Visit Dean Wye has launched five itineraries to inspire groups to explore the lesser-known attractions of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, from cookery courses to nature safaris.

Harts Barn Cookery School, Wye Valley

Source: Visit Dean Wye

Get stuck into a cookery course at Harts Barn Cookery School run by Yvette Farrell.

The new itineraries are part of Find Your Freedom campaign, designed to showcase the best of West Gloucestershire’s Dean, from the market towns of Lydney and Newent to the region’s local produce and craft venues.  

Mark Terry-Lush of Visit Dean Wye described the Forest of Dean as “one of the UK’s best-kept secrets”, thanks to its rich variety of off-the-beaten-track experiences and destinations which he said were perfect for adventurous and creative visitors. 

He added: “It’s an area of natural beauty, wide open space, rivers, hills and fresh air – the perfect spot to find your freedom.”

The area is known for its vast forests and two rivers (the Wye and the Severn), as well as being a wildlife haven for birds and wild flowers.

Visit Dean Wye

Source: Visit Dean Wye

Take part in a Wildlife Safari with naturalist, author and wildlife detective Ed Drewitt.

Many of the local attractions are group and coach friendly with bookable activities including the Dean Forest Railway which offers steam train rides through the forest and Kingfisher Cruises where groups can unwind during a boat tour of the Wye Valley. 

Overview of new itineraries

  • Hidden Gems Visit lesser-known locations and attractions in and around the towns of Lydney, Coleford, Cinderford and Newent.
  • Delicious Dean Delve into produce found across the area, from some of the best food and drink experiences and tasty local produce.
  • Freedom Awaits Immerse yourself nature, from wildlife spotting to forest bathing and take in the surroundings of the Forest of Dean. 
  • Get Out, Get Active Seven exhilarating activities for active groups, from caving to high ropes and cycling.
  • Crafty Forest Try your hand at pottery or mosaics, or learn new culinary skills at a cookery school.

Visit Dean Wye

Source: Visit Dean Wye

The market town of Coleford in the Wye Valley.

Group-friendly accommodation in the area includes a cluster of five holiday cottages in the hamlet of Littledean, which comprise a barn for group dining and evening activities, and the Tudor Farmhouse Hotel in Clearwell, a luxurious 20-bedroom hotel in a converted farm dating from the 16th Century.

To find out more, including how to download the five itineraries visit