Puzzlewood – Fun And Film In The Forest Of Dean


During our recent trip to the Forest of Dean we realised that we were staying only a few miles from Puzzlewood. We were already aware that it was a popular film location so we decided to take a look.

We arrived at an unassuming entrance just off the B4228. There was a kids play area, some farm animals and two of the loudest donkeys we’ve ever heard. Our first impressions were that it was just an attraction for young kids however, as soon as we entered the woods it was clear that Puzzlwood had more to offer, much more.


Moss covered rock formations

Entering The Woods

As soon as as you enter the 14 acres of woodland you can easily understand why it is reputed that JRR Tolkien took the inspiration for Middle Earth from Puzzlewood. Within yards of entering you are surrounding by strange, moss covered rock formations entwined with the roots of the trees which tower above. As you continue to walk down the paths you are no longer a few 100 yards from the B4228. Instead, kids and adults alike, you have now been transported to somewhere magical, mysterious and enchanted.

Gulleys of puzzlewood

Wandering through the gulleys of Puzzlewood

The History And Geology Of Puzzlewood

Why is the landscape of Puzzlewood so extraordinary? The technical word for the features is ‘scowles‘. These are formed when the natural underground cave system becomes exposed at the surface due to erosion. These rock formations were exploited by early iron age settlers looking for iron ore, this continued to until Roman times. Three jars containing over 3,000 Roman coins were found on the site in 1848.

Star Wars Location

Puzzlewood was used as a location in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

A Location For TV And Film

When exploring the myriad of paths in Puzzlewood you can easily understand why it is such a popular location for TV and film, especially in the genre of sci-fi, fantasy and adventure. It makes such a perfect ready made atmospheric set.

It has been used as a film location for major blockbusters such as Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.  It also makes a regular  spooky appearance in Dr Who, Merlin, Da Vinci’s Demons and Atlantis.

Whether you are a fan or not  of any of these films or TV programmes Puzzlewood is definitely worth a visit. The enchanting  surroundings will surely carry you away to a mystical world, whatever your age.

Puzzlewood can be found in the Forest of Dean at: Perrygrove Road, Coleford, England, GL16 8QB

Have you been to any famous film or TV location? Which of these do you recommend visiting.

Puzzlewood On Location

You Might Also Like

  • Bear and Cardigan
    December 8, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    We visited Puzzlewood at the beginning of the year and absolutely loved it. We did have a toddler and there was lots for him to do too. Its a great day out.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 9, 2016 at 7:35 am

      Yes, there was quite a lot to do. The woods themselves are amazing.

  • Kerry Norris
    December 9, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been. Perhaps I’ll be able to go over the school holidays x

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 9, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      If you get chance and you are in the area, its worth a trip. There is quite a few attractions nearby too, like a sculpture trail and a steam railway.

  • Amelie
    December 10, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Whoa this place looks pretty magical! Weird there aren’t more people?

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 10, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      It was a very cold day although it was a Saturday. In the winter it is only open on Wednesday and the weekends. It’s very atmospheric without many people.

  • Alana
    December 10, 2016 at 9:37 am

    It looks fab there. I only heard of Puzzlewood this year but I’d love to visit.
    Alana x

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 10, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      It a great place to visit, go early to avoid other people and get more of the atmosphere.

  • Katy
    December 10, 2016 at 10:34 am

    This is so close by to us but I never knew it existed. Thanks for sharing – I’m bookmarking for when it gets a little warmer and we can go exploring as my husband loves all those films/shows

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 10, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      A lot of places in the UK have quite understated marketing. They could take a few tips from some US attractions. There are even more shows filmed there in addition to the ones listed.

  • Kate @ Love From Scotland
    December 10, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    What a great place! I’d love to visit something like this. In Scotland we have Puck’s Glen which was used for filming Outlander and many other films and TV. It is on my list!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 10, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      There are so many places in the UK that we still need to discover.

  • Fiona Maclean
    December 10, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Well, I’ve seen the ‘door’ and the bookshop in Notting Hill – not sure that counts! I have seen a few in Croatia though…

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 10, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      The famous blue door. Is the bookshop an actual bookshop?

  • Cameron
    December 10, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    What a fascinating place! I wish you had posted more photos I would have loved to see more.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 10, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      It was a fascinating place, you can see more of it in a section of this video we have just put on YouTube

  • anna
    December 11, 2016 at 3:46 am

    How cool is that! I’m sure star wars fans would love this place.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 12, 2016 at 8:18 am

      There were a couple of fans arriving but also a few, older JRR Tolkein fans too.

  • Vicki Louise
    December 11, 2016 at 5:17 am

    I’m ashamed to say I’d never heard of Puzzelwood! It looks very green and fairytale like – and you can totally see why it has been the location for so many blockbuster films!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 12, 2016 at 8:19 am

      We were unaware of it too, it was very discrete considering how many big films were made there.

  • shobha
    December 11, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    very cool! I didn’t know it was such a big film location. My kids are big Star Wars buffs and they’d love to see this.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 12, 2016 at 8:21 am

      We didn’t know how many big films were filmed there either. It is perfect for Star Wars fans, one person was looking for the ‘exact’ spots used in the film.

  • Indrani
    December 12, 2016 at 10:28 am

    How exciting! I always enjoy visiting movie shooting locations. We have some here very close to Bangalore and try to take exactly similar frames. The location here does seem perfect for Star wars!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 12, 2016 at 11:28 am

      There were people trying to find the exact location and take the Star Wars ‘film shot’ when we were there.

  • Travelling Tom
    December 12, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    I had no idea they filmed parts of Star Wars there, that’s interesting! What part of the UK is Puzzlewood in? I’ve never heard of it before this post!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 12, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      It’s in the Forest of Dean near the border between England and South Wales. The Forest of Dean and nearby Wye Valley has a lot to explore.