Hidden Secrets of the Forest of Dean

A coach tour route featuring some of the hidden places of the Forest of Dean

'The Giant's Chair' and the Speech House
‘Place’ an exhibit on the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail by Magdalena Jetelova. This ‘Giant’s Chair’ has stood since 1986.

The Forest of Dean is so much more than a glorious expanse of trees. This 20 mile tour reveals some of the Forest’s hidden secrets – royal, industrial, artistic, and natural. As we dodge the free-roaming sheep, we will pass the Verderers Court, nature reserves, former quarries, iron works, railways and coal mines and much more. In spring see the brilliant displays of bluebells and other wild flowers. In summer – see the trees in all their majesty. In autumn – see the amazing colours as the trees turn from green to red, bronze and gold and in the winter see the Forest stripped of its camouflage displaying the mighty oaks the like of which were used for Nelson’s fleet. We might even catch a glimpse of a wild boar!

Following the Romantics along the Wye Valley

A coach tour route in the Wye Valley

The Wye Invader, the largest vessel to navigate the Wye to Hereford.
The Wye Invader, the largest vessel to navigate the river Wye as far as Hereford. The ‘Romantics’ visited an industrial Wye Valley with numerous commercial vessels. Today the industry and river trade has gone and our routes highlight the beauty of the area.

The late 18th century Romantics made the lower Wye Valley a sought after destination for distinguished visitors. While they travelled by boat, we travel by road to appreciate why the area is now designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Even though nature takes centre stage, with the dramatic rising cliffs and spectacular viewpoints, history always features as well. The medieval castles at Chepstow and Goodrich remind us that this was once disputed frontier land between England and Wales. The striking view of Tintern Abbey also speaks volumes about the past – it’s no wonder that Wordsworth composed some of his most memorable lines whilst visiting the area. This tour follows the route from Chepstow to Ross on Wye and includes a stop at the historic market town of Monmouth.

Comments from G. G., Oxford University.
“We had a wonderful day, it was just what I had hoped……. Thanks for your help, it was even more essential than I had imagined”. (July 2009)

Between the Severn and the Wye

A visitor inspecting the Severn Rail Bridge memorial at Lydney Harbour.
A visitor inspecting the Severn Rail Bridge memorial at Lydney Harbour. Sharpness can be seen at the other side of the Severn.

The Rivers Severn and Wye are two of Britain’s greatest rivers. They both rise on Plynlimon in West Wales but follow different routes until they meet again in the Severn Estuary at Chepstow on the border of Wales and England. Our tour follows the lower stretches of these rivers through Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire. Contrast the wide Severn with the steep wooded valleys of the Wye; both are beautiful but so different. The tour includes the historic Georgian town of Newnham on Severn on the great horseshoe bends of the Severn and see Tintern on the banks of the River Wye, perhaps one of the most beautiful settings for a Cistercian Abbey. Between these two rivers lies the Forest of Dean; 35 square miles of secretive, mysterious and majestic woodlands. Learn about the Forest’s past and see the splendour of these ancient woodlands.

Whetstone 25 Club:
“… I have spoken to a number of people who have said how much they enjoyed the tour and they have all asked me to pass on their thanks to you for making the trip both interesting and informative”. (October 2009)