The Forest of Dean is tucked away in a beautiful corner of Gloucestershire, nestled between the Rivers Wye and Severn and close to the city of Gloucester. Brimming with history, it was a medieval royal hunting forest before becoming a source of timber for Tudor warships. By Victorian times, it was a major site for coal mining. Today, the forest is a beautifully tranquil and scenic place, dotted with attractions and outdoors activities. Paddle the rivers in a canoe or kayak, scale some of the excellent climbing routes and walk or cycle through the woods and explore The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail. Puzzlewood, near Coleford, with its twisted trees, tumble of paths, steps and moss-covered crags, is thought to have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s imaginary worlds and is a popular filming location for movie and television crews. Other places to visit include the ancient mines at Clearwell Caves and Hopewell Colliery, a working colliery and museum. The Dean Heritage Centre in Soudley preserves the unique history and heritage of the area, with a wide range of things to explore including a reconstructed Victorian cottage and charcoal burner’s camp.