Why the Forest of Dean is perfect for a winter break

Wednesday, 7 December 2011 9:52 AM

The Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire makes for the perfect setting for holidays at any time of year. However, there is something particularly special about it during the winter.

It helps that it is one of the most beautiful parts of the UK, with much of the area covered in woodland - some of which is known to be among the oldest in the country.

As soon as autumn hits, you can expect to see some breathtaking views here, as the leaves on all those trees begin to gradually lose their green, taking on a yellow hue before going through the cycle of orange to red and finally floating to the floor.

However, winter is no less perfect for holidays in the Forest of Dean. Book a log cabin for your break and you can enjoy a cosy retreat where you are situated right in the middle of some breathtaking landscapes.

While some of the trees will be bare during these months, there are many evergreens here and the two complement each other perfectly. If it happens to snow during your stay, you will find the sight even more breathtaking.

Take a stroll in the Cannop Valley, which is home to a beautiful patch of oak trees, with trails winding their way around the ancient trunks. Ambling past Mallards Pike Lake and Soudley Ponds is also worthwhile, as the stillness of the water adds to the feeling of peace and quiet.

A particularly interesting place to go walking is around the Sculpture Trail, which was established in 1984 by the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust.

Pieces of art stand along this route that have all been inspired by the woodland itself. In line with this, the majority are made from natural materials like wood, metal or stone, making them perfectly at home within the environment.

As you bask in the surroundings the hustle and bustle of everyday life will never have felt so far away, while the chill of the season means that you can feel a certain magic in the air.

With this in mind, you may wish to get into the festive spirit by tucking into some mince pies and hot mulled wine at your cabin, before going on a starlit walk outside.

However, you will find there is far more to see and do in this region than walking alone. There are some beautiful towns and villages to be visited, many of which are home to historic buildings that help to create a picturesque vision of what Christmas was like many years ago.

Coleford is a particularly good place to visit, as it is a conservation area, which means it is especially pretty. It also boasts two golf courses and the Great Western Railway Museum, which could make for great excursions during your break.

Closer to your accommodation, you may find there are festive treats on offer over the season, such as appearances from Father Christmas himself. Who better to meet on your winter getaway than Santa Claus?

However, should you want to spend the entire trip never venturing far from the comfort of the luxury cottages or cabins you have booked, you will still have an equally enjoyable holiday.

As you snuggle up on the sofa after a delicious meal you have prepared, you are certain to agree that your trip to the Forest of Dean has been the well-earned break you wanted this winter.

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