Having lived most of my life in this area which is only about a forty minute drive to the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, I have never ever been there. It is one of those places that people always talk about as being brilliant for families and great for taking children and it has been on the list of places to visit for some time but it has eluded us and I was determined that this year, we would go and explore to see if it was a good as people said.
The Forest of Dean itself covers a huge area (526.4 km² to be precise) and holds endless possibilities of activities; whether you are looking for a gentle stroll, something more adventurous, a ride on a steam train, cycling or visiting a museum, it really does have something for everyone.
We decided on a visit to Puzzlewood. One of the children had picked up a leaflet about Puzzlewood at a service station once and it sounded like the perfect place for a family day out.
Described as a magical forest, Puzzlewood has lots of history both recent and past. There is a board showing the many famous faces that have visited Puzzlewood as it is a popular place to film both television and film. It is easy to see why with its maze of pathways and the amazing backdrop of not just the trees and plants but the gnarled tree roots, rock cavities and exposed caves which are dramatic and unique.
It is very eerie and there are plenty of things to see whilst you climb up steps, cross bridges and jump across stepping-stones. There are a few things to look out for as you walk around but it is just a calm and serene place to explore. We loved it.
Once back out of the forest, there is an outdoor play area, an indoor and outdoor maze and some farm animals to explore along with a picnic area and a cafe which makes a lovely cup of tea.
The play areas are more suited to younger children and A was in her element but Puzzlewood itself is suitable for everyone to explore and enjoy. I would definitely recommend a visit.