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Things to do during romantic breaks in the Forest of Dean

Posted on 10th September 2014

Image Credit: European Environment Agency (Flickr.com)

The Forest of Dean is the perfect location for couples looking to escape to the countryside and enjoy some peace and quiet. As one of England’s only surviving ancient woodlands, there is something very romantic about this enchanting area, and with so much picturesque scenery to explore and attractions to visit, there’s plenty to do during Forest of Dean cottage holidays. Take a look at some our top picks of things to do while on romantic breaks in the Forest of Dean.


Whether the two of you are hardened hikers or prefer a gentle stroll, there are many opportunities to get out in the great outdoors and see the best of the Forest of Dean and surrounding area. Linked to numerous footpaths, such as Offa’s Dyke and The Wye Valley Walk, there are routes for all abilities, as well as those suitable for dogs as well. Offa’s Dyke is said to be one of the most varied National Trails, passing through river valleys, moorland, and woodland, while the Wye Valley Walk follows the course of the River Wye through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Image Credit: Gary Hadden (Flickr.com)

There are also a variety of circular walks, which run through small and pretty villages such as Blakeney and Newnham on Severn, and vibrant towns such as Ross-on-Wye and city of Gloucester. Showcasing the Forest of Dean’s heritage, you can learn all about the history of those that once lived in this fascinating area, as well as the trades that made them prosper.

Dining out

One of the most enjoyable parts of staying in a holiday cottage in the Forest of Dean has to be eating great food, and when there’s just two of you, it can be a wonderful romantic experience. There are many superb places to eat in the Forest of Dean, ranging from gourmet restaurants to traditional pubs and inns. Here are just a handful of the fantastic restaurants you may stumble upon. Delight in Italian cuisine at Dolce Vita, an a la carte menu at The Ugly Duckling Restaurant, or locally sourced meals at The Bluebell Restaurant, which is renowned for its romantic setting.

If you’re visiting any of the towns and villages, make sure to stop and watch the world go by from one of the quaint tea rooms or cafes, while you relax with a cup of tea and a slice of cake. For those visiting Drybrook, there is an authentic award winning Victorian tea room called Aunt Martha’s, which is a quirky alternative and one that will temporarily transfer you from modern day to a different era.

Image Credit: Christopher Smith1 (Flickr.com)

With so many fantastic producers of food and drink in the Forest of Dean, visiting one of the farmer’s markets such as Coleford is also a must. Fresh fruit and vegetables, vintage cheeses, quality meats, and fish such as the smoked Severn salmon, are just a selection of the delicious foods that you will find while in the area, so why not pick up a selection and head into the countryside for a romantic picnic, while admiring the spectacular views?

Sights to see 

Everyone enjoys a tipple, especially when on holiday, making Westons Cider Visitor Centre a unique day out while on a romantic break in the Forest of Dean. Discover how cider is produced while on a tour of the cider mill, before sampling a variety in the gift shop, and purchasing a souvenir for those at home.

Take a trip to the National Trust’s Westbury Court Garden and view the only restored Dutch style water garden in the country. With a calm and serene ambience, the gardens are a wonderful place to relax, while wandering through old-fashioned orchards and along stunning canals.

Image Credit: Elona R. (Flickr.com)

Also, for those willing to travel a little further afield, Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire is just under an hour’s drive from Gloucester, and is a lovely day out. This beautiful monastic ruin, set in the Wye Valley is a fine example of Gothic architecture, and was the inspiration behind romantic poet William Wordsworth’s ‘Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey’.