A day at The Forest of Dean

The Forest of Dean is a historical and cultural region located in the western part of the country. It’s situated near a handful of cities, making it a perfect spot to travel to for the day. Better yet, the cost for crossing the iconic Severn bridge has been lifted. From Bath, it took just over an hour making it the perfect day trip!

I was invited by the Tourism board to experience an adventure filled day at The Forest of Dean. We were given a long list of activities to choose from including, kayaking, paddle boarding, archery, cycling, walking tours and pottery. We decided to start with pottery and then after lunch rent bikes. For lunch, we were kindly offered the choice of trying a local restaurant or having a picnic created. As we had the dog, and the weather was suppose to be good, we opted for a picnic gifted by the Forest Deli. 

The partnership is to celebrate the brilliant competition that went live on August 2nd. The team at The Forest of Dean are gifting amazing experiences which you can enjoy with your friends and family. Want to enter? – read below to find out more or visit: http://www.wyedeantourism.co.uk/myforestofdean

A day at  The Forest of Dean: The team tailored the day to our needs brilliantly! As we were taking our small dog, we chose activities which would be suitable and allowed her presence.

Pottery: The day began with a taster lesson in Pottery at The Hot Pot Pottery. Katie and Charles were extremely welcoming offering refreshments on arrival.

We were given a 40 minute taster in which Katie guided us and we even got a go on the spinning wheel. Katie is extremely patient, so don’t worry if you have never tried pottery before. During our time, I made a small bowl – just the right size to use for breakfast. My boyfriend Joe decided to make a dipping plate or candle handle – nonetheless we had fun anyway and Katie was a great teacher ! We were then given choices for the finish in terms of colours. Katie confirmed that once the pieces were dry she would cast the colour glaze over. Katie kindly gives you a handful of colours to choose from. As the pottery takes a few days to dry, they send it directly your home. 

The experience was really fun and made even better that you get a lasting souvenir. You can book the experience online with Katie and Charles who offer painting and short workshops alongside more in depth courses. Children are also welcome. Take a look at their website to book a taster session or a course: http://hotpotpottery.co.uk/

Forest of Dean Pottery

Picnic Pick Up – with Forest Deli : Once we’d finished our Pottery lesson we drove to pick up our Picnic, which was only a short 5 minute car journey away. The Forest Deli was a pretty, quaint shop located in Coleford, a small market town. The Deli sells is full of delicious delicacies, many of which are homemade.

The deli offer a ‘picnic pick up’ service in which they create a gorgeous hamper of goodies. Our picnic included, pastries, pasta salad, lots of snacks, drinks and deserts. They provided homemade sausage rolls, one vegan and the other pork. The highlight was the unbelievable brownie which had that ‘melt-in-mouth’ consistency. Wow! They also kindly provided paper cutlery and cups, which was all recyclable. They can cater to most dietary requirements too as long as you let them know in advance. 

We drove to a picnic spot at Symonds Yat Rock, recommended by the team. The view was stunning and the perfect way to appreciate the scale and beauty of The Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley river. 

Family Trial – with Pedal a bike away: We picked up our two bikes and a trailer for Poppy from Pedalabikeaway situated in the middle of the Forest of Dean in Cannop Valley. Pedalabikeaway were fantastic and recommended the 11 mile loop with a stop off at the Forest Cafe – deep in the woods. Before we picked up the bikes, they had asked for our height so they could prep the perfect bikes for us. My bike was brand new and really comfy. Poppy was less impressed with her trailer but after 10 minutes she settled into the idea of being carted around.

Please note that you have to book 48 hours before. You can rent bikes on the day but you are not guaranteed a bike. I would recommend booking especially during the school holidays. You can contact Pedalbikeaway HERE or call them directly to book. 

Dog Trailer

We cannot wait to visit the Forest of Dean again and experience some of the additional activities they offer. Next time we would love to extend our stay and perhaps stay in one of forest cabins or experience the glamping. For more information on over night stays vist The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism website. http://www.wyedeantourism.co.uk/stay

Competition: How to Enter?

