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Great family days out in the Forest of Dean

Posted on 25th August 2014

While many recognise the Forest of Dean for its outstanding natural beauty, this ancient southern forest is home to a wide variety of attractions for the whole family to enjoy. With this in mind, here’s our guide to some of the best places you should pencil into the itinerary of your Forest of Dean cottage getaway.

The International Centre for Birds of Prey

Image Credit: Ray (Flickr.com)

Although this attraction can be found in nearby Newent, the fact that it’s the oldest dedicated bird of prey centre in the world makes it a must-visit for any tourist. Open to the public ten months a year, the aim of the International Centre for Birds of Prey is to help in the conservation of all birds of prey and their habitats through public education and captive breeding. With the tawny owl, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, burrowing owl, snowy owl and Harris hawks just some of the many species the centre is home to, it offers a real educational day out for the family as well as the chance to admire these beautiful birds up close.

Dean Heritage Centre

Recognised as the gateway to this famous royal forest, the Dean Heritage Centre is one of Gloucestershire’s leading attractions and gives a true insight into the illustrious history of the region. Set across a fully interactive five-acre site, it’s a great day out for all the family. One of the biggest highlights is the on-site museum, which features more than 20,000 artefacts as well as galleries and outdoor displays. It’s also open all year round, making it the perfect place to visit on your family holiday in the Forest of Dean.

Beechenhurst Lodge

Image Credit: Amanda Slater (Flickr.com)

Beechenhurst Lodge is a truly special place to take the family, an attraction where cyclists and walkers can explore this beautiful forest in complete peace and quiet. It is perhaps most famous for its Sculpture Trail, a four-mile long route that became one of the first of its kind in the UK after opening in 1986. With the sculptures ranging from a deer to a cathedral stained glass window, it’s likely to be an experience like no other. Plus, it’s a great place to take stunning images that you can admire for many years.

Perrygrove Railway

Image Credit: Afshin Darian (Flickr.com)

Nothing pleases the family quite in the same way as a trip on a railway, and a trip on the Perrygrove Railway promises not to disappoint. Open every day during the summer holidays, the steam trains run across almost a mile of train track through beautiful farmlands and beautiful woods. With no charge for extra rides throughout the day, it’s completely up to how you want to spend your day. Take part in a treasure hunt, or enjoy a family treetop adventure!