Visitor information

A great place for the whole family to start a Forest of Dean adventure

Beechenhurst lies in the heart of the Forest of Dean, one of Britain's oldest and largest woodlands.

It is the ideal place for families to start their forest adventure, with a family activity trail, Sculpture Trail, play area and Go Ape Tree Top Adventure. You can even bring your bikes and access the wider forest on our Family Cycle Trail. 

Don't forget to refuel in the café or bring your own food to enjoy in our beautiful picnic area. We also have bookable barbecues if you fancy cooking your own family feast.

kIds in forest

Zog trail at Beechenhurst

Get ready to join Zog on his latest forest adventure with a brand-new family activity trail and free app! Thanks to amazing augmented reality technology, you’ll be able to collect golden stars, just like Zog and have the chance to take a photo with everyone’s favourite dragon at the end of the trail!

What's on

Forest event
Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 October
45 minute sessions
Join us at Beechenhurst this October half term for Halloween pumpkin carving.

Pumpkins and carving kits will be provided, all you need to bring is your imagination. We want to see your most creative designs!  

Taking place 30 and 31 October, carving slots will last for 45 minutes and pre-booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.

Beechenhurst Café will be serving up some scary treats, why not get in the spooky spirit by coming in your best fancy dress?

Make it a full family day out by enjoying a walk out in the deep, dark woods. The autumn colours will be putting on a show, and you can even search for your favourite dragon Zog.

Forest event
26 November 2023

Forest of Dean Forest Runner

Be a forest runner and join us in our running series across the nation’s forests this autumn. The profits from Forest Runner sales help us grow, shape and care for the nation's forests, now and for future generations.

Whether you are a 5k or a 10k Forest Runner, choose your challenge and enjoy a run in some beautiful surroundings.

This year’s Forest of Dean event is moving to Beechenhurst which lies in the heart of the Forest of Dean and is home to the famous Sculpture Trail. Look out for the pieces of art on your way around the trails!

Join in the conversation using #ForestRunner

Click here to book 5k tickets

Click here to book 10k tickets

Members get 15% off Forest Runner tickets!

Forest Runner events are managed in partnership with Events of the North.

Food and drink

Beechenhurst cafe

Beechenhurst Café

Refuel your family from our on-site café which offers a range of food and drinks freshly prepared each day.

A waymarked circular route mainly on former railway lines with connecting routes to villages and picnic sites. This route has been especially surfaced and is suitable for all ages and abilities.

You can access the family cycle trail from a number of locations around the Forest of Dean, including the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre, Beechenhurst and Mallards Pike.

Fancy a shorter family route? Try the 5-mile/8km ride from the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre or Beechenhurst on the waymarked Hicksters Way Loop.

To find out about cycle hire, tag-a-longs or electric bikes, contact our bike hire specialists who can be found at the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre.

This is a shared use trail and so you will come across walkers, dogs and runners on your way around. Please watch out for other people and take care when passing.

Explore Beechenhurst on our waymarked trails or smaller paths that criss-cross the forest.

Take the Ramblers Beechenhurst trail for a challenging walk, venture beyond Beechenhurst on the Speech House Link trail or discover a unique range of artwork along the Sculpture trail. 


Let sound artist Jez riley French take you on a self-guided journey of Beechenhurst in this soundwalk.

Using headphones via your personal device, start the audio in your favourite part of Beechenhurst and take a slow walk through the forest. The route is entirely up to you.

Guided by Jez’s gentle narration you’ll discover the secret sounds of Beechenhurst’s trees, plants, soil and insects normally inaudible to the human ear.

Listen deeply and learn about the inner life of the forest and how it interconnects. Allow the sounds of this environment to transport and stimulate your senses.



The Secret Sounds of Trees is commissioned and produced by Sound UK. Funded by Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and PRS Foundation. In partnership with Forestry England, Cinderford Artspace and Wilde Earth Journeys.

Founded in 1986, the sculpture trail is a partnership between Forestry England and the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust.

Some of the sculptures are temporary, while others will last for years. They have all been designed to evolve over time as the forest changes around them. Over the years, artists at all stages of their careers have been invited to create artworks for this unique context.

The sculptures on this trail are inspired by the forest - its trees, wildlife and industrial past. The sculptures are mostly constructed from natural material from the Dean - wood, stone and iron. They are interspersed along the trail through majestic oaks and towering Scots pine trees.

There are waymarked shortcuts: Shortcut A (first 6 sculptures) is approx 2.2 miles in length and Shortcut B is 3 miles (first 12 sculptures). 

The Sculptures

Meander, by Kristina Veasey (2023) Heart of the Stone, by Tim Lees (1988) Yaşasin, by Pomona Zipser (2016) Soil unsoiled, by Khady Gueye and  Zakiya Mckenzie (2021) Fire & Water Boats, by David Nash (1986) Iron Road, by Keir Smith (1986) Searcher, by Sophie Ryder (1988) In Situ, by Erika Tan (2003) Grove of Silence, by Ian Hamilton Finlay (1986) Cone & Vessel, by Peter Randall-Page (1988) Hill33, by David Cotterrell (2010) House, by Miles Davies (1988) Threshold, by Natasha Rosling (2019) Coal Measure Giants, by Henry Castle (2016) Echo, by Annie Cattrell (2008) Cathedral, by Kevin Atherton (1986) Hanging Fire, by Cornelia Parker (1988) Gathering, by Julian Wild (2023)

You may come across some temporary or decommissioned sculptures on the trail which aren’t marked on the map. Check the Sculpture Trust website for more information.

Audio descriptions of each sculpture are available to download here.

family walking with dog

Beechenhurst maps

Need some help getting around? Get ready for your next forest adventure by taking a look at our trail maps.

Nearby forests

duck generic

The site was originally home to the Severn and Wye Railway, which was constructed to allow exploitation of the mineral resources of the Forest of Dean.

Lakeside view at Mallards Pike

There is something for everyone at this beautiful lakeside setting.

Adrenaline seekers can challenge themselves at Go Ape Tree Top Challenge. For those with energy left to burn there is Forest Segway or a range of running trails from 2km to 10km routes.

View from Symonds Yat Rock in spring

Discover the ancient hill fort, spot birds of prey and enjoy a snack from the log cabin cafe.

There are waymarked trails linking to the River Wye and over the famous Biblins Bridge, or a choice of circular walks into the forest itself. There is also a cycling trail linking Forest Holidays and Camping in the Forest site at Bracelands to Symonds Yat Rock.

Family walking through autumnal forest

Wenchford is a beautiful spot nestled deep within the forest with plenty of picnic tables and an easy access path

Blackpool Brook trickles through the site under the dappled shade of the large oak trees. The paddling area is the perfect place to cool down in the hot summer months.

The toilet facilities are open from April until the end of October. Parking charges only apply during this time.  

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