The Forest of Dean Ramblers is one of over 400 Ramblers groups nationwide. We are based in the Forest of Dean, the area of Gloucestershire between the Rivers Severn and Wye.
The group was formed in 1978 by a small band of enthusiastic walkers, and since than has gone from strength to strength. We have a varied programme of walks to suit all tastes, not only on our own area, but further afield to such places as the Cotswolds, Brecon Beacons, and Malvern Hills, and organise occasional weekends away and longer holidays.
We have recently published several walks leaflets and a book of historic walks (Exploring Historic Dean). We also carry out footpath maintenance, and work hard to ensure that access to the countryside is maintained for the benefit of walkers and the public at large. The latter is particularly important in view of the recent Government proposals to sell off our forests, as the Forest of Dean has relatively few designated rights of way.
The Forest has long been a somewhat isolated, mysterious place and, to an extent, it still is, which only adds to its attraction. The area has a long and fascinating history, including some unique traditions. It has been a working forest for centuries, and an important centre of coal and iron mining and stone quarrying. Indeed it played a significant part in the industrial revolution. Because much of the area is still forest and has not been built on or converted to other uses, evidence of many of the old industrial sites can still be seen. However, it also includes some of the most beautiful ancient woodland in the country, as well as attractive villages and spectacular viewpoints. It takes in part of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with its spectacular limestone gorge, well seen at the famous Symonds Yat Rock.
The Forest is probably at its best in spring and autumn, but can be enjoyed at any time of year. Visitors are welcome to join us on any of our walks, and we hope that they will be encouraged to come back and explore more of this beautiful area.