Exploring May Hill with kids in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

I’ve really enjoyed visiting our local and nearby bluebell filled woods and forests recently. I’ve been to Buckholt Woods in Cranham, Coopers Hill Nature Reserve and May Hill in the Forest of Dean. The Gloucestershire woodlands are so pretty at this time of year covered in a sea of purple. In this blog post I’ll share some photos and my experience so far of May Hill.

I first went to May Hill for a walk with my friend Scott around 2-3 years ago. Although it’s somewhere I knew about in the Forest and only a 30 minute drive or so from my house, I’d never been.

My walk with Scott was really amazing. Within minutes of walking through the forest we saw wild horses and lots of wild mushrooms. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen wild horses!

We took a long walk through beautiful forest trees before reaching the summit.

I told Ben, my husband, about it all and we tried to redo the walk. Only I’m rubbish with directions and had no idea where Scott parked so me and Ben went far too high up the hill and just found a short walk up to the summit!

This was my second visit to May Hill and it was just me and Ben as my mum had the kids. We hoped for a long walk, but ended up with a much shorter walk due to my lack of directions! It’s still a lovely walk with a clearing to the left of bluebell filled fields and views of hills in the distance and thicker woods to the right hand side.

We wanted to take the kids one day and finally did this on the bank holiday Monday just gone when we were trying to think of free things to do with the kids.

There is cattle grazing near the summit so the kids loved to see the cows, but there’s also a bigger surprise of a cluster of super tall pine trees planted at the very top of the hill!

“May Hill is a prominent English hill between Gloucester and Ross-on-Wye… The hill is readily distinguishable by a clump of trees on its summit, which forms an official Site of Special Scientific Interest” Source: Wikipedia

It’s a great place got the kids to run around and explore, playing in all the trees. Only problem is we were absolutely freezing. The temperature really dipped at the start of May and even in coats we were all shivering and didn’t want to hang around on the windy summit for too long! I can’t remember it being this cold in May before. It felt like a winter day!

There’s a circular iron trench all around the trees, most likely from the Iron Age, which the kids instantly imagined was filled with water and were jumping over! We definitely need to go back with a picnic on a hot day to let their imaginations run wild and explore for longer.

You can see the views all around of all the surrounding hills and there’s a pillar with a guide on the top to show which hills are where.

“Wild and open landmark crowned with a distinctive row of pine trees… open grassland, bracken and gorse with boggy areas and pools… capped by a clump of pine trees planted in 1887 to commemorate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria…

There are beautiful, panoramic views from the top of the hill encompassing the Malvern Hills, the Cotswold Hills, the Severn Vale, the Forest of Dean, Herefordshire and the Black Mountains beyond.” Source: National Trust

It’s a great place for a short or long walk depending on which route you take.

On the way back to Gloucester we stopped at Over Farm which is one of our favourite free places to visit in Gloucestershire with kids to see the animals and grab a warm vegan pasty for lunch! Yum!

Thanks for reading my UK travel blog.

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