It’s time to bring on the sunshine and make the most of the British weather while it lasts. Spring and summer reveal the best of our British woods, as bluebells form blue carpets and trees return to their vibrant colours. So there couldn’t be a better time to rejuvenate with those soothing woodland wanders.
To help us all to fulfil our need to explore the outdoors, conservation charity the Woodland Trust has put together a list of their favourite woods across Britain. There are endless options when choosing woods to visit, but here are a few highlights:
Langley Vale Wood, Surrey
Langley Vale is a First World War Centenary wood, the first of its kind in the Woodland Trust’s national project to commemorate lives lost in First World War. Find quiet solitude in the memorial with stunning views of poppy fields. The wood is dripping with history as roman and 1st century coins have made regular appearances in the depths of the woodland’s earth.
Rest assured, if history isn’t quite your thing, Langley Vale is home is 59 species of bird amongst the sweet chestnut, towering oaks surrounded by magnificent bluebells during spring. This woodland is a gem in Surrey and absolutely worth a visit.
Brede High Woods, East Sussex
These woods have been described as quietly stunning by its visitors. It offers Sussex local’s long-lasting, sturdy nature as the woods contain brilliant ancient trees that are over 400 years old.
The landscape offers a mixture of dense and open woodland surrounded by views of rolling green hills. Use the weaving rustic paths to guide your walk and try to see all the flowering pignut and primrose between the towering pine trees. Your walk here will surely not be short of Instagram-ready scenery!
Moncreiffe Hill, Perth
Whenever Perth makes an entry into a top 10 it may just steal the show, and there no exception with Moncreiffe Hill. One side overlooks the city and the other has jaw dropping views of endless lush green fields. So take a deep breath of the crisp Scottish air and flow with the tree-lined path to the top of the hill for unforgettable views over Perth.
The trees are the biggest attraction at this incredible mixed woodland. Scots pine, towering Douglas fir and ash are just some of the species visitors can expect to see. What makes this wood even more special is the 100 species of flora and fauna, adding such vibrancy to your walk with nature.
Glen Finglas, Stirling
Surrounded by the wonders of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Glen Finglas can be endlessly explored, this one is definitely for the wild at hearts. Test your fitness and try to get around this estate by mountain biking or even by walking the photogenic Meall Cala trail, a route that circulates the woods. If you’re lucky you may also catch a glimpse of a golden eagle, it will certainly test your camera grabbing reflexes!
Joydens Wood, Kent
Seats shaped like acorns, remains of Iron Age roundhouses and wooden sculptures of WW2 planes, Joydens Wood doesn’t lack excitement for visitors as they discover the area’s charming hidden gems. If you come across the giant poetry acorn, then take a seat, wind it up and hear its story.
Between the wonderful trees of oak, sweet chestnut and beech you may discover some of the many mammals that give Joydens it’s fantastic liveliness. Being on London’s doorstep, the wood is a calming retreat for individuals but also, this is perfect family woodland for all ages to enjoy.
Storeton Woods, Bebington
The butterfly Paths lined with trees will take you right into the depths of these woods – you will be immersed in a nature bubble and it’s completely yours to enjoy. Discover the best of British butterflies as the woods have been planted with extravagant wildflowers that attract wildlife.
This small estate presents the best features of woodland and just right for those brief, but effective leisurely strolls. A suitably quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of Liverpool!
Fingle Woods, Devon
At 825 acres, Fingle Woods is the mammoth on this list. Feel free to go wild and explore one of the largest ancient woodland in Britain. As it is sandwiched between historic buildings and bridges (Castle Drogo and Steps Bridge), it is a popular choice for the locals and tourists alike. Streams, hilltop panoramic views and wildlife will give your walk bursts of life.
Parts of Fingle Woods are currently being restored in a joint effort by the Woodland Trust and the Wildlife Trust. They are reducing the mature conifer to help sunlight to reach the woodland floor and to stimulate the growth of more amazing trees and plants.
Martinshaw Wood, Leicestershire
Foxes, fungi and foxglove – Martinshaw is a wood which presents the best of classic British woodland. Paths and trails weave through oaks and a beautiful scene of bluebells. In fact, the bluebells here has proven to be a visitor favourite as the site hosts bluebell charity walks. So it’s time to heighten your senses as pine and wildflowers combine to create an unfiltered woodland musk. Martinshaw will have you returning again and again.
Dufton Ghyll Wood, Dufton
Footbridges across streams full of vibrant green mossy stones and unspoilt woodland with charming stone paths, Dufton Ghyll Wood is a quiet retreat full for those who need to getaway. Follow the path through this enchanting woodland as the sandstone quarry is covered in moss and ferns and during spring this woods is densely covered by bluebells, making it a truly magical experience.
Pipe Hall Farm, Lichfield
Wild flowers and bounding rabbits push Pipe Hall Farm as a woodland walk that will keep you entertained throughout. At 153 acres this site will complete the needs of those who seek to explore the wildlife, towering native trees and the wood’s history, which describes a time where its springs sustained the development of neighbouring town Lichfield in the mid-12th century. An amazing walk that is steeped with blue tits, butterflies and wildflowers, this wood is ideal for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike.
Find your nearest woods with the Woodland Trusts handy online map here: http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/map/