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Explore the villages and towns around the Forest of Dean

Posted on 14th January 2015

Image Credit: Roland Turner (flickr.com)

The ancient Forest of Dean and Wye Valley is an area of outstanding natural beauty, which is just one of the many reasons why thousands of people go on holiday to the region every single year.

Being located on the English and South Welsh border, and crossing the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire, also means that there are plenty of places for holidaymakers to visit during their break.

Whilst the stunning Symonds Yat Rock, Puzzlewood, Clearwell Caves and the Dean Forest Railway are all popular Forest of Dean attractions with visitors staying in Forest of Dean cottages, sometimes the forest’s beautiful old mining villages and vibrant market towns can be forgotten about.

Here we guide you through the towns and villages that are packed full of British history that you should definitely visit during your stay in the Forest of Dean.

Monmouth

Image credit: Nic Trott (flickr.com)

Monmouth is a lively market town that offers visitors a perfect mix of high street shops and unique boutique stores to browse in the day, and a number of pubs and restaurants to visit at night.

Some of the town’s attractions include the Grade 1 listed Shire Hall building and the Monmouth Museum.

Chepstow

Image credit: canong2fan (flickr.com)

Home to Chepstow castle, this little town in Wales has a number of attractions that visitors can explore.

Chepstow is the main entrance to the Lower Wye Valley and if you are heading there then you must stop off at Chepstow to see the town’s incredible castle, which is apparently home to the oldest doors in Europe.

For those of you that are horse racing fans then you will be familiar with the fact that Chepstow is home to a famous racecourse that plays host to the annual Welsh Grand National.

Cinderford

The town, which is on the eastern fringe of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, dates back to 1840 and was once the industrial capital of the forest.

This old mining town has evolved in recent years and is definitely worth a visit for those on Forest of Dean cottage holidays near Cinderford as it now boasts a plethora of top-quality shops and restaurants, as well as boasting a number of scenic walks with great views of the River Severn and its surrounding countryside.

The town is home to a large weekly outdoor market that attracts many visitors and it sells foods, crafts and gifts.

Littledean

Close to Cinderford is one of the ancient villages of the Forest of Dean; Littledean. The village has an array of old buildings that date back to the 1600s.

The Romans set-up base in Littledean and visitors will be able to see the remains of an old Roman temple in the grounds of the Littledean Hall as well as traces of an ancient Roman encampment on the hillside to the east of the village.

Coleford

Image credit: Roland Turner (flickr.com)

The small market town of Coleford in Gloucestershire is in the west of the Forest of Dean and should again be on your bucket list of places to visit during your stay.

The town has a clock tower that was originally a part of a church, a Great Western Railway Museum and is home to a number of great restaurants, pubs and shops.

The village is also close to the Clearwell Caves, Puzzlewood and Perrygrove Railway, which makes it a perfect stop-off during a visit to one of these attractions.