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Soudley, Forest of Dean - - 1045946.jpg
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Location within Gloucestershire
OS grid reference SO660105
Civil parish
  • Ruspidge and Soudley
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Cinderford
Postcode district GL14
Police Gloucestershire
Fire Gloucestershire
Ambulance South Western
UK Parliament
List of places
51°47′31″N2°29′49″W / 51.792°N 2.497°W / 51.792; -2.497 Coordinates: 51°47′31″N2°29′49″W / 51.792°N 2.497°W / 51.792; -2.497

Soudley is a small village to the west of Cinderford, in the Forest of Dean, west Gloucestershire, England.It joins with Ruspidge to form a civil parish.


Nearby attractions include the Dean Heritage Centre, Soudley Ponds and the Blaize Bailey viewpoint. Activities at the Dean Heritage Centre include chain-saw wood carving and courses on manual wood turning to make items such as chairs and candlestick holders. There are also many educational resources available on site and, as a result, the Centre is regularly frequented by schools from the local area and Wales.

Through the village runs a small river, which hosts the annual Soudley Duck Race. Every year residents and visitors gather to sponsor ducks and race them the length of the village. The day is accompanied by a small fair that takes place in the village hall.

The village has a public house called the White Horse. [1] It has two skittles teams and regularly hosts events such as quiz nights and snail races.

Soudley is a popular destination for tourists visiting the Forest of Dean, largely due to its proximity to the Dean Heritage Centre, but also because the local scenery and the village's location; nestled into a tight valley. There are a number of small guest houses in the village which cater for people who wish to enjoy the local countryside while having a base in Soudley for their holiday.

The village also has a football club that competes in North Gloucestershire Division 2 and is managed by Paul "rat boy" Johnson.

Christmas Penny tradition

A long-standing tradition in the village is that of the Christmas Penny.[ citation needed ] Many years ago,[ vague ] when the village was a hub for coal mining, a local businessman wanted to return something to the (not particularly wealthy) local residents. He decided that on Christmas Day he would allow all the children to come to the village hall and would give them each a penny as a gift. This tradition lives on to this day and on Christmas morning many residents head down to the village hall to receive their penny. This is always accompanied by a small Christmas service with singing and small performances. (As far as I am aware we have stopped doing it) (I am a resident of Soudley and have never heard of it)

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Gloucestershire County of England

Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean.

Forest of Dean geographical, historical and cultural region in Gloucestershire, England

The Forest of Dean is a geographical, historical and cultural region in the western part of the county of Gloucestershire, England. It forms a roughly triangular plateau bounded by the River Wye to the west and northwest, Herefordshire to the north, the River Severn to the south, and the City of Gloucester to the east.

Cinderford Human settlement in England

Cinderford is a small town and civil parish on the eastern fringe of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England, which had a population of 8,494 at the 2011 census.

Forest of Dean District Non-metropolitan district in England

Forest of Dean is a local government district in Gloucestershire, England, named after the Forest of Dean. Its council is based in Coleford. Other towns and villages in the district include Blakeney, Cinderford, Drybrook, English Bicknor, Huntley, Littledean, Longhope, Lea, Lydbrook, Lydney, Mitcheldean, Newnham and Newent

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St Briavels Human settlement in England

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Forest Row Human settlement in England

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Pucklechurch Human settlement in England

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Alvington, Gloucestershire Human settlement in England

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Ashton Keynes Human settlement in England

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Dean Heritage Centre Industrial heritage centre

The Dean Heritage Centre is located in the valley of Soudley, Gloucestershire, England in the Forest of Dean and exists to record and preserve the social and industrial history of the area and its people. The centre comprises the museum itself, a millpond and waterwheel, forester's cottage with garden and animals, art and craft exhibitions and workshops, and trails around the surrounding woodland. In addition, there are picnic tables, barbecue hearths, an adventure playground, a gift shop selling local produce and the Heritage Kitchen, a restaurant providing home-made food.

Littledean Human settlement in England

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Ruspidge Human settlement in England

Ruspidge is a village in the Forest of Dean district of west Gloucestershire, England. The civil parish includes Soudley

Woolaston Human settlement in England

Woolaston is a village and civil parish in the Forest of Dean district of Gloucestershire in South West England. It lies on the north side of the Severn Estuary approximately 5 miles from the Welsh border at Chepstow and is surrounded by woodland and agricultural land.

Staunton, near Coleford, Gloucestershire Human settlement in England

Staunton is a village and civil parish in the Forest of Dean in west Gloucestershire, England, close to the border with Wales.

Soudley Ponds

Lying close to the village of Soudley in the Forest of Dean, west Gloucestershire, Soudley Ponds, also known as Sutton Ponds, comprise four linked man-made ponds lined in succession through the narrow Sutton Valley, and surrounded by stands of tall Douglas Fir. It is a 7.04-hectare (17.4-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest notified in 1984.

The Bullo Pill Railway was an early British railway, completed in 1810 to carry coal mined in the Forest of Dean Coalfield to a port on the River Severn near Newnham, Gloucestershire. It was later converted to a broad gauge steam line by the Great Western Railway, and was closed in the 1960s.

The Forest of Dean Railway was a railway company operating in Gloucestershire, England. It was formed in 1826 when the moribund Bullo Pill Railway and a connected private railway failed, and they were purchased by the new company. At this stage it was a horse-drawn plateway, charging a toll for private hauliers to use it with horse traction. The traffic was chiefly minerals from the Forest of Dean, in the Whimsey and Churchway areas, near modern-day Cinderford, for onward conveyance from Bullo Pill at first, and later by the Great Western Railway.

Upper Soudley Halt railway station is a disused railway station that was opened by the Great Western Railway (GWR) on the former Bullo Pill Railway, later known as the GWR Forest of Dean Branch.

Buckshraft Mine & Bradley Hill Railway Tunnel

Buckshraft Mine & Bradley Hill Railway Tunnel is a 5.66-hectare (14.0-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1998. This site comprises two separate locations. One is Buckshraft Mine which is near the village of Ruspidge. The other location is Bradley Hill Railway Tunnel which is near the village of Soudley.


  1. White Horse Archived 2 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine