Find Your Spring Freedom in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley
…With Woodland Walks and Spring Flowers
From the 20 million trees in the Forest of Dean to the carpets of wildflowers and miles of rivers and streams, nature is all around us here and spring is the perfect time to get out and explore.
With many miles of footpaths there are walks to suit everyone including short walks and circular walks, pub walks, nature walks, national trails and hikes. Start with one of our 12 Easy Walks, or take a look at the other walking routes available. There are pubs along the way with fantastic beer gardens, heritage trails and organised tours or you can enjoy the outdoor art on the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, the children’s trail at Beechenhurst or the daffodil trail. So get your walking shoes on! There are loads of options for spending time in beautiful natural surroundings in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley this spring.
With spring comes new life and the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley is perfect for seeing it. Visit one of our many ponds, wildlife reserves or rivers to view ducklings, cygnets, goslings and tadpoles. If you’re lucky you might spot a kingfisher or an otter, there will be dragonflies whizzing through the air and plenty of baby birds as they begin to fledge. RSPB Nagshead in Parkend is the perfect spot for birdwatching, and you can see lambs, calves and other baby animals in many of the fields.
Spring Gardens at Lydney Park Estate
The glorious spring gardens of Lydney Park Estate are only ever open to the public for 2-3 months each year, but boy are they worth a visit! A true ‘Secret Garden’ with a simple door which opens into a wonderland of terraces, pools, waterfalls, hills, temples and beautiful azaleas and rhododendron they will take your breath away. There are Roman ruins dating back to 100BC and there is also a deer park. This year they are open from Sunday 5th April to Sunday 14th June 2020 on Sundays, Wednesdays and Bank Holidays only. Tea and cake is served on the terrace with views over the River Severn to the Cotswolds beyond. Dogs on leads are welcome. Highly recommended!
Seeing the forest floor carpeted with bright shiny bluebells every spring is one of this season’s most special joys. They are always spectacular here and abundant, and not only do they look incredible, they smell absolutely beautiful too! Normally on show from around the beginning of April they often peak towards the end of the month, although can often be even earlier in the Wye Valley than the Forest of Dean and are often still around in the first couple of weeks of May. See our guide to some of the best places to view them here.
For a truly magical woodland experience, visit Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean this spring to see the forest come to life. Follow the twisted paths through a wonderland of deep ravines with moss covered rocks, over wooden bridges and through fantastic tree and rock formations. This ancient woodland is the ideal location for an unforgettable day out for all ages this spring. It’s been used in many popular films and TV programmes including Merlin, Dr Who and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. New film The Secret Garden, released 17th April 2020 was also shot here so take your inspiration from the silver screen and explore this beautiful hidden gem this spring. Open Wednesdays and weekends until 1st April and then daily. There are also holiday cottages on site with special access to the woods and farm animals which the kids love.
A Golden Triangle of Wild Daffodils
One of Britain's best wild daffodil displays occurs here every spring. The villages of Oxenhall, Kempley and Dymock in Gloucestershire are known as ‘The Golden Triangle’ because of their glorious daffodils. Thought to be the largest concentration of wild daffodils in the UK, the meadows are aglow with the yellow flowers and celebratory weekends take place every year with guided walks, tea and cake. In 2020 the Kempley weekend is Saturday 21st - Sunday 22nd March and the Oxenhall and Dymock weekends are Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th March however as with the unpredictability of nature, the daffodils may well be at their best before then! The circular ‘Daffodil Way’ walk covers approximately eight miles and there are details plus a great video by The Wildlife Trusts here. You can also read Country Life’s write up of the ‘Golden Triangle’ here for more spring inspiration.
In spring the apple and cherry blossoms fill the air with their beautiful scent and our cider producers make the most of the sight with open days and weekends. Around Much Marcle in Herefordshire at the beginning of May The Big Apple Cider and Perry Blossom Festival takes place. This year it is over the bank holiday weekend of 9th - 10th May 2020 with Sunday being the main day for entertainment, tastings, walks and talks. See all our cider producers here.
This spring we also have two walking festivals, with a wide range of guided walks through some of our best landscapes. The Chepstow Walking Festival is 15th-19th April 2020 and the Coleford Walking Festival is 9th-17th May 2020. See all of our unique walking events with guided walks, nagivation and hikes here.
See our full guide to finding your spring freedom in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley here.