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Family friendly attractions in the Forest of Dean

Posted on 29th January 2013

The Forest of Dean has a particularly wide range of family activities, especially for those keen on sport and outdoor life. Kayaking and canoeing on the River Wye, walking, riding and cycling through the Forest trails, fishing and even geocaching (www.geocaching.com) are all easily accessible during Forest of Dean cottage holidays. Below are three suggestions for enjoyable family days-out.


The Dean Forest Railway runs for nine miles from Lydney to Parkend through some of the finest scenery in the area. The beautifully restored steam engines and rolling stock carry passengers in nostalgic surroundings, stopping at several stations en route. A number of special offers are available including Sunday lunch on the Royal Forester Dining train, and even a chance to drive the engine!

The International Centre for Birds of Prey at Newent is a wonderful experience for the growing number of enthusiasts. The Centre, the first officially established one in the UK, is home to around 250 birds including eagles, buzzards, owls, kites and falcons. There are three flying demonstrations daily, as well as experience days and full instructional courses. There are also woodland walks, a cafe and other children’s activities.

Puzzlewood is a highly-rated experience for children and adults alike. The 14 acres of ancient woodland contain many fascinating paths and caves, and are thought to have inspired Tolkien in his description of Middle Earth. This is definitely an all-day venue and there are picnic areas, mazes, a playground, and opportunities for close encounters with a variety of animals such as donkeys, pigmy goats, lambs and ponies – as well as plenty of indoor facilities. Check the website for opening times.

These are just three of the many attractions for families, which are available during a stay in any of our holiday cottages in the Forest of Dean. Links to their websites, and those of other places of interest, can be found on our visit the Forest of Dean page.

Image Credit: hugochisholm (Flickr.com)