The oldest Royal hunting-forest in England still wears its Iron Age and Roman footprints well. Pristine ancient oakwoods and pre-industrial landscapes make for interesting walking and impressive views for all levels of fitness. Newland, just south west of Coleford, is ideal for starting circular walks. Four km east across old field patterns is Clearwell and its ironstone caves and stone quarries. A more arduous 4.5 km forest walk follows wooded ridges and steep valleys westward down to Offa’s Dyke path and the Wye. Returning to Newland find the walker’s reward in the 14th Century Ostrich Inn. The pub has avoided modernisation and its ageless character and welcome are therapeutic. The six-foot wide inglenook warms the soul and tired feet. Finding the priest hole may delay choice from the 8-10 local real ales. The food is restaurant grade in variety and quality, but at pub prices. Oh, and you wont have to take your boots off.
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