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Pretty village on the Gloucestershire/Herefordshire border with commanding views over the Wye Valley. Ruardean Hill is the highest point in the Forest.

Towns and Villages in or near Cinderford


The name 'Rwirdin' literallly means 'fortified hill'. This pretty village is located on the Herefordshire border and is home to the church of St John the Baptist, one of many on the fringe of the Forest. It's tall 180 foot tower commands spectacular views over the Wye Valley and the Welsh Mountain. It is also the base for Ruardean Garden Pottery which is well worth a visit when looking for unusal gifts or good garden ornaments.

The village is also where two brothersJames and William Horlick, who developoed the famous hot drink Horlicks, were born. The malthouse and 'Horlicks House' can still be seen in the village, close to the Malthouse pub.  

Ruardean Hill is 951 feet above sea level and was once the most northern boundary in the Forest.

The question "Who killed the bears?" was used for many years as an insult, directed particularly towards the people of Ruardean. This refers to an event in 1869 when four Frenchmen and their two bears were attacked by an angry mob, enraged by false claims that the bears had killed a child and injured a woman (further details).


  • Towns and Villages


GL17 9US
O/S Ref: SO 6217

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From the A4136 Huntley to Monmouth road, take turning to the village and follow the road for 2 miles.

  • Cinderford
  • Lydbrook