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The Secret Forest

Natural walk through ancient mine workings. Ancient yew trees and gnarled roots climbing over rocks. Associated woodland plants, mosses, lichens and native bird life. Recreated Iron Age village.

Attraction in or near Clearwell


Beautiful woodland walk through 'Scowles' - spectacular ancient surface iron workings now reclaimed by nature. Local residents include owls, woodpeckers, crows, chif chaf and robin. Recreated Iron Age village and roundhouses. Tearoom, eco-toilets, parking and picnic area.

The Secret Forest is only 200 yards from Clearwell Caves. The paths spread over a bewildering woodland in and amongst rock formations. Scowles are the outcrop of the crease limestone cave system which started forming approximately 180 million years ago.

The circular path divides into different abilities, both leading to the roundhouse village. Here, the three iron age replica roundhouses show the different methods of construction. Educational courses, weddings and celebrations are held around the roundhouses.

Well behaved dogs on leads welcome. Take your time, enjoy, bring a picnic and make a day of it. Entrance opposite Clearwell Caves. Please see website for seasonal events. 

Our mission is to preserve and promote the appreciation and enjoyment of our natural environment through art, education and nature. Enjoy nature at its finest and relax among the flora and fauna of The Secret Forest. Let your imagination run wild!


Pushchairs and wheelchairs are welcome. Due to the gradient of the walk in places, additional strength or assistance may be required. The footpath is broad with a compacted gravelled surface. A short, additional alternative route is also available that has steps and is therefore not suitable for wheeled traffic.

All pictures are by Tina Dorner Photography

Opening Times

Open: Weekends and school holidays 10am - 4pm

  • At other times by appointment
  • Guided tours can be arranged


  • Attraction
  • Children welcome
  • Coach parties accepted
  • Disabled toilets
  • Dog Friendly
  • Facilities for educational visits
  • Facilities for groups
  • Families
  • Heritage
  • Nature
  • Off-Road Parking
  • On-site catering or Cafe
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Visitor Attraction


The Rocks
Lambsquay Road
GL16 8JR
O/S Ref: SO 578084

Enter your start address:

Our entrance is  opposite Clearwell Caves. GL16 8JR.

  • Clearwell
  • Coleford


  • Adults – £5.00 (17 years and above)
  • Children – £3.00 (3 years to 16 years)
  • Under 3’s – free
  • Car parking - free

Prices for events may differ to above. Please telephone to check. 07786 156646 ask for Elaine

This site is off-grid so accepts cash only