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Some top natural attractions in the Forest of Dean

Posted on 06th February 2013

There are many reasons why Forest of Dean cottage holidays remain so popular with families and friends seeking a relaxing break in the UK. As well as its glorious and tranquil woodland scenery, the area is also home to some of the best nature-based visitor attractions in the country, which truly make the most of the surrounding beauty. We have singled out a few of our favourites which you may choose to enjoy when you next visit this charming and picturesque part of Gloucestershire.

Tail lamp

1) Bixslade is a typical example of the stunning countryside which can be found throughout the Forest of Dean and also has a long tradition of being a centre for mining and quarrying – the evidence of which can still be seen for miles around. However these operations have almost all ceased now, and today Bixslade is more commonly used as a haven for wildlife lovers interested in discovering the multitude of flora and fauna to which make their home here.

2) The Dean Heritage Centre may not be a natural site itself but it explores the natural resources of the region in plenty of ways, bringing you closer to them in the process. There are a wide variety of permanent outdoor exhibitions available and diverse attractions such as chainsaw carving demonstrations, farm animals, a charcoal burner’s camp and much more are all here to be discovered. As well as a special trail based on the classic children’s Gruffalo books, all within a setting that showcases the truly spectacular landscape of the ancient forest.

3) Clearwell Caves, also known as the Royal Forest of Dean’s Iron Mining Museum, presents a series of nine natural underground caverns which are steeped in industrial history, having first been mined for their materials more than 4,500 years ago. The imposing, atmospheric setting for many scenes in television programmes like Merlin and Doctor Who, these caves represent a great all-weather option for those staying in any of the holiday cottages in the Forest of Dean, as they are a dry cave system and offer an engaging visitor experience come rain or shine.

Image Credit: Ben Salter (flickr.com)