Forest Walks and Walking Routes required

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Hi All, welcome to our new site looking to share all of the wonderful forest walks that our beautiful woodlands and countryside allow us to use.

We are in the process of documenting several wonderful walks from around the forest of Dean and Wye Valley as thats where we live and require your assistance to provide details of any walking routes from farther a field or indeed the Forest of Dean

Required: Simply explanations of forest walks you have completed, be great if you could share any photograpghy that we could add to this site, we’ll also link back to any sites you personally maintain, helping to spread the word about walking in the forests.

Simply drop us a note and we’ll add the walks to the site

Lets make the site the first place for searching for walking routes

Walks in the Forest of Dean

There are very few ancient forests left in England at the moment, but the Forest of Dean is one of them. It is located right beside the end of the River Wye, so it really allows you to have some amazing walks in the Forest of Dean. Believe it or not, the forest takes up over 25,000 acres, so as you can imagine there is plenty of walking that you can do through the Forest of Dean. It’s right in the middle between the Wye Valley and the River Severn so the scenery can be breath-taking sometimes.

Like many forests were, the Forest of Dean was used as a hunting ground in the past as well as being used for the huge amount of natural resources that the land had over its 25,000 acres including iron, coal and timber. Today it is full of wildlife and provides a great sport for people to have nice walks through the Forest of Dean.  When anyone is thinking about walking through a forest their first concern is whether there are enough footpaths there in order to have a nice walk. The good news is that if you’re planning on walking in the Forest of Dean there are many footpaths that stretch across most of the forest so you’ll have no problems if you don’t like walking without footpaths.

Some walks in the Forest of Dean include The Gloucestershire way, Wye Valley walk and Wysis walk although there are also a lot more walks for you to choose from. Many of the walks are circular so you’ll end up in the same place where you began which is great if you usually get lost while walking in forests! If you’ve ever walked in the Forest of Dean before, you’ll know how beautiful the forest is for walking. Even if you walk for a few miles you’ll more than likely come across some picturesque moments. There aren’t just short walks in the Forest of Dean though; there are also a wide variety of walks for people who are much more used to walking longer distances. The three paths walk is one of the most famous walks in the Forest of Dean. As the name suggests, it consists of three walks: Wysis Way, Wye Valley Walk and finally Offas Dyke National Trail. As you can see, it’s not for the faint hearted!

The great thing about the Forest of Dean is that people walk in the forest all year round, so even in those cold winter months you’ll be able to have some nice walks if you’re brave enough. Since its open to the public throughout the whole year it also means that you’ll see different things in the forest at different times during the year. For example, during the summer you’d more than likely see loads of bluebells as  well as wild garlic, during the summer the River Wye looks stunning, in autumn all of the leafs changes colours and last but not least in the winter time the valleys are usually covered in mist which can be a great sight to see. So, why not try out a few walks in the Forest of Dean next time you get the chance?

Symonds Yat Rock and the Biblins

Symonds Yat Rock and the Biblins from Symonds Yat

SUMMARY

Distance – 2 ¾ Miles

Terrain – Mostly Hard Forest Tracks, occasional sections across the riverbank

A circular walk on good surfaces, mainly level along the beautiful Wye Valley at Symonds Yat. START The ferry across the river at the Saracen’s Head pub, Symonds Yat East. There are a number of car parks in Symonds Yat East and they all charge.

The River Wye seen from the world famous viewpoint at Symonds Yat Rock forms an almost complete loop. The river here flows 3½ miles yet progresses less then ¼ mile towards the Severn. This walk starts below Symonds Yat Rock in the steep sided, wooded gorge at the pleasant village of Symonds Yat East.


• After parking, make your way to the Saracen’s Head Inn, the site of an ancient hand pulled ferry across the river. The ferry operates throughout the year unless the river is in flood.
If in doubt, phone the pub beforehand, 01600 890 435. There is a charge for the use of the ferry. Although this walk can be done in either direction, it is best to go anti-clockwise to ensure the ferry is running.

• After leaving the ferry, climb a few steps onto the road in Symonds Yat West. To get from Symonds Yat East to Symonds Yat West, the only alternative to the ferry is a 4½ mile drive.
Turn left and follow the road gently uphill for a short distance and then take the steps, signed on the left, down to the riverbank. Throughout this walk the river is kept on your left; the first part is on the bank itself, which can sometimes be muddy, but most of the walk is on hard forest tracks.

The island and rapids in the river, a favourite spot for canoeists soon comes into view. On the riverbank near the rapids, you will see the ruins of old buildings; these are the remains of New Weir Forge. Although its difficult to imagine today, the Wye Valley was once the scene of 18th century iron industry; the river and fast–flowing steams provided the power for the forges, the iron ore came from the Forest of Dean and the limestone from the steep cliffs prominent along this section of the river.

• After about ½ mile, you will enter the Biblins Youth Camp-site. The cliffs here and Lord’s Wood above them are the home for over 20 different species of butterflies including the holly blue, gatekeeper and brimstone. At the centre of the camp-site is a foot suspension bridge across the river. Children love this but it is suitable for all, as it has a solid floor and no steps.

• After crossing the bridge turn left and continue to follow the river back to the village, signed to Symonds Yat East, ignoring all tracks going uphill. The route here follows the former Ross and Monmouth Railway and is named the Peregrine Path after the birds of prey that make their home at nearby Coldwell Rocks. Peregrine falcons, the fastest creatures on the planet reaching speeds of up to 200 mph, can be seen from the RSPB viewing point on Yat Rock from April to August whilst they hunt and raise their young.

• You will pass the rapids once more where you may wish to pause to watch any canoeists on the river. A short distance afterwards, you will enter a car park where you should follow roads back to your start point. Before leaving the village, why not enjoy a drink and a bite to eat at the pub or in one of the cafés or hotels.