French German Spanish Italian Japanese Chinese Russian

Event Search





Places Search




Amazing Hedge Puzzle Butterfly Zoo Miniature Golf Laser-ops

From steam train galas to inspirational autumn displays, the Royal Forest of Dean has so much to offer throughout the year – here is just a brief summary, but keep checking our What’s On in the Forest of Dean events finder for the latest details of events, activities and things to see and do in the Forest of Dean.


‘Not to be missed’ festivals and events to look forward to in the Forest of Dean in 2017

Wollaston by Clive Coleman
Wollaston by Clive Coleman

Winter in the Forest of Dean

The Royal Forest of Dean is home to some of the most spectacular seasonal displays in the whole of the UK. Starting the year in January and February, the stillness of the forest gives an air of isolation and solitude. The wintry scenes of forest paths, frozen lakes and snow covered forest trees can give an eerie atmospheric and magical experience.

Spring in the Forest of Dean

Snowdrops are plentiful and can be seen throughout the Forest of Dean and with the colourful arrival of crocus’s and daffodils during March it’s a definite sign that spring has arrived.

In April you’ll hear the first ‘toot’ from Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends, who’ll be visiting the Forest of Dean courtesy of the Dean Forest Railway based at Norchard. Expect lots of Easter fun and games, story-telling, Devious Diesel and the Troublesome Trucks and much more. (Thomas returns for two more visits in June & August)

Bluebells by Chris Willmott
Bluebells by Chris Willmott

Thomas the Tank Engine and friends
Thomas the Tank Engine and friends

Later in April and early May there’s a magnificent display when the forest floors are covered in blues and lilacs. With the rich, lush fauna developing, the bluebells really bring the Forest to life and summer is just around the corner.

Explore Puzzlewood
Explore Puzzlewood

Summer in the Forest of Dean

Early summer is the perfect time to take a wander through the mysterious Puzzlewood near Clearwell and experience wonderful woodland walks in the old Roman cast mines – over the many years gone by the whole of the wood has transformed itself into a very unique, enchanted place, and where JRR Tolkien is believed to have based ‘Middle Earth’ around.

Over at Dean Heritage Centre at Soudley, local crafts and activities can be enjoyed throughout the summer, including charcoal burning, puppet making, roman shield and mosaic making to name but a few.

The Forest of Dean during the summer months is a great place to unwind and relax. Down at Symonds Yat West you'll find three very good reasons to visit – all in one location at Jubilee Park. Enjoy a round of Roman miniature golf, a wildlife extravaganza at the Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo and solve the Amazing Hedge Puzzle. The whole family can enjoy the Wye Valley Laser Ops. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a picnic by the River Wye too!

On the second Saturday in September, Newent town centre is shut down and the Newent Onion Fayre takes over. As well as the prize onion displays in the hall, there’s the annual ‘onion eating’ contest – the winner for some strange reason normally cries as well as the losers!!! With fairground rides, stalls, arts, crafts, face painting and lots of onion soup, the Newent Onion Fayre is really enjoyable day out for all.

Onions anyone?
Onions anyone?

Newent Onion Fayre: One HUGE onion!
Newent Onion Fayre: One HUGE onion!

Musical fun!
Musical fun!

Autumn in the Forest of Dean

With the summer over the autumn months transform the Forest of Dean into an overwhelming colour spectacular. Oranges, red, lime greens, purples and yellows. The fiery autumn showcase is a natural wonder and is all over the Forest, but the Cyril Hart Arboretum is one of the best places to explore.

During the October school holidays and Halloween in the Forest of Dean, there’s lots of spooky activities and ghostly goings on with  ‘Haunted Trail’ at Puzzlewood and bats, spiders and witch hat hunts in Clearwell Caves.

Autumn walks in the Forest of Dean
Autumn walks in the Forest of Dean

Winter in the Forest of Dean (again)

As the days get shorter and the nights longer during November and December, an up close and educational experience can be seen just outside Newent at the International Centre for Birds of Prey (ICBP) where Jemima Parry-Jones and her dedicated team entertain with their knowledge and expertise with the ‘Winter Owl Evenings’. These evenings are absolutely amazing seeing these great birds of prey fly at night. Space is very limited so early bookings are recommended.

 

Christmas time and Clearwell Caves is the place to be. Their themed ‘Christmas Fantasy’ always comes up trumps and they never fail to deliver an awesome display that can be enjoyed by the whole family. At various times throughout the year keep an eye out for other inspirational theatre and musical events at Clearwell Caves – the setting is so unique it makes the shows very special. Father Christmas also sets up his grotto at Beechenhurst and Puzzlewood near Coleford.

© Copyright 2007-2017 ExploreGloucestershire.co.uk