If you’re a history buff, you’ll will love the two-hour Royal Historic Tree Trail with an Afternoon Tea, in The Verderers Court of The Speech House.
The tour, for 10-20 people, tells the story of The Speech House, which was built in 1669 by King Charles II, originally as a hunting lodge, and the Verderers Court, which still runs to this day.
Verderers are officials in Britain who deal with common land in certain former royal hunting areas which are the property of the Crown, including the Forest of Dean where the office has existed since at least 1218. You’ll learn all about their powers to protect the trees and environment and manage wildlife such as deer and wild boar and how they are elected. You’ll also hear about their special chairs and the intriguing story of when they were stolen!
Then you will be introduced to some of the hotel’s key features including antique master four-poster beds, historic oil paintings and photographs and, on a short walk, visit the splendid oak trees planted by members of the British Royal Family, including her Majesty the Queen and see the commemorative stone for Prince Albert, beloved husband of Queen Victoria, as well as the listed Monument marking the centre of the Royal Forest of Dean. Your walk will be completed with a tour of the Cyril Hart Arboretum situated behind the Speech House Hotel.
Guided talk and afternoon tea experience – £35 per person based on a minimum of 10 in the party and must be booked in advance and is subject to availability.