The Area

We are in a great location and there is lots to see and do nearby for everyone. The Forest of Dean is wonderful for walking, wildlife and cycling.

Wildlife

We do quite a few things to enhance the wildlife in our garden – feeding the birds is a pleasure, as well as necessary for them, especially during winter. We also have a thriving population of frogs and toads, insects and dragonflies – thanks to our small pond and wilder areas of the garden. We avoid using any chemicals in the garden – though I admit using them for weed killing on the drive if the flame thrower is not in action!

There are plenty of logs piled around which are very attractive to wildlife including insects and fungi. We use excess wood in the fires in the house and Broughtons Cottage logburner. Flower beds and seed heads are left for as long as possible for insects and birds alike. The field and some areas of the garden are deliberately left as uncultivated as possible.

The Royal Forest of Dean

The forest is 110 square kilometres of mixed woodland and one of the few remaining ancient woodlands in England. Tucked away between the River Wye and River Severn, there really is something for every one to do here. You can choose from activities such as canoeing and high wire assault courses, to riding, walking or cycling through peaceful countryside.

Try one of our excellent local eateries and & enjoy good local food or visit a local market town. There are great places to eat & local foods to tempt you. A short drive away are wonderful towns such as Cheltenham, Gloucester and Hereford – ideal for browsing in the shops, or enjoying one of the festivals. Within an hours drive are Bristol and Cardiff, or to the north Stratford on Avon, Malvern and Worcester are easily reached. To the west the Welsh Marches and market towns such as Ross on Wye and Abergavenny are well worth a vist.

With easy links to the major motorways the Forest of Dean is perfect for either a weeks family holiday, or a short break just for 2. At Broughtons Cottage – you will find the the perfect base for exploring and discovering this tranquil area, even on a wet day!

Activities

What kind of mood are you in?

Soudley Ponds and Dean Heritage Centre

A gentle walk – not too muddy and fairly flat, with well marked paths round the lakes which are safe for buggies too. Take some bread to feed the ducks. 10 minutes drive from the cottage with plenty of parking either at the ponds or the museum itself. You can stop halfway way round at the Dean Heritage Centre and discover more about this fascinating area, its geology and history.
Drive via Littledean to collect the Sunday papers to read in the tea room, or outside picnic area while the children explore.

Allow 1 hour – more if you plan to stop at the museum or take the nature trail which is more demanding.

Dean Heritage Centre

Ross on Wye

A market town with Tudor timbered houses – 20 minutes drive away.

Ross-On-Wye

Monmouth

Also 30 minutes drive away through the Forest of Dean and across the border this time into Monmouthshire. Situated on the River Wye Monmouth has plenty to offer for a leisurely 1/2 day out. If you have time make your way to the Kymin for breathtaking views of the Welsh countryside and a woodland walk.

Ledbury

30 minutes drive away across the border into Herefordshire. Browse around the wonderful variety of shops; enjoy the black and white timbered architecture, nice shops with good places to eat. Take the direct route or follow the maps and take the scenic route cross country.

Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo

We love visiting the nearby butterfly zoo. It is so peaceful and magical, especially when a huge, gorgeously coloured butterfly chooses to perch briefly on your hand or head. It is also warm and dry on a cold wet day! The amazing hedge puzzle maze is next door if the weather is being kind, also crazy golf.

Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo

Westbury Court Garden

Just 5 minutes away, and a real gem, Westbury Court Garden is the only restored Dutch water garden in the country. Afterwards I recommend a visit to nearby Westbury church dating back to 1290. Look for the crusader marks in the main doorway. The detached tower was built in 1290 as a garrison and is 160ft high – constructed entirely of wood – even the roof tiles!

Castles

Goodrich Castle stands above the River Wye. Pack up a picnic or eat in the tearoom. Chepstow castle is another local castle, again standing over the River Wye, and a fascinating historical day our for all the family.

Puzzlewood

Our family always love a day at Puzzlewood. It seems to appeal to all, from 5 years old upwards! It has the perfect combination of animals, cafe and crafts & extraordinary rock formations to explore within the forest. JR Tolkein was a frequent visitor and Puzzlewood may well have been the inspiration for the fabled landscapes of ‘Middle Earth’ in Lord of the Rings.

Puzzlewood

Caves

Clearwell Caves. These are extensive natural caves, mined for iron ore and ochre pigments.

Clearwell Caves

Cathedrals

We have three cathedrals within easy reach – Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester. Why not stay with us during the Three Choirs Festival?

Dick Whittington’s Farm

This is a great destination for smaller children and just 15 minutes drive from Broughtons Cottage.

Hidcote Manor Garden

We are also less than 1 hour from one of Englands greatest gardens. An arts and crafts Garden, with colourful, intricate ‘rooms’ to surprise and delight.

Hidcote Manor

The Severn Bore

The Severn Bore is a spectacle not to be missed: a large surge wave that can be viewed from the Severn Estuary. With a tidal range of almost 50ft, it is known to be the second largest in the world. Why not come and stay when a 4* or 5* is due.

The Royal Forest of Dean

This is England’s largest oak forest and is a wonderful playground for old and young alike; there really is something for everyone to do. Be adventurous and brave the high ropes at Go Ape, or hire a bike from Pedalabikeway, or simply stroll through the woods following well marked paths as far as you want to go before picnicking in the trees. The Forest of Dean is one of the last remaining ancient woodlands in the United Kingdom.

Biking, Forest of Dean

Cyclists and Walkers

Broughtons Cottage is ideal for walkers and cyclists. The cottage is warm and cosy to return to after a day out out, and the utilty area offers somewhere to wash and dry clothing and store muddy boots.

We are close several long distance footpaths – Gloucester Way, Wysis Way and Three Choirs Way. We also are lucky to be able to walk from the front door across farmland and country lanes and onto less well known footpaths. Maps are provided.

The River Wye

A few miles to the west is the River Wye, a magical and peaceful river offering long lengths of unspoilt beauty to explore. The area has been awarded status as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and it is ideal for walkers, canoeists and bird watching.

If you are lucky you may see an otter.

Cycling

For cyclists we are able to offer safe lockable storage of bikes, puncture repair kit and somewhere to wash your bike if you need to. Pedalabikeaway are close by in The Forest of Dean for expert help and advice on all things bikes and biking.

The Royal Forest of Dean is perfect for families to cycle in, with well marked paths away from busy roads, or explore the Vale of Severn straight from the cottage door.

Otter