When city dwellers of the United Kingdom seek a temporary reprieve from their daily grind, they have a number of go-to favorites.
The Lake District. Snowdonia. The Scottish Highlands.
But when you can’t venture far from Central London, a quick weekend escape to the Forest of Dean might just suffice.
Want to immerse yourself in the verdant environment found in this corner of England? Stay in a holiday cottage there, as they are nestled amidst the trees and the rolling hills which make this part of the country a desirable place to escape the stress of everyday life.
Once you have decompressed enough, though, you will probably want to fill your days with some activities.
If you are looking to do more than just unplug, find room in your travel itinerary for one of the following Forest of Dean attractions.
1) The International Centre for Birds of Prey
Love birds? If so, spending a few hours at the International Centre for Birds of Prey will be straight up your alley.
Home to over 60 species of hawks, eagles, and other carnivorous avian species, this zoo focuses on conservation and educational activities which aim to promote the well-being of the birds in their care and to teach the public about them.
Watching a falconry demonstration is a highlight of any visit here, so be sure to ask about the day’s schedule soon after arriving.
2) Royal Forest of Dean
As the name suggests, there is a sizeable wooded area within the Forest of Dean region. Preserved as a hunting ground for British royalty during the days of the Tudors, it is a well-loved recreation area in the present day.
While you are in the Forest of Dean, make time to enjoy a lovely stroll along its many walking trails. If you can time your visit, try to come during the spring when flowers are in full bloom, or during autumn when the leaves of the trees are ablaze in colour.
3) Hopewell Colliery
In recent times, mining was the primary economic activity that supported families in the Forest of Dean. That way of life is mostly gone now, but reminders of the past can still be found.
The Hopewell Colliery provides visitors with a window into the workings of a functioning coal mine, as it is run by a free miner or a former worker who once labored in one of the main mines in the region.
Doing that for one year gave them the right to claim a stake of their own within the Forest of Dean region.
Hopewell Colliery is one of the few freeminer operations that still exist, and while coal demand is rapidly falling, revenue generated through tours will keep this fascinating attraction open for years to come.