Ruspidge - Speech House - Ruspidge

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Starting from the Ruspidge Halt, close to the edge of Cinderford, the walk heads to Speech House in the heart of the forest, via Spruce Ride, which is a long straight track through the forest, and despite the name it is given, it is only surrounded by spruce trees close to Speech House. It is worth taking a short diversion from Spruce Ride to see Speech House Lake, that was used as a filming location in Merlin, when it became the mythical lake of Avalon.

Speech House itself is an impressive building, a former hunting lodge, built for Charles II, that is now a hotel. You could stop here for lunch or cream tea, although it is quite expensive, and I am not sure they would appreciate muddy boots. You may prefer to make a small diversion to Beechenhurst, where the café serve a wide selection of cakes and coffee.

Crossing over the road, the walk joins the back end of the sculpture trail for a short section before heading deeper into the forest, to pass what is probably the most impressive of the sculptures featured on the trail. The cathedral window is a 15 foot high stained glass window suspended from the tree canopy.

The walk finishes, by following the linear park along a disused railway line that served the collieries in the area, transporting the coal to Newnham and the River Severn.

England - South West England - Gloucestershire - Forest of Dean


Cafe, Industrial Archaeology, Play Area, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland

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