Regional Information
Cycling in the Forest of Dean, England
Cycling in the Forest of Dean, England
Some ideas from Holidays by Cycle

Are there any specific areas of beauty or historical sites to cycle to?


North of the Forest of Dean is the imposing Goodrich Castle. Standing in glorious countryside above the majestic River Wye, Goodrich Castle is one of the finest and best preserved of all English medieval castles.  With a keep dating back to around 1160, the castle has a long history which has seen various modifications over several hundred years. From the castle, you experience amazing views across the Wye Valley and the counties of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. To the West of the forest is Symonds Yat, a spectacular limestone outcrop that rises 500 feet above the banks of the river Wye. Around the rock, you will find several waymarked cycle trails, and a walk to the summit rewards with glorious views over the Wye valley. If you are lucky, you may even spot Peregrine Falcons, who nest around the rock in the summer months. In fact, so important are these birds to the area, that a fantastic cycle route that connects Monmouth with Simmonds Yat, “The Peregrine Path”, is named after them. However, if ancient history is more your thing the rock is also the location of a 2500 year old Iron Age fort. The site is now protected as a scheduled ancient monument, and well worth a look.


Can you recommend a favourite route in FOD that people must try?


One of the most accessible cycle trails in The Forest Of Dean is the “Family Cycle Trail”, which as its name suggests is an all ability route and a great choice for the whole family. The 11 mile route is well marked, circular and utilises old railway lines making it predominantly flat with a relatively easy going surface. Cycle the trail in a clockwise direction starting at Cannop Valley (here you will find a good cycling centre) along the old Severn and Wye railway line, passing as you go the former stations at Drybrook Road, Cannop Wharf and Speech House.


What would be your "can't leave with out it" top tip to families who are interested in a slow bike through FOD

If you plan on seeing the Peregrine Falcons then a pair of binoculars is a must. They may also come in handy if you are lucky to happen across the secretive fallow or Roe dear that live in the forest. Always take a puncture repair kit, as you just never know, and with kids you just need things to run smoothly. Also, unless you’re confident of the British weather (and you will be unusual if you are), take some waterproofs. Finally, a fully charged mobile phone……sorry but they can really help if you get stuck!

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