The Dean Heritage Centre
Gateway to the Forest of Dean

The Gruffalo Trail
Admission & Opening Times
Sign up for our Newsletter
Admission & Opening Times
Sign up for our Newsletter
 Gruffalo Autumn


The Dean Heritage Centre is the perfect place for a fun, family day out. With five acres to explore, the centre has something for everyone and a variety of interesting and unique attractions set against a spectacular forest backdrop.



With a full programme of special events, exhibitions and art shows, there's always something new and exciting to interest, inspire or surprise you.


The Centre offers a range of fun and interactive workshops for schools and groups throughout the year. Learning packages can be tailored to meet all of your school requirements.


With around 20,000 artefacts, five onsite galleries, outdoor displays, a research library and guided tours on offer, the museum tells the story of the Forest from the Ice Age to the present day.


The Centre is a registered charity and your donations help us to provide educational activities, events, exhibitions and community outreach to preserve the unique history and heritage of the Forest of Dean.

What's On at the Dean Heritage Centre


Saturday 27th - Monday 29th May 2017

Fire and Wood Festival


14TH May - 4TH June 2017

CREATIVE COLLAB; an exciting collaborative exhibition featuring locally based artists


17th March - 11th June

Herbert Howells Exhibition
To commemorate the 125th anniversary of the birth of Herbert Howells

Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition

14th April - 4th June 2017

Recycled and Reclaimed
Sculptures from Salvage

Look out for the yellow signs when you get to Soudley and if the car park is full then please use the overflow car park in Soudley School (if this is full, then please do be careful where you park to ensure your families and others safety).



What is the Dean Heritage Centre

The Dean Heritage Centre is one of Gloucestershire's leading attractions. Set across a stunning and fully interactive five acre site, the centre protects and preserves the unique history and heritage of the beautiful Forest of Dean.


With a wide range of things to do and see, including five onsite galleries exploring the history of the Forest from the Ice Age to the present day; a reconstructed Victorian cottage; a charcoal burner's camp; a woodland playground; chainsaw carving demonstrations; a variety of animals, an onsite gift shop and cafe there's always something new and exciting to interest, inspire and surprise you.


With a full programme of special events, exhibitions, art shows and educational workshops across the year, it's a great day out for all the family.



Please note that only guide and assistance dogs are allowed within the grounds and galleries of the DHC. They are more than welcome on the terrace of our cafe and can be taken on lovely walks around Soudley Ponds or the Bradley Hill Trail.



Dean Heritage Centre Events

The Gruffalo Woodland Trail

The Gruffalo at the Dean Heritage Centre

Our woodland trail based on the much loved children's book, The Gruffalo.

Back by popular demand, wander with the famous mouse as he makes his journey through the woodland, meeting the various animals along the way. Discover how he gets out of some tricky situations and enjoy the brilliant story, whilst admiring these much loved character carvings.

Are you brave enough to have a go at our wobbly bridge - while your there can you spot our Rainbow Trout, kingfisher and dippers - you may also get lucky and see our ducklings.


"Fab for families"


"We went to the centre on May bank holiday for the launch of the Hungry Caterpillar trail. It was packed and we had to park in the overflow, but it was a fantastic day." May 2015


"A lovely find"


"A pleasant and interesting tour round the museum. Lots of hands on stuff for children (and adults!). I enjoyed the little cottage. We had homemade soup in the cafe. Excellent value for money and we noticed they do a three course roast for £12! Lovely staff. Would come again and try and sit outside on the balcony overlooking the water."April 2015