Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Tour Guides

A working Forest

FOD Guides

Guests from Whitemead on a regular Wednesday morning woodland walk

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About us

FOD Guides

We are the official Guides for this area and were trained by the Forest of Dean District Council and the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism Association.

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Guess where we are!

FOD Guides

There are always sudden, hidden surprises in the Forest of Dean.

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Walking off the Xmas dinner

Posted on December 27, 2014 by Comments are off

boxing day 2014A group of hardy walkers braved the threatening Boxing Day skies and did a two-hour morning walk from the CSMA site, Whitemead, at Parkend. Walks are lovely any time of year, but winter walks have a particular aspect: because of the lack of foliage, the views are much more distinct and far-reaching. Walkers saw a variety of deciduous trees before turning into an area that is mainly packed with tall, dense rows of conifers. If you look closely, you can even find distinctive redwoods. There was evidence that the wild boar had been out in force overnight but, as usual, they were nowhere to be seen. Walkers were shown which routes to take to get to Coleford, Darke Hill Iron Works, Cannop Ponds and Nagshead RSPB reserve. This walk followed old railway lines, forestry tracks and trails, and even an old horse-drawn tramway line. When the walk was over, walkers were certainly ready for a substantial Boxing Day lunch – if they could face it.


A whirlwind tour

Posted on October 3, 2014 by Comments are off

tea at old courtA Probus group from Cheshire enjoyed a whirlwind tour of the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley. Starting at Chepstow, the group then travelled into the depths of the Forest, past notable places such as Dark Hill, Nagshead, Speech House, the Dean Heritage Centre, then on to Ross-on-Wye to browse and grab some lunch. The group then went on to Symonds Yat West for a boat trip starting from the grounds of St. Dubricius Church, with its magnicent 17th century tulip tree. The group was fortunate enough to see a hand ferry in operation, starting from the Saracens Head in Symonds Yat East, to the west side. After the boat trip, everyone enjoyed a lavish cream tea at the 16th century Old Court Hotel. To some on the trip, the highlight of the day was yet to come. The coach the the road along the River Wye and stopped at Tintern Abbey so that all could take a look at the magnificent ruin and take some memorable photos.


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Heritage Open Days 2014

Posted on September 25, 2014 by Comments are off

St Mary's church, St Briavels

St Mary’s church, St Briavels

Heritage Open Days 2014

Our guides provided several walks and activities for the 2014 Heritage Open Days including a walk  around the village of Clearwell, a walk around St Briavels, a ‘Mushet walk’ from Coleford to the ironworking remains at Darkhill, walks around Lydney Docks (Lydney Harbour), Poets walks around Dymock and intrepretaion at Mitcheldean St Michael and All Angels church.


A colourful surprise

Posted on May 21, 2014 by Comments are off

Mary Rose1A group of walkers from the CSMA site at Whitemead experienced a special treat while out on a hike in the forest.

The tour guide was pointing out the residence of the renowned ceramic artist, Mary Rose Young. The vibrantly colourful Oak House was recently featured on the local BBC news and in the press because Mary Rose intends to sell it. As the guide was showing some photos from the local newspaper, Mary Rose herself popped out to greet the group.

The group was delighted to meet her. She revealed her intention to find a place where she can combine her art work with a b&b establishment. She encouraged the group to pay a visit to the gallery when they had time, and even offered to serve coffee!

A few in the group gathered around and posed for a photo.


To paraphrase Wordsworth….

Posted on May 12, 2014 by Comments are off

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on  high o’er hills and dellsy

When all at once I saw a crowd

A host of purple-ish bluebells

Okay, so it doesn’t scan perfectly.

Guide books will tell you that you will find the best Forest of Dean bluebells in Soudley, Bradley Hill, Wenchford area. No one will dispute that. However, it is a very welcome surprise to find blankets of bluebells in unexpected places. Good forest management and, possibly, grubbing around by the wild boar have created very favourable environments for bluebells in all sorts of hidden areas in the Forest.

Bluebells near the Pludds

Bluebells near the Pludds

Another lovely surprise

Another lovely surprise


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