Local Area

Gloucestershire is one of England’s most beautiful counties.

The western side offers the beautiful Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean, the centre provides the fertile farmland of the river Severn Vale, and the east is defined by the Cotswolds with their picturesque villages.

Nearest to the King’s Head are the hills defining the north west edge of the Severn Vale. May Hill with it’s coppice of fir trees on top at about 1000 ft marks the highest point in the surrounding area and is a popular vantage point to see views of the Brecon Beacons, the Malvern Hills, the Cotswold escarpment and the Severn estuary. Look north and you can see the Hergist Ridge and the hills of Shropshire. Don’t stop at just looking; the area has hundreds of miles of footpaths and bridleways that can be enjoyed by all.

By car the Malverns and Cotswolds are 30 – 40 minutes away but the local hills and the Forest of Dean can be reached much quicker.

The local area is largely farmland with many farmers turning to traditional products. Expect to find local cheese makers, cider orchards, vineyards, and rare breed farms all offering delicious tastings at their farm shops.

If you feel adventurous you can go canoeing on the Wye or Mountain biking in the Forest of Dean and if you come when there are “spring” tides you can enjoy the spectacle of the Severn Bore – a giant wave that sweeps up the Severn to Gloucester when the Moon, Sun and wind combine.

Nature lovers will value the area greatly. There are several RSPB reserves within 30 minutes drive where stars include Goshawk, Nightingale, Hawfinches, Peregrines (RSPB manned nest site with telescopes), Pied Flycatchers, Ravens, Woodcock and Nightjars to name but a few. Deer are seen regularly in the Forest of Dean and Otters although little seen are present on all suitable water courses in Gloucestershire.

Photos © 2011 Julian Black