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Alternative waterside things to see and do on holiday in the Forest of Dean

Posted on 23rd December 2015

Step out of the woods and away from the flora and fauna of the beautiful Forest of Dean and you may well get a glimpse of the area’s natural streams, ponds and lakes. Providing a home to much of the wildlife that the Forest of Dean is admired for, these locations offer holidaymakers a range of things to see and do for those seeking a tranquil break on the region’s waters.

The news that the Government has awarded Lydney Harbour £50,000 to revive this popular tourist hot spot and make it accessible to visitors for years to come has established the area’s alternative waterside attraction offerings.

Discover an alternative holiday a stone’s throw away from holiday cottages in the Forest of Dean – on its banks.

Lydney Harbour

Nestled on the River Severn, Lydney Harbour has international acclaim for its vast tidal range and as an important habitat for wildlife in the Forest of Dean. Perhaps, even more so, the harbour is held in high regard as one of the UK’s pivotal links to the South West coast and the rest of the world. Visitors can learn about Lydney’s exporting history through the many tourist information boards and stroll along the Pidcock Canal just beyond the harbour.

Recent funding approval will see investment into revitalising Lydney Harbour’s tourist appeal and plans to build a number of shops and cafes at the site have the potential to attract even more visitors to this scenic waterway.

Lydney

Image Credit: Nick (flickr.com)

Mallards Pike Lake

Blow the cobwebs away with a waterside walk at Mallards Pike Lake, the ideal beauty spot to admire the Forest of Dean’s wildlife away from the woodland’s cover. Trade in your lakeside ramble for one of the many family cycle trails connected to Mallards Pike. If you’re planning ahead for your next Forest of Dean cottage holiday, than make sure to check out the organised activities on offer at the lakes. Groups can take advantage of the boating facilities or families looking to entertain their little monkeys might prefer to swing back into the forest at nearby attraction Go Ape, the UK’s number one tree-top climbing adventure.

Mallards Pike Lake

Image Credit: Jayt74 (flickr.com)

River Wye

If water sports are more appealing, flowing past the Forest of Dean, the River Wye provides the perfect opportunity to try canoeing or kayaking in the heart of this stunning area of natural beauty. Surrounded by the Forest of Dean’s fauna, there is no better way to explore the area than by hiring a canoe and taking to the waters. The River Wye’s gentle running waters are kind on first-timers, but for a fast-paced rafting experience, advanced water enthusiasts can try their hand at navigating the rapids at Symonds Yat.

River Wye

Image Credit: Steve Lee (flickr.com)

Cannop Brook

For those who prefer to keep their feet planted on dry land, Cannop Brook is a peaceful spot in the Forest of Dean where visitors can bring a picnic and relax for a while. The Brook is also home to a plentiful stock of brown trout and one can easily spend a few hours fishing in its stream. A short way from the Brook, holidaymakers can enjoy spotting a number of birds and ducks that have made Cannop Ponds their home. Ponds, such as these, originally supplied water power to the region’s industrial iron forges and mills of the past. Today, the Forestry Commission has transformed this stunning spot for tourists to appreciate when staying in the Forest of Dean.

Cannop Brook

Image Credit: Jonathan Billinger (geograph.org.uk)

A day spent exploring the Forest of Dean’s waterside spots is well worth making the time for. Find peace of mind on the banks of its stunning lakes, get the adrenalin pumping in its rapids or simply learn something new about the Forest of Dean’s heritage at one of its maritime locations.