Family day out in the excellent and beautiful Forest of Dean – cycling on the family trail and zip wire fun at the National Dive Centre.


We popped over to the Forest of Dean last weekend for some family adventure time! First up was ‘The Wire’ at the National Diving & Activity Centre in Chepstow. Which was a pretty spectacular 700 meter zip wire across a flooded quarry! Luckily I’m not really afraid of heights because standing at the top of the zip wire ready to go does make your legs go a bit wobbly! But once you set off all those thoughts are quickly forgotten, and it definitely put a smile on my face! It is actually quite a smooth and gentle ride of the top of the quarry – with a lovely view! What is great about this experience is that the whole family can join in (if they are brave enough!) with the youngest in our group being just 6 years old.

From there we drove across to the biking trails at Cannop in the Forest of Dean. I’ve been mountain biking before in the Forest of Dean (pre-baby!) but this was the first time trying the little man out on a slightly longer, more adventurous trail on the back of my bike.

The family cycle trail is an 11 mile circular route – all way marked on a loose surface path. The first couple of miles is a gradual uphill through beautiful woodland – nothing too testing but for little ones on smaller bikes with smaller wheels it is quite an effort and they might need the ‘carrot’ of a biscuit at the top to keep going. The trail then flattens out and gently undulates through the forest. We stopped at the lovely Mallards Pike Lake for a well deserved ice-cream and a nice cup of tea before doing the last half of the trail which is mostly downhill. The whole route took a couple of hours at a gentle pace – it is a lovely route through the forest with some little sections of ‘blue trail’ off the family trail for the kids to try something a little more adventurous. The trail is well sign-posted and easy to follow with distance markers (the kids loved seeing how far they had come/got to go) the only thing to note is that the surface is quite loose and it gave me a few hairy moments with the extra weight of the little man on the back so I would definitely go with wider rather then thinner tyres! We will be back it was a lovely day out.

Been on a good family cycle ride? Tweet @ownthetrail

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