A quiet calm and stillness will comfort your soul as you wander beneath a canopy of trees and explore the spellbound forest at Cloven. Enjoy photography, horseback riding, the stone circle, hot springs and more.
So reads the description of Cloven Forest, the Full region design by Nova Murray that lies surrounded by mountains and offers a wooded landscape suggestive of great age, and where feet (and hooves can wander freely.
Naturally set beneath a night sky – I’ve opted to use daylight settings in the images here – the region may include the LI bonus available to Full private region, but the setting doesn’t in any way feel overloaded. Instead, it presents a landscape that undulates gently beneath that canopy of trees, shadowed avenues passing beneath their cover.
These avenues are largely natural in nature, broad swathes of grass unburdened by track or paved surface. Periodically lit by by flower-shaped lanterns, these natural trails are easy to follow on foot and ideal for riding if you have a wearable horse.
Towards the centre of the region there rises a gentle hill, crowned by mature oak trees, and from which the two streams that cut through the land issue, presumably sourced by an underground aquifer. Whilst spanned by bridges, neither of these fast-flowing streams presents a real hazard to navigation, although the splashing waters of one has attracted a small family of black bears, a small sample of the wildlife scattered throughout the forest.
The sense of age to be found here is not only offered by the great height and maturity of many of the trees, but also in the ruins to be found as one explores. These range from the remnants of what might have been a fortification crowning the flattened top of a hill to the west and what is left of an old church and grave yard occupying the lowlands below, to an inner garden where the trees have been draped in lights, and a stone conservatory and fountain stand, both carrying a hint of fantasy to them that contrasts nicely with the more medieval look to the ruins.
Marked by a drystone wall with a single circular entrance guarded by two aged trees, this garden is just one of a number of places within the forest offering places to pass the time. Another such space come with pagan elements in the form of tree trunks craved into the form of a couple joining in matrimony, the fire and circle of seats nearby bracketed by barrels of wine or mead to one side and a small natural alter to the old gods on the other.
Other places to sit lay scattered throughout, with one of them carrying a more modern vibe to it: a small camp site that almost borders on glamping, sitting on a table of rock rising from alongside the aforementioned garden space.
The one path that is to be found within the region runs alongside the north side of the island, passing through an area of younger woodland (going by the height of the trees) among which is hidden a wooden watch tower that overlooks the waters beyond the region. Passing beyond the tower, the path eventually branches, its two ends eventually delivering those who follow them to the old church ruins.
With the landing point tucked into the north-east corner of the setting, balanced by a ring of standing stones in the south-east corner, Cloven Forest has a lot for visitors to discover throughout, both inland and along the shorelines. To the west, a stone bridge spans a channel of water into a second region – Clovenhearth, a homestead – but as the sign at the bridge notes, that region is a private residence, so explorations should be curtailed without crossing over the water and intruding on privacy.
Atmospheric under its night-time sky and highly photogenic by almost any daytime EEP setting, Cloven Forest makes for a relaxing visit and opportunity for exploring.
- Cloven Forest (Cloven, rated Adult)