Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail Gloucester
Beechenhurst Lodge
B4226 Road
Gloucestershire GL16 7EJ

 

To paraphrase a well-known expression this is “Sculpture, but not as we know it.” The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail (FODST) is a different way to enjoy a day out walking through an ancient woodland.

The Forest of Dean is in western England on the border with South wales. Most of the Forest is under the care and control of the Forestry Commission which has a Visitor Centre at Beechenhurst Lodge.

Sculpture Trail
The Sculpture Trail starts and ends at the rear of Beechenhurst Lodge picnic site, off the B4226 road, west of Speech House in the heart of the Forest. The full Sculpture Trail is about 3.5 miles (6 km) long. It can also be explored in a series of shorter distances.
 
There are 22 sculptures visible on the trail. The sculptures are inspired by the forest - its trees, wildlife and industrial past. They are mostly constructed from natural material from the Dean - wood, stone and iron. The sculptures are interspersed along the trail through majestic oaks and towering Scots pine trees.
 
The Sculpture Trail is maintained by the Forestry Commission with guidance from the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust, which is a registered educational charity. The Trust also raises funds for commissioning artists to create new works (some permanent, some only intended to be temporary) which interpret the forest and to develop the educational potential of the trail.
 
Follow the blue ringed posts and direction arrows. Please ensure that you have an up-to-date leaflet (available from Beechenhurst Lodge) before following the Waymarked trail!
 
The sculptures are made from materials found in the Forest and reflect the historical lifestyle of its inhabitants and its industrial past. The trail was originally laid out in the 1980s so many of the sculptures have aged and melded into the woodland.
 
The Cathedral
One of the most photographed sculptures is ‘Cathedral” - a huge stained glass window suspended above the walking path. The tall trunks of the surrounding trees are reminiscent of the soaring Early English columns seen in medieval cathedrals.
 
Others are not so easy to see like “Black Dome” representing the charcoal burning industry.
 
For more information about the sculptures go to:
 
Accommodation - Search & Book through Agoda.com here: 
 
Trail Leaflet & Map
A Sculpture Trail leaflet in full colour, with large scale map marking locations of each of the sculptures, together with images and short texts relating to each work is essential to get the most out of your visit. Leaflets are on sale at Beechenhurst Lodge shop or from the Forestry Commission, Bank House, Bank Street, Coleford, Gloucestershire GL16 8BA.
 
Open
All year
Dawn to dusk
 
Admission
Free
 
Disabled Access
Some of the Sculptures can be accessed with a power assisted wheelchair, please ring the Forestry Commission or e-mail using the link provided below for further access information.
 
Important Information
What to wear - Sensible footwear and, depending on the weather, waterproof clothing.
 
WARNING - The Forestry Commission has erected safety fences throughout the Forest for your protection. These have small red ‘DANGER’ notices attached. Under no circumstances must this type of fence be crossed, as the fenced areas have dangerous drops, quarry faces or mine shafts
 
Parking
Car Park open from 08:00 – 17:00 hours. Pay & Display around £3.50 
Discovery Pass for all Forestry Commission Sites around £25 per car
 
Contact Forestry Commission West England District
Telephone   +44 (0)1594 833057
Mail   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Walks
For more about the FODST and other walks starting from Beechenhurst Lodge go to:
 
Facilities
Beechenhurst Lodge has a number of facilities that are privately owned. The Sculpture Trail and Waymarked walks are always open but other facilities may not. Check with the individual facilities to avoid disappointment.
 
Membership English Heritage - join here: 

english heritage leader 468x60

 
The Gavellers Cafe and Restaurant
To check cafe opening times please go to
 
Forest of Dean Adventure Shop
Forestry Commission leaflets and Discovery Passes are sold from the shop
 
Play Area
There is a picnic site and a children’s playground, designed by the sculptor Andy Frost. The main play area has recently undergone refurbishment with a new zip wire. There is a separate toddler area for younger visitors.
 
Adventure Tower
Seasonal opening. Check the Adventure Tower website
 
Adventure Ropes
Seasonal opening. Check the Adventure Ropes website
 
Archery
Seasonal opening. Check the Archery website
 
Getting There
- By Car:
Travelling from Coleford to Cinderford on the B4226, continue by the junction with the B4234 (Parkend to Lydbrook road) driving up the Speech House Road for 550 yards (500m) before turning left into Beechenhurst.
 
Please do not use the Beechenhurst Lodge postcode in your Sat Nav! It will take you to Broadwell near Coleford, this is on the B4226 but a few minutes drive away from Beechenhurst.
 
The Forest of Dean is 120 miles west of London (via the M4), 65 miles from Birmingham (via the M5), and 35 miles from Bristol to the centre of the Forest.
 
- By Public Transport:
The No 30 bus from Coleford - Cinderford – Gloucester passes Beechenhurst, the official stop is at the Cannop Crossroads.  Stagecoach Bus Timetable (in .pdf format)
 
Google Maps - Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail