The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail is a great place to visit in Gloucestershire. It is a fantastic place to visit while in the area and as a bonus it is free to enter. The Sculpture Trail it is a delightful walk through a picturesque part of the Forest of Dean with many sculptures along the way.
There are many routes you can take through this part of the forest, many of which are waymarked. All waymarked routes are circular, starting and finishing at Beechenhurst Lodge. To see all the sculptures is approximately 4.5 miles long.
Where is The Forest of Dean of Sculpture Trail?
The easiest way to arrive at the site is by car. They have an extensive car park in Beechenhurst. Car parking costs from £3 for up to 2 hours up to £7 for all day. However, you can also get to the sculpture trail on the bus from either Gloucester or Coleford. The number 22 bus that travels between Gloucester and Coleford is the best option if arriving by public transport. A Stagecoach West Explorer ticket is often the best value ticket for a day trip on the Forest of Dean buses.
For most visitors to the area, their starting point is at Beechenhurst Lodge. Here you can find the Beechenhurst Cafe, a great place for brunch or lunch. They also have toilets to use before embarking on your adventure. Beechenhurst cafe is open from 8:30 am until 5 pm daily for visitors; you can sit either indoors or outdoors to enjoy food or drink. Also, the car parking area is a popular spot for those that want a picnic.
Visiting The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail
To find your way around the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, it is best done either downloading a PDF from www.forestryengland.uk or to purchase a paper map on arrival. However, there are signs for each of the walks, thus a map isn’t completely necessary. You can choose a route that suites your ability when visiting.
There are currently 16 sculptures on the full trail, which is about 4.5 miles long. To walk and see every sculpture it takes about three hours, however many take longer because of picnics or detours to see the natural beauty of the area. Also, there are shorter waymarked routes that cover 6 or 12 sculptures. The terrain can challenge visitors in parts because it has some steep slopes and uneven terrain. I suggest wearing a good pair of walking boots or shoes for hiking here.
The Sculptures To See
There are 16 sculptures on the full 4.5-mile route through this part of the Forest of Dean. Some sculptures are easy to spot, however some are off the principal route, thus can be tricky to spot.
Cathedral is my favourite sculpture on the side. This artwork is a suspended stained glass window positioned above one of the forest trails and is absolutely stunning. This is possibly the most photographed of all the sites sculptures. Other artworks include;
- Iron Road
- Cone & Vessel
- Echo a stone
Is The Sculpture Trail Dog-Friendly?
Dogs are very welcome to explore the trails with their owners. At the Beechenhurst site, there are water bowls in the area. There are streams in the woods, which my dog loves to have a sip from. However, for fussy dogs carrying some water is a good idea. Dog owners should ensure they follow the Forest Dog Code for safety and enjoyment for all visitors. I consider this to be a great place to walk the dog.