The chance to get out in the fresh air and embrace nature is one of the most enjoyable elements of staying at the UK’s best caravan parks. A picturesque place to do this can be at a national nature reserve – we found out about these when we spoke to Natural England’s CEO, Marian Spain, recently. Heading to one of our forests and embarking on a walk in stunning surroundings is another great way to take in the wonderful sights of the season.
To celebrate World WellBeing Forest Week, Forestry England are encouraging people to take the time to embrace nature and try forest bathing; the practice of using your senses to connect with the forest around you.
There are plenty of woodland areas just waiting to be explored across the country that offer the ideal setting for this. To help you factor a walk into your getaway, Forestry England have rounded up 10 locations that are ideal to head to for a mindful forest walk.
1. Alice Holt, Surrey – Family trail (3 miles)
This is a three mile route that takes you along a wide forest trail and journeys through a host of habitats, ranging from a conifer plantation to mature broadleaf. Along the way, you’ll find the route is dotted with woodland clearings, and you can stop in a number of meadows to soak up the surroundings.
2. Blackwater, New Forest, Southampton – Walk the Tall Trees trail (1.5 miles)
This circular trail allows you to take in stunning Douglas fir and redwoods. It’s a flat route, with resting places along the way, so you can relax and take in what’s around you.
3. Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire – The Fairoak trail (2.5 miles)
This is another circular trail that takes you through the forest before it opens out into the Fairoak Valley. From here, you can spot the glorious Fairoak Pools – this is home to a lot of wildlife, including swans, ducks and deer. Who knows what you’ll spot, as you take in the natural beauty of the area.
4. Dalby Forest, Yorkshire – The Anderson Rigg trail (1.5 miles)
This Yorkshire trail lets you use your senses to explore the naturally sculpted Adderstone. The route takes you along forest paths from a variety of woodland, and as you go, you’ll witness some of the stunning views the forest has to offer.
5. Jeskyns Community Woodland, Kent – The Broomfield Loop (1.5 miles)
This is a gentle route that winds through woodlands, orchards, ponds and grazed meadows, providing some wonderfully scenic sights.
6. Moors Valley Country Park, Bournemouth – The Look Out (1.5 miles)
This trail will allow you to soak up the peace and quiet of the forest. As you walk you’ll reach the Lookout, a location which provides you with beautiful views across the valley.
7. Wareham Forest, Dorset – The Woodlark trail (2 miles)
The route in Wareham Forest is a generally flat trail with a couple of inclines along the way. As you walk along the path, be sure to look out for the woodlark, which nest between March and August.
8. Wyre Forest, Worcestershire – The Buzzard Trail (3.25 miles)
Embark on a route through the depths of the forest, exploring mixed woodlands as you go. As you stroll along forest tracks and narrow paths, you’ll spot old oaks and the Wyre Arboretum, which gives you the chance to chill.
9. Haldon Forest, Devon – the butterfly trail (4 miles)
This is another circular trail that goes through the depths of the forest. As you walk and absorb the forest’s environment, you can spot some rare butterflies and enjoy the views over Teign Valley.
Images courtesy of Forestry England/Crown copyright
- Looking for some footwear to make your walks more enjoyable? Don’t miss our round-up of the best hiking boots.
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