To celebrate 100 years of the Forestry Commission, we've rounded up with a ten of the most glorious woodland walks in the UK.
It’s always nice to head out on a long forest walk on a lazy Sunday morning – let’s face it, it’s a brilliant way to get the blood pumping before your weekly Sunday dinner.
But if you’re wondering, where are some nice walks near me? Never fear, because we’ve rounded up some of the very best that this country has to offer.
So pull on your walking boots, wrap up warm, and get outside and enjoy the fresh air and autumn colours on one of these beautiful woodland hikes.
And don’t forget, there’s always a comforting cup of tea to look forward to when you get back into the warm…
1. Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire
Breathe in the scent of Scot’s pine on the 2.5km Fairoak Trail. This family-friendly circular walk will take you from woodland to valley, past the magical Fairoak pools. You’ll see plenty of wildlife and, if you’re quiet, deer flitting through trees.
2. Glenbranter, Argyll Forest Park, Scotland
Boasting both a 3.6km Waterfall Trail up the Allt Robuic gorge and 3.62km Glen Eck Trail providing stunning views over the surrounding waterfalls, glens and Beinn Mhor Mountains, this park is perfect for scenic views. From this vantage point, you may even catch a glimpse of the ravens and buzzards that make the Argyll Forest their home.
3. Bedgebury, The National Pinetum, Kent
With one of the most complete collections of conifers in the world, this conservation hotspot is the perfect spot to see the beautiful autumn leaves in their full glory. Nature enthusiasts will be unable to resist its two trails – and with 3.2km, 5.6km and 8.8km walks on offer, there is truly a route for everyone.
4. Haldon Forest Park, Devon
Spurred on by autumn, the abundance of butterflies preparing for hibernation in this 3,500-acre forest makes for the ideal day out for photographers and wildlife-lovers. The 4.5km Butterfly Trail will take you through woodland and is home to over 30 species, including the rare Pearl-bordered Fritillary.
5. Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
Relax and soak up the inspiration on this forest’s 7km trail. Beginning at Beechenhurst, the trail provides art-lovers with particular points of interest, combining the natural scenery with 17 works of art celebrating the forest’s trees, wildlife and history.
6. Savernake Forest, Wiltshire
This ancient forest has a rich history and is the home of one of England’s oldest trees, the Big Bellied Oak. An ideal educational day out for all the family, dogs are welcome and there are many trails to explore, as well as picnic areas for a quick scenic break.
7. Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland
Credit: Getty Images
England’s largest forest is the perfect habitat for spotting an abundance of wildlife, including ospreys and the country’s biggest population of red squirrels. With 7 cycling trails, 5 walking trails and the Kielder Observatory, there are plenty of options for activity-lovers.
8. Horrocks Fold, Lancashire
Immerse yourself in the autumnal beauty of this hillside site, with views that stretch all the way to the Jodrell Bank Observatory and beyond and open access paths. Stick around and as dusk approaches, you may even see a majestic barn owl on the wing.
9. Wilverley, Hampshire
Dog walkers, cyclists and wildlife lovers will find more than enough to explore in this secluded forest. With plentiful grazing for ponies and heathland that supports a range of bird species, the way-marked trail is easily accessible and varied.
10. Gwydyr Forest Park, Wales
Though not itself part of the Forestry Commission, this picturesque park in the heart of Snowdonia is home to a wide variety of bird and wildlife. Long-established trails, old miners’ tracks and cycle paths make exploration of this Welsh gem easy for all.
So which walk will you be heading out on this weekend?