much like a wooden tent, complete with an outdoor area that’s ideal for socialising and – weather permitting – sunbathing.