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Visit some of the area’s must see attractions in Lydney
Surrounded by the Forest of Dean on the edge of the Wye Valley, and situated on the River Severn, the historic town of Lydney houses some of the area’s must see points of interest.
Thirty pubs, cafes and restaurants cater for locals as well as Forest of Dean visitors and the town has a variety of local shops that offer everything you need for your stay.
Lydney also boasts a lovely park and historic monuments, so you could easily spend a day here before venturing outside the area.
Finally, it’s also the perfect base for those who prefer to leave the car at home, as the town is connected to the national rail network via Lydney Station, with trains to Newport and Gloucester.
Lydney’s highlights include:
The Dean Forest Railway
As one of the few steam train experiences left in the country, the Dean Forest Railway attracts thousands of train enthusiasts a year, as well families looking for a great day out.
The railway runs for four and a half miles, with five stations en-route, meaning there’s plenty of chances to get out and explore the forest.
And if you are looking to make the experience a bit more special, you can even take an event train ride with a fish and chips supper served on board.
Already one of the town’s top tourist destinations, and with a picturesque setting on the River Severn, Lydney Harbour is expected to attract even more visitors thanks to a £2.1 million upgrade.
Future developments of the harbour are currently in progress following a successful funding bid. New sculptures and information boards will be installed in 2022 with improved road access.
The highway improvements will see a new street lit footpath alongside Harbour Road to create easier, and safer access. The road will also be resurfaced – Gloucestershire Highways have said this work should be completed in winter 2022.
New wayfinding and heritage interpretation signs and information boards have been installed around the harbour, providing insight into the harbour’s heritage and highlighting walks around the harbour.
From Roman times through the industrial revolution and well into the 20th century Lydney Harbour has been a cornerstone of the River Severn’s heritage.
The harbour played a central role in making the Severn Estuary the gateway from the South West to the rest of the world. and the area itself dates from the 1870s and is a rare and historically important example of a 19th century harbour built for sailing ships. For these reasons it has always held a special place in the hearts and minds of the people of Lydney.
A focal point of Lydney, Bathurst Park was a gift to the town from the Bathurst family in 1892 to mark the 25th birthday of Charles Bathurst.
A recent addition to the park is a Garden of Remembrance and a Rose Alley, where silhouettes of soldiers symbolise those killed in the two world wars. The gates to the park were erected in 1953 to commemorate the Queen’s coronation and were declared open by Viscount Bledisloe.
Open throughout the summer is Bathurst Pool, a 1920s outdoor swimming pool also gifted to the inhabitants of Lydney and Aylburton by the Bathurst family.
Lydney Park Estate
Lydney Park Estate combines a 17th century country estate, one of the most beautiful historic gardens in England, and the ruins of a Roman temple.
Open in the Spring and on selected days throughout the year, the gardens make for a great family day out as you explore the Roman ruins, picnic in the deer park, or visit the museum with Roman artefacts.
You can also stay in the grounds itself, by booking one of the two holiday cottages.
St Briavels Castle
Only 15 minutes from Lydney is the A Grade II listed ancient monument now operated by English Heritage, St Briavels is a Norman-moated castle. There’s a cafe on the grounds, and if you are looking for somewhere to stay that’s a little bit out of the ordinary, it’s been a Youth Hostel since 1948.
Walk or cycle
At 1.8 miles in length, and taking you through the town centre and Bathurst Park, the Lydney Heritage walk will give you some light exercise as well as allowing you to see the town’s major attractions in one morning or afternoon. The route is sign-posted and a map is also available to guide you on your way.
The Gloucestershire Community Rail Partnership has developed a series of walking routes around Lydney town and harbour which can be found here.
Eating and drinking in Lydney
Attached to the Swan Hotel and with a modern European theme, The Ugly Duckling is one of the town’s top lunch and dining venues.
For that traditional English pub experience, head for the Cross Keys Inn. During the summer months, the coffee house in Bathurst Park is perfect for lunch or daytime snacks, or check out artisan coffee shop, Lydney Brew.
The town itself also has a range of eating options ranging from Thai to Italian to Indian.
Just to the west of Lydney is Taurus Crafts, home to a fabulous café that serves delicious food and hosts regular art exhibitions, alongside a delicatessen selling delicious locally-sourced veg, cheese and meats. No visit is complete without a stop at the award-winning Chocolate Bar where tasty homemade, organic chocolate and cake treats await.
The Foresters' Restaurant at Whitemead in Parkend is perfect for families.
Explore Lydney’s shops
Both the Tesco and Coop supermarkets provide the staples you need, while a number of independent retailers are worth a visit.
These include Willowdean Gifts if you are looking to pick up presents for those back home, Forest Tackle if you are planning on fishing. Fancy hiring a bicycle, or if you’ve brought your own bike and need a last minute repair, check out the Lydney Cycle Centre.
Dean Forest Cycles is located nearby at Parkend where visitors can hire a bicycle for half a day or longer and set off into the forest, where dozens of cycle trails can be explored.
Taurus Crafts is a vibrant visitor centre where you can discover your own creativity and explore artisan arts and crafts businesses. Enjoy a mosaic workshop or Crafternoon Tea with Rachel Shilston - Inspiring Creativity in her studio nearby.
Where to stay in and near Lydney
Lydney offers some of the most diverse and extensive accommodation options.
Forest and Wye Valley Caravan, Camping & Glamping Site, situated in between the rugged beauty of the Forest of Dean and the picturesque Wye Valley.
The Swan Hotel and The George Inn & Millbrook Lodge offer four star accommodation, with a renowned restaurant on-site, while the Deangate Motel is a more modern B&B, situated close to Bathurst Park.
The multi award-winning Tudor Farmhouse Hotel is a short drive from Lydney in the village of Clearwell and offers a unique rural retreat with one of the area’s best restaurants.
For those arriving by train, the centre of Lydney is a 15 to 20 minute walk, or a short taxi ride from the station.
What’s on in Lydney
Lydney is a hub of activity, with regular markets, music in the park, seasonal and annual events. You can see all of the events taking place in Lydney here. Some of the key annual events include:
- Bathurst Park Easter Egg Hunt – An Easter Egg hunt for young children in Bathurst Park.
- Lydney Music Festival – the first weekend of June and includes a range of music and entertainment.
- Party in the Park – Generally the first Saturday in July, this free event features entertainment day and night.
- Fireworks – Lydney holds a spectacular fireworks’ display in Bathurst Park with fairground rides, local bands, entertainment and food and drink stalls.
- Christmas Lights – Held in the town centre this early evening event culminates with the switching on of the town’s Christmas Lights.
Plan your visit to Lydney:
- Places to stay in and near Lydney
- Things to do in and near Lydney
- Places to eat & drink in and near Lydney
- What's On in and near Lydney