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If you have ever been privileged enough to see part or all of the Forest of Dean, you will know what a beautiful place it is. While it is ideal to visit during the summer months when you can take part in long rambling walks around the forest, you can also visit during winter. If you can imagine the trees and other plants in the forest showered with frost as the weather worsens, you can appreciate just how magical it can be there.

If you have time to visit this charming part of the country before or after Christmas this year, there is an extra reason to visit as well. The acclaimed artist Sarah King has painted a range of oil paintings to depict the Forest of Dean as she sees it. These paintings are now on show as part of an exhibition called “The Joy of the Forest”. It is an appropriate name for the Forest of Dean, and the paintings have been created over the past four years.

Even though you will be visiting the exhibition during the depths of the winter months, the paintings that form the display have been created during the entire year. They depict scenes from all four seasons, giving you an idea of how enchanting the forest looks no matter when you happen to visit it.

The exhibition is taking place now – having started on the 12th November – at the Dean Heritage Centre. This can be found at Camp Mill, Soudley, and the post code is GL14 2UB. This should help you locate it on Google maps and also on the sat nav if you have one. The exhibition continues until the 6th January, so if you don’t have time to visit it during the hectic run up to Christmas, you can still catch it over the festive period and in the first few days of the New Year.

The Dean Heritage Centre always has events taking place and good reasons to go there too. No matter when you decide to visit you can learn a lot about the Forest of Dean, and indeed the Heritage Centre is known as the gateway to the area. If you have never visited it before you should definitely start here to gain a better understanding of the area before exploring it in more detail.

Of course if you are intent on visiting the Forest of Dean you can consider staying for a few days in one of the many Wye Valley cottages that are available to book. These are very popular all year round so be sure to consider looking at what is available as quickly as you can. Christmas and New Year are always popular times to get away for many people. The Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean are popular places to head for too, so the sooner you book your cottage in the Forest of Dean, the better. You can then look forward to seeing the exhibition among the many other activities you can do.