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Art in the Forest

Coleford  is home to an abundance of ways to engage with the arts. Be it out and about in the Forest or in town, there is something for everyone to immerse themselves in and enjoy!

On entering the town via the industrial park, you may notice the iconic sculpture ‘Spirit of The Forest’. Paying homage to both the town’s forest roots and industrial past, this structure won the Coleford Town Council Public Art Competition and is a must see for the arts in Coleford.

Continuing you may notice a variety of murals. These were painted by Tom Cousins, a prolific mural painter within the Forest of Dean. Coleford is proud to call itself home to a number of these murals, which can also be found within many businesses in the town. Coleford Welcomes Walkers  currently have a walk in progress to take you through each one.

Coleford is also proud to support the arts through the many events held in the area throughout the year. Coleford Music Festival in July is a venue for big names and local acts alike, with offerings of music and stalls bringing the town together for a weekend of activity. The festival features a variety of genres and has something for everyone. In the meantime, you can frequently find live music at one of the pubs and restaurants in Town, such as the Art of Coffee, the Old White Hart Inn or the Dog House Micro Pub.

The Coleford Festival of Words  is an annual event supported by the local businesses like The Art of Coffee (who hosted two comedy nights this year) featuring works of music, poetry, storytelling, comedy and more.  Coleford being the birthplace of authors like Dennis Potter, Mary Howitt and Edna Healey and is proud to call itself the current residence of prolific crime novelist Andrew Taylor. The Scarr Bandstand is a natural amphitheatre perfect for a variety of theatrical and musical events. These include the Scarr Brass Fest and a production of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors.

Coleford is also home to plenty of artistry further afield.

The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail  provides insight into contemporary and modern views of the Forest. Each sculpture draws upon the artist’s connection to the forest to tell a story to the over 300,000 visitors the trail receives yearly. it can be walked in just over an hour.

A trip to Forest Holiday’s Zog trail  will find you wandering through colourful panels and participating in a colouring sheet activity competition!

Tudor Farmhouse  offer a variety of arts and crafts experiences such as jewellery making, chunky blanket knitting, wreath making and more.

Clearwell Caves allows you to appreciate the natural cave formations of the Forest while learning of its industrial past. They also host a variety of art-centric events, such as last year’s sculpture exhibition   Keep an eye on their website to see new events as they are announced.

Creative Canopy  hosts a variety of artistic events in a variety of settings. From an artist’s gathering to a creative walk-through nature, their events bring people together and showcase the artistry of the Forest.

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