People travel here from all over the world to visit places like Clearwell Caves, Puzzlewood Forest and Redbrook because of their natural beauty. We’ve put together 8 of our favourite walks in and around the Forest of Dean. These walks can be enjoyed all year round so make sure to either bookmark this page so that you can come back to it or print it off and save it for later. You can find more detailed information about each of the walks including a map here at Tudor Farmhouse Hotel, just ask in Reception.
Before you go
1. Check the weather
In his “Coast to Coast” book, Alfred Wainwright said “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. Always check the weather forecast before you head out.
2. Wear appropriate clothing.
Before you head out on any of these walks please make sure that you are wearing suitable footwear and clothing. Many of the paths and ground on which you’ll be walking are uneven in places. In wet weather these paths can become slippery. Some of the walks may include steep or gradual gradients and all of the walks cross through either woodland or farmland.
3. Check the distance first.
We have included the approximate distance of each walk to give you an idea of how strenuous each route is. Please be realistic about your fitness levels, make sure you have enough food and drink for the distance you’ve chosen and ideally carry a first aid kit. Whilst we aren’t sending you up any mountains we do want you to enjoy yourself and come back in one piece.
4. Follow the countryside code.
Please keep your dogs under control and on a lead in order to protect and preserve the local wildlife and grazing livestock. Close all gates behind you. Finally, leave the countryside as you found it and remember to take all your rubbish home with you so that others can also enjoy our beautiful county.
Things to look out for
In the Forest of Dean we have many beautiful places on our doorstep including Clearwell Caves, Puzzlewood and the River Wye. This means you will have the opportunity to spot all sorts of wildlife including our famous Wild Boar, Fallow Deer, Roe Deer, Squirrels and more. We are also a popular destination for professional and amateur foragers looking for edible mushrooms, berries and leaves. For more information about what you’ll be able to see out and about on your walks read our Foraging blog here before you go. All of these walks are available from reception or on our App (downloadable from android and iPhone app stores – just search for Tudor Farmhouse Hotel).
The Bank Walk
Approximate distance; 1km / 0.6 miles Allow 30 minutes to an hour for this walk
This short walk takes place on the grounds behind the Tudor Farmhouse with an option to visit the village well. You will see some fine views of Clearwell on the walk. This is a perfect little walk if you’re staying with us with little ones. We’ve got a scavenger hunt that goes with this walk too.
Approximate distance; 6.4km / 4 miles. Allow 1 1⁄2 – 2 1⁄2 hours for this walk.
This walk takes you through country quiet lanes and footpaths across farmland. You’ll pass through what used to be Coal, Iron ore and Steel mines giving you a sense of our not so distant industrial heritage making it a great walk for history enthusiasts as well as nature lovers. The Darkhill walk includes views of Newland’s Church and Tower and on a clear day you can see Wales in the distance.
Lambsquay Wood Walk
Approximate distance; 4km / 2.5 miles. Allow 1 1⁄2 – 2 1⁄2 hours for this walk.
This walk starts with quite a steep, if short downhill section so make sure you’ve got good grip on your shoes. The Lambsquay Wood walk is one of our favourites and takes you across farmland and through woodland. Your points of interest on the Lambsquay Wood walk include Clearwell Caves, the Great Lambsquay Wood itself and Puzzlewood which is the private section of this woodland. You’ll also pass through the remains of an ancient Roman villa. The gardens, temple remains and a small museum can be visited in Spring and early Summer at Lydney Park Estate. Keep going and you’ll come to the remains of the moat associated with what was once an important manor house on this lane – Breckness Court.
Slade Brook Walk
Approximate distance; 6.9km / 4.2 miles. Allow 1 1⁄2 – 2 1⁄2 hours for this walk
The Slade Brook Walk passes by the Lindors Country House Hotel, a Victorian house built in Tudor style in the 1840’s. It has an iron fireplace frame from an earlier house dated 1600. The brook that runs alongside the house has provided some lowlights and highlights for the estate. It came in handy as Lindors was an early adopter of hydro-electric power but unfortunately it also once seriously flooded the house. Today the Hotel is a great place to stop midwalk for a tea or coffee if you wish.
The Slade Brook itself has been an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) since 2003. It is a braided stream that originates from springs further up this valley and contains a long series of small waterfalls known as Tufa Dams. Keep your eyes peeled here for wildlife that lives along the brook.
Approximate distance; 7km / 4.3 miles. Allow 1 1⁄2 – 2 1⁄2 hours for this walk.
You’ll want to bring your camera along for this walk. The Stowe walk takes in Margery Lane, the Stowe Earthworks, St Briavels and the River Wye and if that wasn’t enough you’ll get a great view of the castle as you descend into Clearwell.
Approximate distance; 8.3km / 5 miles. Allow 2 1⁄2 – 3 1⁄2 hours for this walk.
This is one of the longer walk routes we have in the local area. Along the way you’ll see the Newland Oak, a lone oak tree standing tall. The Newland Oak was grown from a cutting of the original Newland Oak which was destroyed in 1970. Our Oak, though still just a youngster at nearly 50 years old, is impressive nonetheless. Other points of interest on this walk include the old incline bridge and the viaduct. The viaduct is a favourite place to watch the raft races that take place on the Wye and a great photo point.
Clearwell Village Walk
Approximate distance; 1.2km / 0.7 miles. Allow 30 minutes to an hour for this walk
The Clearwell Village Walk is a great walk for people who want to stay a bit closer to home and for those with limited mobility. An easy walk around the village and you’ll see the Clearwell Cross, St Peter’s Church, Clearwell Castle and the Wyndham Arms. The perfect walk to build up an appetite for lunch.
Newland Castle Walk
Approximate distance; 9km / 5.6 miles. Allow 2 – 3 hours for this walk.
Probably one of our favourites, this walk gives you the opportunity to visit the All Saints Church also known as “The Cathedral of the Forest” Important families are commemorated here including some of those from Clearwell Court (now Clearwell Castle) and the Freeminer’s Brass can be seen inside – a depiction of a mediaeval miner. This has been adopted as the unofficial emblem of the Forest of Dean. The walk takes you along the so-called “Burial Path” This path was used as a route for funeral processions from surrounding villages. These villages had no burial grounds of their own so bodies were brought along this path to be buried at All Saints Church.
We’ve tried to give you a flavour of the walks in and around the Forest of Dean but we know that nothing compares to doing the walks themselves. If you are interested in any of the walks we’ve talked about in this blog we’ll be happy to give you more information. We have printouts of all the routes, including maps and walk instructions in Reception.
If you want to make the most of your time in the Forest of Dean and we recommend that you do, we are also happy to make up a picnic for you to take on your day out. Please just ask in Reception and we’ll be happy to talk you through the options.