Top 25 Free Activities in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean

Enjoy a summer of free family fun in and around the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean with these activities! For more ideas visit our website  

NB Parking charges may apply in some places

  1. Sculpture Trail

The 4-mile trail features sculptures created by artists to interpret the Forest environment and the history of this very unusual landscape. It provides a unique opportunity to walk through the woodlands and discover art along the way.

Forest of Dean & Wye Valley, Beechenhurst.


  1. Gloucester Cathedral

A warm welcome awaits you at Gloucester Cathedral – one of the finest medieval buildings in the country, the burial place of royalty and part of Hogwarts!



  1. Myths and Legends Trails

There are a lots of historical legends, ancient myths and terrifying ghost stories that surround the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. From the historic folk tale of the Ruardean Bear to the iconic legend of the Devils Pulpit, there are so many interesting myths and legends of the Dean Wye for you to explore.


  1. King Arthur’s Cave near Symonds Yat

King Arthur’s Cave was occupied by man during the upper Palaeolithic and possibly prior to that, though evidence of earlier occupation has been removed by ice flows. Flint tools and the bones of woolly mammoths have been found within and around the caves. These days, the caves are occupied by bats, spiders and other small furry animals. More recently the cave was featured in the 2017 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword film.

king arthur


  1. May Hill

A wild and open landmark crowned with a distinctive row of pine trees. Enjoy an exhilarating countryside walk over a prominent landmark.

May hill


  1. Wye Valley Heritage Walks

Two loops of the Wye Valley with a particular focus on history & heritage.


  1. Caldicot Castle

Visit Caldicot Castle in its beautiful setting of tranquil gardens and a wooded country park. Founded by the Normans, developed while in Royal hands as a stronghold in the Middle Ages and restored as a Victorian family home, the castle has a romantic and colourful history.



  1. Chepstow Museum

Chepstow Museum, opposite the Castle, reveals the rich and varied past of this ancient town, once an important port and market centre. The wine trade, shipbuilding and salmon fishing are among Chepstow’s many industries featured in displays with atmospheric settings.


  1. Go for a picnic!

With the summer well and truly here, it is the perfect time to dig out the picnic basket, get the family together and enjoy some laughs and of course some sandwiches. The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley has some fantastic picnic spots for you and your family to enjoy this summer, or throughout the year. See the Top 5 Picnic Spots as voted for by visitors to the Dean Wye


  1. Bring your bike and explore

The area is home to numerous cycle paths suitable for people of all ages and experiences, whether it be a family trail or mountain biking you will find it all in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean.

Forest of Dean & Wye Valley, kids


  1. Symonds Yat Rock

Admire the picturesque views of the River Wye and surrounding area from this internationally famous viewpoint. Discover the ancient hill fort, spot birds of prey and enjoy a snack from the log cabin café.

adminupload_506564b3d9f69Symonds Yat Rock


  1. Explore the DeanWye Towns and Villages

Small towns and villages are one of things that make the British countryside a delight. We have many to choose from and there is bound to be something for all tastes.  Small specialist shops, country pubs, ancient churches and lots more.  Whether it’s the old mining villages of the Forest, the historic market towns in Monmouthshire or the churches of Herefordshire, there is plenty to choose from.

Download a copy of our Market Towns Trail here

BLOG chepstow castle


  1. The Severn Bore

The Severn Bore is one of Britain’s few truly spectacular natural phenomena. It is a large surge wave that can be seen in the estuary of the River Severn where the tidal range is the 2nd highest in the World. One of the best viewpoints is at Minsterworth, where a public footpath runs along the river bank; access to this is adjacent to the Church, where there is a lectern giving information about the Bore.



  1. Offa’s Dyke

Offa’s Dyke is a great frontier earthwork built by Offa, King of Mercia from 757 to 796 A.D. It gives its name to a long distance footpath (177 miles), one of Britain’s National Trails, which runs from Sedbury, near Chepstow, to Prestatyn through the varied and little-frequented landscapes of the Welsh Marches. The route crosses high wild moorland, attractive, well cultivated wide river valleys and ancient woodland. It passes through historic towns and isolated hamlets.


  1. Tintern Old Station

Nestled beside the River Wye in the heart of the Wye Valley, this idyllic 10 acre site boasts a tearoom, family events and live music throughout the summer, a children’s play area and zip wire plus is a great base for walks along the Wye Valley.



  1. Lydney Harbour

From Roman times through the industrial revolution and well into the 20th century Lydney Harbour has been a cornerstone of the River Severn’s heritage. The Severn Estuary is one of the UK’s national heritage jewels, known the world over for its massive tidal range and internationally important habitat, but even more so for its history of exporting and as one of the UK’s principle sea links to the rest of the World.

lydney docks
Lydney docks on the River Severn


  1. The Cyril Hart Arboretum

The Cyril Hart Arboretum was established in 1915 with trees brought back by the Victorian plant hunter Ernest Wilson from his 1910 explorations of China. The collection of trees has been added to over the years and now contains species found from around the globe.


  1. Devil’s Pulpit walk and view

A limestone rock jutting out from the cliffs where, as legend has it, the Devil preached to the monks below, tempting them to desert their order. It offers spectacular views over Tintern Abbey and the River Wye, from Gloucestershire, England, into Monmouthshire, Wales.

adminupload_509291d66e9b3devils pulpit
© Wye Dean Tourism


  1. Mallards Pike Lake

These lakes were constructed by the Forestry Commission and are a popular attraction for walking, cycling and other adventure activities. There are also three walking trails, a running trail and ramblers routes: Adidas Running Trail; Mallards Pike Path; Mallards Pike to Wenchford Link Path; Pluckpenny Trail. The lakeside path is easy access and has benches dotted alongside it – good vantage points for watching mandarins and other ducks.

Forest of Dean & Wye Valley, Mallards Pike
Forest of Dean & Wye Valley, Mallards Pike


  1. Haugh Woods Butterfly Trail

Two trails set through the ancient Haugh Woods that have been set up to allow everyone to enjoy the numerous butterflies that live there. The woodland covers 850 acres and is home to over 600 species of butterfly.

Forest of Dean & Wye Valley, Cannop Ponds
Forest of Dean & Wye Valley, Cannop Ponds


  1. Nagshead Nature Reserve

More than half of the reserve is oak woodland that was planted nearly 200 years ago. The rest of the reserve is made up of conifer woodland, scrub, open areas, ponds and streams. The woodland is beautiful all year round and boast a number of trails.


  1. Speech House Woodland

Situated close to the most famous building in the Forest of Dean, Speech House Woodland is home to many old oak trees dotted along the site and some large beech trees also line the tracks. The woodland also joins onto the circular Sculpture Trail (see above).


  1. Soudley Ponds

Soudley Ponds are a haven for wildlife and are surrounded by an impressive stand of Douglas fir trees.


  1. Drive the A466 from Chepstow to Monmouth

Enjoy the beauty of the Wye Valley and stop in picturesque villages on the way as you drive one of the greatest driving routes in the UK.

Forest of Dean & Wye Valley, Tintern
Forest of Dean & Wye Valley, Tintern


  25. Dymock Woods

An Ancient Woodland Site of 1214 acres approximately half of which is conifer, mainly Norway Spruce and Douglas Fir. The remainder of the wood comprises broad-leaved trees, largely Oak and Beech. The woods are noted for their show of spring flowers, in particular the Wild Daffodils. The whole area is home to a variety of plants and animals, both common and rare.

Dymock woods


Enjoy a summer of free family fun in and around the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean with these activities! For more ideas visit our website  

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