Cannop Ponds, a great walk in the Forest of Dean

Cannop Ponds are two large ponds, located to the north of Parkend in the Forest of Dean and near to the Speech House Hotel. The ponds, and surrounding area, are a popular destination for tourists, walkers, fishing and off-road cyclists. There is a car park for visitors to park in which has picnic tables nearby.

Cannop Ponds History

Cannop Ponds

They formed Cannop ponds in 1825 and 1829 to supply a waterwheel at the nearby Parkend Ironworks, possibly using ore mined in the local area. Since 1983, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has managed parts of the ponds. In recent history, the ponds have become a popular tourist destination.

Walking & Walks at Cannop Ponds

The edge of the ponds is a nice waterside walk and pretty easygoing in pleasant weather. There are loads of marked trails through the local forest, including a walk to the Speech House area. Cannop Ponds is a fantastic place for a dog walk and many other pet owners visit here.

Dog Walk Cannop Ponds

Walking to Mallards Pike is a few hours through varied woodlands and is nice to walk in all seasons. One trail takes you through to the village of Parkend, the terminus of the Dean Forest Railway.

The area has loads of options for walking and if you fancy trying an alternative route to you, downloading the Ordnance Survey App can help plan your route. Komoot is also a great app for finding a walking route too.


Cannop Ponds Forest of Dean

The ponds are home to lots of wildlife, including birds of prey, songbirds and wildfowl. Birds to look out for on the water include a pair of mute swans, mandarin ducks and reed warblers.


The ponds have fishing jetties used by the Yorkley angling club, supposedly these are the best waters in the Forest of dean for angling. You can buy Day permits from the bank, or the club bailiff or local fishing tackle shops. Fish known to be in the ponds include Carp, Bream, Tench, Pike, Roach, Perch, Rudd and Chub.


Cyclists use the trails nearby for some off-road cycling. The Cannop Cycling Centre is located close to the ponds. You can hire bikes can from Pedalabikeaway. Many families enjoy the trails nearby on their bikes, as it’s such a nice woodland bike ride.

Refreshments Near Cannop Ponds

Hot and cold refreshments are available from a mobile food truck on weekdays in the summer and most weekends throughout the year, weather permitting. There are picnic tables for visitors to take their own food to enjoy.

Picnic Site Cannop Ponds

The Speech House Hotel, a former hunting lodge, is close to the ponds and serve great food and has a pleasant beer garden. You could even plan your route to include a refreshment stop here. If heading towards Parkend, you could visit the dog-friendly Woodman Inn for a meal out or just a refreshing drink.