New Hampshire to old territory in the Forest of Dean

A family from New Hampshire, U.S.A. were shown locations that their ancestors once knew by 2 of our guides.

A family member had left Lydney in 1900 for a new life in Ohio. He took with him skills acquired at the Tinplate Works at Lydney. The rest of the family in the U.S. worked in the steel industry from 1898 to 1975

After visiting the graves of their ancestors in Lydney churchyard and a visit to St Mary’s church, the group toured the Forest in a Minibus supplied by Fastcabs.

A visit to the Speech House was a welcome return after a previous family visit in 1964.

A photo of a four poster bed at the Speech House Hotel
A four poster bed at the Speech House Hotel

“Following the Romantics”

A group of 44 enjoyed a quality coach tour by Bibby’s of Ingleton. The travellers mainly came from the north of England, from Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire, although there was at least one from North Wales.

The tour was entitled “Following the Romantics”. This harked back to the river Wye tours that were offered from the mid-18th century, mainly from Ross on Wye to Chepstow. There were stops at the highlights: Symonds Yat, Monmouth, and Tintern. Even though Yorkshire has stunning Abbeys such as Fountains Abbey and Rievaulx Abbey, the visitors were still extremely impressed with the grandeur of Tintern. They could appreciate why Wordsworth from Cumbria wrote his major poem about Tintern, and Turner did his famous water colours at Tintern!

Bibby's Tour at Tintern
Bibby’s Tour at Tintern


Fletchers of Malton coach tour

Fletcher’s Coaches is a friendly, popular, family-run company based in Malton, Yorkshire. Their customers enjoyed a day-trip to the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley. Their guide met them at Chepstow where they had good views of Chepstow Castle and the River Wye. They travelled up and up, and up the twisty road to to Wyndcliffe Court where they enjoyed “elevensies” in the tea room set in a sculpture garden.

One of Fletcher's of Malton's coaches
Fletcher’s of Malton

A highlight of all Fletcher’s tours is the presence of Charlie, the famous white Scottie dog, who accompanies the driver on all the tours. This well-travelled doggy was delightful company for all, including the guide.

Blake’s tour from Devon visits Forest of Dean

Visitors from Devon enjoyed an informative whirlwind tour in the Forest of Dean in May. The coach tour started at Bell’s Hotel in Coleford, where the guide expertly described the flora, fauna and history of the area. The lucky visitors stopped for lunch at the Dean Forest Railway, Norchard, where they then boarded a train and travelled on a steam train to the terminus in Parkend.

Dean Forest Railway
Dean Forest Railway

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!

American university students from various states came to the Forest of Dean as part of a tour to prepare for a study of book 7 of the Harry Potter series. The Forest plays a prominent part in the book, as Harry finds a vital wizard artefact in a pond when he is hiding out against the forces of Voldemort. The visitors went by Cannop Ponds and Soudley Ponds, but agreed that the artefact was most likely hidden in a more discreet area!

Visitors went to Symonds Yat rock to get a good view of the River Wye, which appears in the film. They were taken on a tour of the Wye Valley, going through JK Rowling’s village of Tutshill. On the way they experienced the beauty of Tintern Abbey, St. Briavel’s Castle and Chepstow Castle.

To top it off, the Orepool Pub served an excellent roast dinner, where the guide was asked to explain how Yorkshire Pudding differed from popovers!

University Students studying Harry Potter
Harry Potter students at Symonds Yat