Visiting Puzzlewood, Magical Woodland in The Forest of Dean


Puzzlewood claims to be “a magical woodland in the Forest of Dean.” As we were staying in the area for the weekend we thought we’d head over to check out the magical claims for ourselves.

We were staying in The Forest of Dean, at Whitemead Forest Holiday Park using Nanny and Grandad’s motorhome. Our annual insurance, that we got on the motorhome, for our trip to Blackpool last year, was about to run out so we thought we’d best make the use of it. Also, being realistic it was probably the last time that we will make use of it for a while as it’s not going to be very practical with a new born on the way.

Puzzlewood was only a 10 minute drive from our holiday park. Being 32 weeks pregnant I’d planned a relatively chilled weekend for us. I was hoping to spend some quality time together before our family expanded. It was also a great opportunity to get out into the fresh Autumn air and explore the nature of the area.

As we entered into Puzzlewood it was instantaneous agreement among Team Mack that it looked magical. Ahead we could see paths forking off in different directions, some high and some low. The trees towering above us had spread their roots far and wide, twisting out onto the paths. Mini said that she thought there was a witch living in the forest. I preferred the nicer options of woodland fairies.

The forest was created over thousands of years, as natural erosion occurred and exposed iron ore that is common in the area. The various trees like the iron ore and their roots grow around it, creating the magical root formations.

Before we went into the forest, Mr Mack downloaded the free Puzzlewood App on his phone. We then had to try to find 10 coins hidden within the forest. When they were found you could capture them using the app and add to your bag of treasure. We had a good explore of the different paths however only managed to find 6 of the coins. There’s no map as such of Puzzlewood so you just get to go wander and explore. Who knows, perhaps we walked around the same part over and over in a loop.


Puzzlewood has been featured in lots of film and tv productions over the years and it’s easy to see why. Productions such as Merlin, Tree Fu Tom and Doctor Who have all taken advantage of the breath-taking scenery to showcase fantasy worlds. It is also believed that JRR Tolkien used Puzzlewood for inspiration for his Middle Earth in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, after it was known that he had spent time in the area when writing the books.

On site there was also a café and small gift shop. Additionally, Mini enjoyed playing on the adventure playground and saying hello to the goats and ponies. Just before the entrance to the Puzzlewood, we also came across a barn with a good selection of ride on toys for little ones and an indoor maze.

We all enjoyed our visit to Puzzlewood, it was a really special place to admire the beauty of nature. It was also lovely to just get out into the fresh air and explore, it also helped to work off our roast dinner too! I would definitely recommend a visit to Puzzlewood and would love to visit again in the future, and maybe we’ll get to find the missing 4 gold coins.

Due to the narrow and winding paths at Puzzlewood pushchairs are not allowed, it also wouldn’t be suitable for those with limited mobility.


For up to date opening times and ticket prices, please visit the Puzzlewood website here.

During our weekend away we also visited Perrygrove Steam Railway, which happened to be just over the road from Puzzlewood. If you have a day to spend in the area why not fit in a visit to both on the same day.



  1. October 29, 2018 / 12:17 pm

    Oh wow! Puzzlewood looks so beautiful, what a special place. I must note this down to visit some time.

    • mommamack15
      October 30, 2018 / 8:58 am

      It really was such a lovely day out

  2. October 29, 2018 / 7:35 pm

    This looks amazing! I grew up not too far from there but have never been. It looks a great place to explore and somewhere we will have to go when we visit the UK

    • mommamack15
      October 30, 2018 / 8:59 am

      Yes definitely, such a unique, beautiful place

  3. October 30, 2018 / 8:01 am

    Wow this place looks amazing! I’d happily spend time wondering with no map. It is beautiful. I love the bridge! Bonus with the park and barn too.

  4. October 30, 2018 / 9:36 am

    Sounds like a fun way to spend the weekend especially since it was so close to your holiday park.

    • mommamack15
      October 31, 2018 / 11:24 am

      It was so handy, only being 10 minutes away

  5. October 30, 2018 / 9:53 am

    Wow, that looks like magical forest if ever I saw one. Would love to take my boys there!

    • mommamack15
      October 31, 2018 / 11:25 am

      It really was, you could definitely understand why it’s been featured in so many TV shows

  6. October 30, 2018 / 11:57 am

    That does look like a magical place! I love how old the trees are and how they look. And the paths look inviting as well!

    • mommamack15
      October 31, 2018 / 11:26 am

      Everywhere you looked there were different shapes in the trees, so interesting

  7. October 30, 2018 / 12:23 pm

    Oh wow this looks like an incredible place to discover and I can see why it’s been featured in so many films!

    • mommamack15
      October 31, 2018 / 11:26 am

      I agree, it definitely reminded me of the Lord of the Rings films

  8. October 30, 2018 / 7:02 pm

    This looks like an amazing place to visit. I just love being in the forest, it has such a magical feel to it 🙂

    • mommamack15
      October 31, 2018 / 11:26 am

      It was so peaceful too, just a lovely place to escape to for a few hours

  9. November 1, 2018 / 10:25 am

    Ooh, I’ve never heard of Puzzlewood before, but it sounds fab! I’ll have to remember it for if we’re ever nearby 🙂

    Louise x

    • mommamack15
      November 4, 2018 / 4:53 pm

      Definitely keep it in mind if you’re ever in the Forest of Dean

  10. November 3, 2018 / 11:17 am

    This sounds like a great day out with the family. I always find it therapeutic exploring a forest like this.

    • mommamack15
      November 4, 2018 / 5:00 pm

      It was great to just get out in the fresh air and enjoy nature together.

  11. November 11, 2018 / 7:20 am

    It looks so beautiful and peaceful, puzzlewood is on my to do list of places to visit in the future. I’m glad you and your family enjoyed your visit to the forest.
    Emma x

    • mommamack15
      November 11, 2018 / 10:04 am

      Enjoy your future visit too, it really is a beautiful place.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: