Westbury is a small village (just over a mile across) located above a loop in the River Severn. A focal point of the village is the half-timbered Red Lion Inn, on Bell Lane, which overlooks the old market cross.
The large parish church of St Peter and St Paul (circa 1300) is rather unusual in that it has a separate stone tower, topped with a wooden spire. The tower was built around 1270 as a garrison or watch tower to guard the river and the spire was added later. It has a peal of six bells, once the heaviest ring of six in Gloucestershire.
The village lies within the District of the Forest of Dean, although the forest no longer extends into the village. The main forested area lies a few miles to the west and is a lovely spot for a leisurely walk or drive.
The village is best known as the home of the National Trust's Westbury Court Garden.
A lovely 5 acre garden, laid out in the late 18th-c by Colonel Maynard Colchester, with linear canals and neatly trimmed yew hedges. The garden has been fully restored to its original condition, including a distinctly Dutch summer house, shaped like a square lantern. Read more about Westbury Court Garden.
The ancient Forest of Dean is one of the oldest Royal forests in Britain. The area is home to conifers, native oaks, yews, beech and ash - many of which are over 500 years old. In Tudor times these trees were felled to provide timber for houses and ships.
Forest of Dean Drive © Travel About Britain
A walk through the forest provides an idea of what most of Britain would have been like thousands of years ago, before farmers began clearing the land. The area has been made easily accessible today with nature trails, picnic sites and way-marked routes. There is also a forest drive (shown above) and a number of camping and caravan sites nearby.