The Highway Rat Trail, Beechenhurst

The Highway Rat Trail at Beechenhurst is a well-marked, woodland activity trail on accessible, yet muddy in the rain, tracks (please note; not all of the activity boards are accessible). The tall trees offer shelter from the rain and shade from the sun; there is a whole host of facilities at the visitor centre including toilets, cafe, seating and a playground. There is a charge for parking at this site.

The Highway Rat Trail

Distance: almost a mile

Time: 20 mins ( it took us just over an hour, stopping at the activity boards)

(Apologies for the poor quality photographs – it seems I had a shaky hand on this day!)

Guide

From the car park walk towards the visitor centre to start the trail.

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From here you should be able to see the Highway Rat signs..

.. which lead to the start of the trail.

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Look out for familiar faces along the way.

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Take care crossing this road and go through the gate straight ahead.

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Here you’ll find the first board.

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Onwards up the hill.

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You might need a walking stick?

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Watch out on the right for the next trail board and post for rubbing (you could take paper and crayons for rubbings).

Further up the hill..

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.. we spent quite a while taking a closer look at the roots of a tree that has fallen over.

Behind the next trail board were some fantastic dens, we had to stop and explore.

Carry straight on at this junction and down into the woods.

The track here was a little muddier so may not be great for wheels in wetter weather.

At the next trail board our adventurer really engaged with the building a spider web activity..

Down the hill and left at the junction.

Keep an eye out for familiar faces on the right.

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Onwards to the next trail board.

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Right at this junction and up the hill.

Keep an eye out for an activity board in the trees.

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Go right at the next junction, back down the hill to the finish!

We went back to the visitor centre to try out the playground (and the hot chocolate!)

Click on the map below to view it on ViewRanger.

The OS grid reference is SO614120.

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The Highway Rat Trail at Beechenhurst lodge is a Forestry Commission site – look here for more information.

Directions (from website): Follow tourist signs for the Forest of Dean. Take the B4226 Coleford to Cinderford road. Beechenhurst is located between the B4234 crossroads (Parkend/Lydbrook) and the Speech House Hotel. , Please don’t use our 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.

Happy wandering,

The Beckingham Family

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