Places To visit
Rolling countryside, huge trees, wild boar and roe deer, birds, rivers and streams, spa and market towns, cathedrals and churches, stately homes and gardens, shopping, arts and crafts, local produce – whatever your interest you will find a place to visit that will make a day to remember.
THE RIVER SEVERN
A tidal river, fascinating and powerful with a will of its own. No two days are the same; high water, low water at different times of the day, slow and gentle creeping tides or furious gigantic surges. It all depends on the moon, the weather and the time of year. Check out the Severn Bore timetables.
Walk to the bottom of Woodend Lane from the centre of Awre, over the stile and onto the riverbank. Opposite you will see the tower and hides of the Slimbridge Wetland Centre.
There are many well signed walks in the Forest of Dean, short, long, easy or some more challenging. Choose one with car parks and facilities serving refreshments, take a picnic or try one of several good hostelries.
Try Beechenhurst as a great place to start (10 miles) or Clarke's Pool Meadow ( 5 miles) one of the finest surviving traditional hay meadows in Gloucestershire where over 45,000 green winged orchids flower in mid-late spring.
THE SEVERN BORE
Taking place on numerous occasions every year, The Severn Bore is an impressive tidal wave of water which makes its way up the Severn Estuary between Awre and Gloucester – attracting scores of spectators and surfing enthusiasts along the way.
The Severn Bore is caused by the tide from the Atlantic Ocean entering the Bristol Channel and forcing its way into the Severn Estuary, filtering into a narrow channel and causing the water to rise by anything up to 15 metres. The water reaches speeds of up to 20kmph as it nears Minsterworth and, as the width of the River Severn narrows, increases in height causing the natural bore phenomenon.
The Severn Valley is an excellent location for birdwatching: Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Sparrows, Chiffchaff. Skylarks will sing to you as you walk the Severn Way, Swallows chatter along the lanes and swoop over the fields, Swifts screech high above you, flocks of Lapwing and Curlew rise in the sky.
Buzzards and Kestrel can be seen most days, if you are lucky you might see a Red Kite soaring over, or a Peregrine passing by. At dusk you might see a Barn Owl silently gliding along the hedgerows or hunting over the fields.
Nags Head RSPB Reserve is 9 miles away with viewing hides and nature trails and its 15 miles to the viewing point at Symonds Yat Rock where you can enjoy watching Peregrine Falcons from April to August.
An ancient woodland site and tourist attraction near Coleford, Puzzlewood has recently been used as a filming location for Merlin, Doctor Who and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
BLUEBELLS AT BLACKPOOL BRIDGE
A special place to see bluebells in the Forest of Dean, between Blakeney and Soudley. Stop the car and get out to see a blue carpet under the trees and into the distance. Walk through them and breathe in their wonderful perfume whilst the birds sing in the canopy overhead. Another excellent place to see bluebells is Speech House where you could also see deer or wild boar.
Sectacular views can be seen from Blaize Bailey (5 miles) or Pleasant Stile (5 miles) where you can see the unmistakeable horseshoe shape of the Severn flowing round the Awre Peninsular on its way out to the estuary, also May Hill ( 11 miles) where many watch the sun rise on the summer solstice.
Further afield you could visit Cleeve Hill near Cheltenham, The Malverns in Worcestershire or The Kymin in Monmouthshire.
DEAN HERITAGE CENTRE
A museum with five galleries providing a living history experience for all ages, with activities involving crafts and wildlife of the Forest of Dean.
The Old Vicarage, Northington Lane, Awre, Newnham GL14 1EL
Friday and Sat 11.00- 5.00
Welcome at other times, please phone first:
01594 510282, 07890 479873
NATURE IN ART
Located at Wallsworth Hall near Gloucester, Nature in Art is a museum and gallery dedicated to works of art inspired by nature. Visitors can also enjoy a sculpture garden, coffee shop and gift shop.