Forest Holidays to Symonds Yat (and back again!)

Forest Holidays site in the Forest of Dean to Symonds Yat viewpoint (and back again!) is an up and down woodland wander with absolutely breathtaking views over the Wye Valley. It is sheltered in the trees although the viewpoint is (obviously) high up and open so take care in wet/windy weather. This is a longer than usual wander so we’d recommend a carrier or off-road pushchair for tired legs. At the viewpoint there are toilets and refreshments. It is possible to visit a pub in the valley below the viewpoint and wander back to the site along the river bank, however there are alot of steps and the walk back is longer so take a look at the route before going this way. 

Forest Holidays to Symonds Yat (and back again!)

Distance: almost 4 1/2 miles

Time: a couple of hours (it took us over 3 hours including hanging out at the viewpoint for a while)


Begin at the Forest Retreat where there’s a handy map of local walking routes.


There is a car park on the opposite side of the road to the Forest Retreat if you are not staying nearby.


From the Forest Retreat turn left down the hill, there is a footpath on the other side of the road.

Follow the Public Footpath sign on the right..


… into the woods.


Perfect for off-road exploring.


At this junction follow the yellow arrow straight ahead.

Down a bit of a hill, keep following the yellow arrows.

Logs are just made for balancing.

Follow the path around to the right, more yellow arrows!

Grab a lift with an Auntie if you’ve got one around..


The next downhill section was quite muddy. If it’s been wet you’ll need some muscle and determination with an off-road pushchair (especially on the way back).


We saw loads of frogspawn in the ditches at the side of the track.


For a while the track is level and stoney.

Straight on here. This is a road so watch out for vehicles.

There are some lovely info boards for children to discover more about the trees.

The track remains level and wide.. great for running really far ahead but still within sight!


Careful crossing another small road.


The path now runs by the side of a bigger road and into a car park.

Keep an eye out for those yellow arrows…


..and continue towards the viewpoint ahead.


Rocks really are THE BEST FUN!

Just past the refreshments building, on the left, are some steps that lead down to a viewpoint where the views of the Wye Valley are breathtaking.


To the left is a walkway (no steps) leading over the road to another viewing area where the views are just as stunning.


And a handy bench where our smallest adventurer had some boob with a view.


Lots of information about the area…

There is a path down the steep valley to the river at the bottom. We sent Daddy for a look, there are ALOT of steps. However there is a pub at the bottom and a riverside path back to Forest Holidays if you’re after a circular walk; it is a longer route so check a map beforehand.



After spending a while admiring the views we popped into the toilets before heading back the same way. Our adventurer was tired so we strapped her into the pushchair (and popped baby in a sling) where she fought sleep until we were almost home!!


Click on the map below to view it on ViewRanger.

The OS grid reference is:

start of walk: SO568129

viewpoint: SO564160

Screenshot (7).png

This walk begins at Forest Holidays site in the Forest of Dean and goes to Symonds Yat viewpoint all of which is maintained by the Forestry Commission.

Directions: The Forest Retreat is at the entrance to the Forest Holidays site. For detailed directions from the website click here.

Happy wandering,

The Beckingham Family

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