We know the cost of living is increasing and it is an uncertain time to book a holiday.  The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley is not an expensive area to buy essentials and a cup of coffee is below National average, but it is a fantastic place to explore with plenty of activities and days out that won’t break the bank.

The Forest offers a range of free outdoor adventures, for the price of a car park and we have worked hard to ensure your money goes further if you stay with us @hopefarmretreats.

Below is a list of free activities in our area and ways we are helping you enjoy precious time away creating memories:

Parkend Railway Station

Parkend Railway Station

Free activities in the area:

  • to use the cliche ‘fresh air is free’, at the time of writing the following Forest car parks are free and a great base to explore the forest: Speculation, New Fancy View, Linear Park, Speech House Arboretum, and more
  • our local play park has amazing facilities, not just the usual slides but a zip wire and outdoor gym too. Tennis courts and outdoor ping pong coming soon.
  • Parkend Village nearby is free to park and the start of beautiful cycle routes and walks, suitable for all the family. Also watch the regular steam trains depart for the station, or stand in the bridge to watch them refuel. Nagshead nature reserve is also nearby and really worth a visit – natural pool with a pier to observe wildlife and RSPB seasonal information.
  • through July see local artists and makers in their studios for free, on the Far Open Studios Trail https://www.visitdeanwye.co.uk/whats-on/faropen-open-studios-art-trail-p1414481

Money-saving tips:

Take out a 7-day @localdiscoverycard, helping you save money at local attractions during your stay – we’ll also give you 10% off your direct booking with us @hopefarmretreats https://localdiscoverycard.co.uk/shoppingcart

Family cycle trail at Beechenhurst

Family cycle trail at Beechenhurst

For the cost of a car park, you can enjoy exploring the forests, trails, and picnic sites at 6 local forest venues:

  • Beechenhurst – home of the free sculpture trail, new toddle trail, also cycle path, and paid-for activities like go ape. Great wooden play park too.
  • Mallards Pike – Lakeside walks and cafe
  • Forest of Dean Cycle Centre
  • Cannop Ponds – bird watching, lakes, picnic site, and cycle trails
  • Symonds Yat Rock – a stunning panorama of the valley, often RSPB volunteers are on standby to show you peregrine falcon nesting sites
  • Wenchford – paddle in shallow pools and picnic by a stream

Lydney harbor has breathtaking views across the Severn (parking charges apply). Riverside walks, sculptures, great for birdwatching, sunsets, a small exhibition and its estuary which has the second highest tidal range in the world!

Our farm is not far from the stunning Offas Dyke path broadly following the Wales – England border, with free parking and we’d especially recommend a walk to Devil’s Pulpit https://www.visitwales.com/things-do/adventure-and-activities/walking/offas-dyke-walks

What are we doing to help?

🌸 our bookings through AirBnB are cancellable up to the day before

🌸 your first load of logs is free. We have held the cost of more logs to £10 a load and kindling is free.

🌸 our cheats kitchen is a great way to feed the family, even on wet days to suit your budget

🌸 we have board games, toys, a full-size ping pong, and even a coconut shy on site.

🌸 bring your bikes – we offer free lockable storage and bike cleaning facilities. This is an excellent way to explore the area, with family cycle routers just a short walk away

🌸 Book 3 nights mid-week, out of school holidays directly with us and get a 4th night FREE – that’s a tank of petrol, a fancy romantic meal for 2 or canoe hire, and a champagne picnic!! info@hopefarmretreats.com @hopefarmretreats