11 days out for the kids this Summer by bus in The Forest of Dean

01 Aug 2022

Situated in West Gloucestershire, The Forest of Dean is the perfect place to take your kids on a day out this summer by bus, with attractions such as Clearwell Caves and Puzzlewood there’s something for all of the family to enjoy!

Here are our top 11 days out that we think you and the kids will enjoy during the school summer holidays!

Clearwell Caves

A photograph of Clearwell Caves

Bus route: 23

Location: Coleford


Explore the Forest of Dean’s ancient mining history from the magical Caves in the secret world under the forest trees, there are colourful caverns that are sure to capture your eye and learn about the ancient mine system and the living history of Forest Freeminers!

You or your kids may recognise the caves from the like of tv shows and films such as Doctor Who, Merlin or The Chronicles of Narnia which have all had scenes filmed here, pretty cool right?

The tea rooms, which are situated just outside of the caves, are also great to grab a nice cake that is sure to please your little ones after a jam-packed fun day out.

Dean Heritage Centre

A photograph of the Gruffalo on the trail at the dean heritage centre

Bus route: 24

Location: Soudley


Want to learn about the history and heritage of the forest and the people that have lived there? Then the Dean Heritage Centre will be perfect for you and the kids to visit during the school holidays by bus!

Engage with demonstrations of chainsaw carving and charcoal burning that will leave you feeling inspired, galleries full of history about the heritage of the Forest of Dean that are sure to get you thinking and you can even spot the Gruffalo on your adventure whilst walking along the Gruffalo Trail.

After all of that you can then retire to the Heritage Coffee Shop to grab yourself a slice of yummy cake and there’s also a gift shop to visit to get something to remember your fun day by!


Dean Forest Railway

A photograph of The Dean Railway platform

Bus Route: 23


Transport yourself back in time by hopping onto a steam train at the Dean Forest Railway. They offer fish and chips for lunch whilst onboard, which is sure to keep the kids happy!

Trips on the train offer visitors unique views of the forest that you wouldn’t usually see that will have you staring out of the window the whole time on the scenic relaxing journey.

Once you hop off the train ride you will be able to take in the history of the railway at the museum filled with railway artefacts. When not end the day with  a coffee and cake at the café; delicious!



A photograph of Puzzlewood

Bus Route: 23
Location: Coleford


Puzzlewood is filled with beautiful wildlife and has a magical atmosphere for you and your kids to feel like you’re in a fairy-tale this summer.

The magical woodland is located within Coleford and is filled with stunning wildlife; try spotting the deer’s, foxes, rabbits and more on your visit.

This woodland is also filled of rock formations, secret caves and ancient trees, which are sure to get your kids wanting to explore further and not to forget the amazing trees that make up this amazing woodland such as oak, beech, ash, lime and yew.

There are Shetland ponies, highland cattle and soay sheep also on site providing a great opportunity for your children to interact with animals.


Bathurst Pool

A photograph of Bathurst Pool

Bus Route: 23

Location: Lydney


Want to feel like you’re in a different country without the cost? Then bathe in the sun next to an outdoor pool whilst in the Forest of Dean.

Bathurst pool is perfect for those hot summer days when the whole family needs a cool down and some time to relax in the sun, there’s even new picnic tables made out of recycled milk bottles (very eco-friendly) to enjoy a lovely picnic.

It’s sure to be a hit with the kids and easy to travel to by bus!


Taurus Crafts

A photograph of children doing arts and crafts

Bus route: 24

Location: Lydney


Taurus Crafts has a unique gift shop that offers a range of items made by people with learning disabilities. The gift shop sells a diverse range of gifts, clothing and homeware, perfect for whatever you may be looking for on the day.

They also have family activities throughout the year, ideal for bringing out your families creative side.

By visiting you will be helping people with mental health and learning disabilities receive more opportunities by purchasing the items made by them sold in the shop.

There is also a great café to treat your little ones to something sweet during the day!

Harts Barn Cookery School

A photograph of two children and a mother at Harts Barn Cookery School

Bus route: 24

Location: Longhope



Want to start getting the kids more involved in cooking? Then why not bring them along to Harts Barn Cookery School and get them involved by working together and cooking up a three-course meal and then the best part, you get to eat it all after.

The Old Diary Tea Rooms is also perfect for grabbing a treat made from local produce, after all your hard work cooking.

Perrygrove Railway

A photograph taken at Perrygrove Railway

Bus route: 23

Location: Coleford



Want to take train rides on steam trains as many times as you like throughout the day? You can do just that at Perrygrove Railway. You can use your ticket all day to take as many train rides with the kids as you wish, perfect for keeping the little ones entertained.

There are also plenty of treehouses to explore and you’ll get amazing views from the forest whilst up in the treetops.


Yat Pottery Art and Home

A photograph of pottery

Bus route: 33

Location: Ross–on-Wye


Why not get creative with the kids this summer and take up pottery? There are classes for adults and kids run by a professional that are sure to have you becoming a pro in no time!

They offer a one-off course if you just want to give it a go for the day or if you want to take this up as a hobby with the kids then they also offer longer courses that will give you more in-depth lessons on how to be creative with pottery.

Lydney Park Estate

A photograph of Lydney Park

Bus route: 23

Location: Lydney



Wander around lovely gardens full of beautiful flowers at the Lydney Park Estate. You will find flowering cherries, magnolias, spring flowering shrubs and spring bulbs at the entrance of the park that will entice you to explore further, the kids are sure to love all the bright colours from the beautiful borders on display..

You can travel back in time and find out more about the Romans at the ruins and inside the museum, perfect for the kids to gain some history knowledge.

Ross-on-wye Canoe Hire

A photograph of people in canoes

Bus route: 33

Location: Ross-on-wye



Want to take a trip down the river Wye and experience the amazing views of Ross? Then consider hiring canoes for the whole family from the Ross-on-Wye canoe hire.

You’ll get to experience Ross-on-Wye like never before by catching some amazing riverside views and you’ll see plenty of swans and ducks whilst on your travels.

You’ll even get to stop off at Symonds Yat where you’ll be surrounded by stunning views of the Forest of Dean and there are plenty of places to stop off and have a lovely family picnic.

There are so many things to do in the Forest of Dean that you can easily travel to by bus, making it great for saving money on travel and getting to spend quality time with the kids this summer!

Use our online journey planner or download the Stagecoach Bus App to start planning your day trip to the Forest of Dean. Using the live map on our app you can locate your nearest bus stop, see how far the next bus is from your stop and then track your journey on the way so you know when to get off, super handy when you’re unfamiliar with the  area.

Ticketing information:

For travel for you and the family, the best value ticket is the West Gold Group DayRider available to buy from the driver for £15.00 or get it on the app for even cheaper at £14.60.

Valid for travel all day for up to four people (any combination of adults and children) it's a great choice for travelling anywhere on our network. Trips are limitless so you can hop on and off to explore as many places as you can.