  • Share your pictures of experiences at The Forest of Dean – past or present on social media.
  • Use the hashtag MyForestofDean
  • The team will be picking winners each week and offer a choice of amazing experiences.
Forest of the dean

Things to do in Bath for a weekend.

Friday PM.

After a day of travelling, I like the idea of something low key. As Bath is a smaller city AND built on a hill – the vibe and dress code is seriously chilled. 

Located on Walcot street, Walcot House is the perfect laid back spot. Walcot house is incredible versatile. In the day and during the week it’s a hot spot for coffee dates, brunch and fitness classes. Yet, on every Friday & Saturday from 5pm until 3am Walcot house offer dinner, drinks and a dance floor.

Most Friday nights Walcot House host Pizza and Piano night – whilst you enjoy your sourdough pizza you can request your favourite songs.

From Elton John to Rita Ora our Piano man was pretty diverse!

We shared a starter of Salmon fishcakes and followed with a Sourdough pizza with goat cheese and peppers alongside a refreshing courgette salad. Better yet – they offer 2 cocktails for £12!

The food was delicious and the entertainment is the perfect introduction to Bath city life.

If you fancy another tipple then stop off at Bedford Bottle Shop and a glass from their exclusive menu of fine wines. 

SATURDAY 

Saturday Morning

Recently, the fitness industry has really boomed in Bath. If you fancy a little Saturday morning workout and didn’t drink to much at Walcot on the Friday evening, then there is some great classes you can attend. There are options to purchase a one off pass or free trial. One of my favourites is Toniq located on Green Park.

Toniq do a ‘Burn’ class on a Saturday morning at 7:30, 8:30 or 9:30.

The workouts last just 45 minutes but you’re sure to get a great sweat on and feel energised for the rest of the day.

There are some beautiful brunch spots in Bath including Cafe Lucca – if you are looking for a hearty brunch; The Greed Bird Cafe – a boutique cafe near The Royal Cresent offering lighter options; Wild Cafe – A vegans dream OR if you want breakfast on the go then try some of Baths finest bakery. My favourite, so far, is the Landrace Bakery. They bake fresh bread and pastries everyday.

Bakery

Saturday Day

The city is full of character – whatever time of the day! Bath is very small so is best explored on foot. There is options for walking tours or alternatively just explore yourself.

The Thermea Bath Spa is a popular tourist attraction therefore I would recommend booking tickets beforehand. We visited the spa on our first ever trip to Bath nearly 3 years ago. We chose to go at sunset which was beautiful however in the midst of summer this may be a little late.

Saturday night

Unsurprisingly, Bath has a range of beautiful restaurants. My favourites, so far, are the small boutique restaurants that are intimate. I find that they deliver a better all round experience rather than being just another customer. 

Due to the popularity of Corkage there are now two in Bath. One on Queens Park whilst the other situated at the end of Walcot Street towards Bathampton. Both restaurants have an array of beautiful wines. The staff are incredibly knowledgable about the wine collection and are more than willing to help you find one that suits.

On our first visit we ended up going to both by accident. We turned up at Walcot – where we thought we had booked dinner to find out we were due at the other. Luckily, they are only 10 minutes walk apart through the city.

SUNDAY

Sunday Morning

Before you head home, I would encourage anyone to fit in a walk along the canal or skyline.

The canal is a great option as you can book a spot on a canal boat. You can get on the boats from Widcombe and either go for a simple cruise or another option is afternoon tea. 

Bath Narrow Boats is a good website to start looking at some Canal boat options.

The skyline walk is all together 14 miles. There are options to do parts of the route. I would recommend parking at higher Widcome and walking towards Bath University. Bath is surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful landscapes.

We took a picnic with us and set ourselves up overlooking the most amazing view.