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Art among the trees in the Forest of Dean // In pictures

Stained glass window at the Scultpure Trail

As you follow winding paths through Gloucestershire’s Forest of Dean, don’t be too surprised if you come across a huge wooden chair or a deer spun from iron wire. They’re all part of the four-mile Sculpture Trail. Set up in 1986, it was designed to bring art into nature, with different artists commissioned to produce sculptures inspired by the forest. And almost 30 years on the project is still running, with 16 permanent and temporary artworks. I’ve been visiting since it opened and have some old favourites there since the start – like ‘Place’, a giant’s chair on a hillside overlooking the Cannop Valley, and ‘Iron Road’, a path of carved wooden railway sleepers on a stretch of disused railway track. Some sculptures are so subtle you could almost miss them, like the steel plates on the forest floor of ‘Dead Wood, and some are colourfully eye-catching, like the 15 foot by 10 foot stained-glass window of ‘Cathedral’, hanging between the trees.

Cathedral stained glass window
Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail
Giant chair on the Sculpture trail
Forest of Dean artworks
Sculptures in the Forest of Dean
Carved railway sleepers

The details

The Sculpture Trail starts from Beechenhurst Lodge in the Forest of Dean, where you can park and buy a map of the route for £1 (generally a good idea as the route isn’t always hugely clear and we’ve never made it round without getting slightly lost!). The trail is about 4.5 miles long and takes two–three hours (though there are a couple of marked shortcuts). Entry to the trail is free and the site is open from 8am to dusk. You can find out more about the project and each artwork on the the Sculpture Trail website.

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Art among the trees in the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail – On the Luce travel blog


Friday 17th of March 2017

This is really cool! I was planning to go to Tintern Abbey at some point so this would be a good stop along the way as well!


Sunday 19th of March 2017

They've changed a couple of the sculptures recently so I must go back and check them out!


Friday 29th of May 2015

My gosh what a beautiful idea! I love that glass painting, I can't stop looking at it. How does an artist get involved?


Sunday 3rd of May 2015

Thanks for sharing this information! I'm a huge fan of art and nature so this is a great place for me to visit!


Tuesday 5th of May 2015

Great, hope you get to make the trip sometime!

Where's Zoe Now?

Saturday 2nd of May 2015

So cool! I love this sort of art, it always feels much more accessible when it's out of a formal gallery setting :)


Tuesday 5th of May 2015

I agree, it's so nice to see it out among the landscape which inspired it.

Traveling Rockhopper

Wednesday 29th of April 2015

great pictures!


Wednesday 29th of April 2015

Thanks so much!