11 incredible Christmas gifts to buy from the Forest of Dean

Pick up unique presents and support local businesses this Christmas, with SoGlos handpicking 11 incredible gifts from the Forest of Dean to buy this festive season.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
Shop local in the Forest of Dean this festive season and pick up a plethora of unique Christmas gifts.
In partnership with Forest of Dean District Council  |  visitdeanwye.co.uk
Forest of Dean District Council

Forest of Dean District Council is encouraging people to shop local and support independent businesses in the area this Christmas, for unique gifts and experiences they won't find anywhere else. The council also lends its support to the local tourism association, Visit Dean Wye, to inspire visitors to find their freedom and make the most of everything the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley have to offer.

The Forest of Dean is bursting with independent businesses creating everything from craft cider and spirits to handmade jewellery, which make for truly unique presents this festive season. 

In this hot list, SoGlos rounds up 11 great gifts from independent businesses in the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley, with ideas for art lovers, foodies, staycationers and more. 

Forestry England membership

With six Forestry England sites across the Forest of Dean, including the beautiful Beechenhurst, the idyllic Cannop Ponds and the spectacular Symonds Yat, an annual membership is the perfect gift for outdoorsy types - and one they can enjoy again and again throughout the year. 

Annual memberships cost £40 each and entitle the lucky recipient to free parking all year round at all six sites in the forest; discounts at the Beechenhurst Café, Go Ape and Forest Holidays; and two for one entry to Puzzlewood, all while helping to protect and preserve the forest for future generations. 

Local food hamper from Forest Deli

Coleford's Forest Deli offers a 'build your own gift' service that's ideal for Forest-loving foodies. Choose a stylish hamper, tray or jute bag and fill it with delicious local produce like wild boar pâté, Snowdonia cheese, locally-brewed beer, Wye Valley gin and mead.

Or if you're not the creative type, it offers a selection of expertly-curated hampers, already packed and ready to gift. 

Float in the Forest gift card

After a stressful year, give the gift of relaxation with a session at Float in the Forest in Lydney. This uniquely relaxing experience sees guests immerse themselves in a bath of warm water saturated with Epsom salt, with low light and minimal sound, to help their worries float away - with the added stress-relieving bonus of being located in one of Gloucestershire's most beautiful natural environments.

Christmas gift cards start from £60 for one float, with options for multiple sessions available, too. 

Handmade jewellery from Anna Fine Jewellery

Ethical jewellery designer and goldsmith, Anna Mcloughlin, creates beautiful, handmade jewellery from her studio in Lydney - and has recently opened an online shop, just in time for Christmas 2022.

Her unique designs feature recycled silver, gold and even diamonds, with earrings, bangles, pendants and rings available to buy. Prices start from £40. 

Severn Cider gifts and tours

Described as 'the home of real cider and perry', Severn Cider makes multi-award-winning cider and perry at its mill in Awre, just outside Newnham, using local ingredients including the famous Blakeney Red perry pear.

Offering a variety of gifts for cider lovers, treat them to a cider tasting experience for £10 per person, with a minimum of four guests; a three- or four-bottle gift pack with a selection of ciders for £25; or let them choose their favourites with a gift card to spend in the online shop.

Handcrafted Christmas decorations from Taurus Crafts

With a dedicated Christmas shop packed full of beautiful decorations handmade by local artists and crafters, Taurus Crafts is the perfect place to pick up unique and thoughtful gifts in the Forest. 

Alongside the gift shop, which is open every day, it is also hosting Christmas markets on the first three weekends of December 2022, with everything from homemade preserves and sweets to original artwork, jewellery and gifts on offer, direct from the lovely people who made them. 

A staycation at Secret Escape to the Forest

Is there anything more magical than spending a night under the stars? At Secret Escape to the Forest near Coleford, bespoke-made shepherds huts come with cosy wood burning stoves, a comfy double bed and an ensuite, with everything guests need for a relaxing staycation.

Whether you're treating yourself to a romantic night away, or giving an extra special gift to someone you love, stays cost £100 per night and can be booked throughout the year. 

Artisan chocolates from The Chocolate Bar

Artisanal chocolate maker, The Chocolate Bar, makes its mouth-watering handmade chocolates at its base at Taurus Crafts in Lydney. Flavoured using local ingredients wherever possible, visitors can pop in to take their pick of the treats made on-site each day, or buy a selection from its online shop. 

Ideal for anyone with a sweet tooth, gift options include small bags of eight chocs from its current range - featuring flavours like raspberry and chilli, caramel latte and pecan praline caramel - for £4.50; its adorable selection of 10 wild boar-shaped chocolates for £8; up to its extra large selection box for £23.50. It even sells 'a hug in a mug' with four chocolates nestled inside a handmade ceramic mug, perfect for a cute Secret Santa gift! 

Gift vouchers for The Speech House Hotel

Originally built in 1669 for King Charles II, no less, the spectacular Speech House Hotel in Coleford is an incredible place to stay. Surrounded by ancient woodlands, there are walking and cycling trails all around - or if you'd prefer to soak in the historic surroundings, guests can enjoy fine dining in the Forest of Dean's former courthouse or a relaxed meal in the orangery, with views over the gorgeous grounds. 

Gift vouchers available from the hotel include afternoon tea for two for £35; a three-course dinner for two at The Verderers restaurant for £75; or for the ultimate Christmas gift for someone really special, an overnight stay in a room with a four-poster bed, plus a bottle of Champagne, for £250. 

Wye Valley gin and cocktails

With all of its spirits made on-site at its micro distillery near Tintern, the award-winning Silver Circle Distillery offers a range of drinks that are sure to get everyone into the Christmas spirit.

From its craft aquavit, Wye Valley gin and black garlic vodka, to premixed cocktails including a damson negroni, coconut espresso martini and a paradiso collins, there's plenty to choose from. You can even buy gift vouchers for a 'make your own gin' experience, where the lucky recipient will get to handcraft a bottle of their own unique recipe gin to take home. 

Local arts and crafts from Made in Ross

Offering an eclectic selection of arts and crafts, including handcrafted jewellery, textiles, mosaics, wooden ornaments, stained glass and original paintings, there's a whole variety of items for the art-lovers on your list at Made in Ross – just over the Herefordshire border in Ross-on-Wye.

As well as picking up a completely unique Christmas gift for the art lover in your life and supporting a small, independent craftsperson, shoppers can enjoy the free gallery exhibitions while they shop, too. 

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