The Dean Heritage Centre
Gateway to the Forest of Dean

The Gruffalo Trail
Admission & Opening Times
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Admission & Opening Times
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Get Involved at the Dean Heritage Centre


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

Fire & Wood Festival

26 - 28th May

Half term activities:
29th May - Discover Ogham with Ken

30th May - Forest foraging and fire lighting with Alex

31st May - Creative fire with Amanda

1st June - Mini camp fire sculptures with Jayme-Lee

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.

We are pleased to announce that the new tearoom is now open.


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"


" It was by far the best day of our holiday from watching the wood carving before we came in, to playing schools in the victorian class room with a multitude of craft/ creative activities in between it was brilliant! Our kids particularly loved learning about making flour and celtic weapons in the tent (and making their own shields), following and reading the gruffalo trail, making fairy gardens and plaster casts, taking brass rubbings and smelling the smelly boxes! You have a great business there. All the best for the future! Pete, October 2017


"A great resource"


"A few years ago, you were enormously helpful to me when I came in to research the history of lumberjills and Italians POWs in the Forest in World War Two. I'm delighted to say that the novel I was researching has been bought by publishers and will be published next July. That wouldn't have been possible without your input, so thank you so much!
Sarah Franklin, December 2016