Go ‘for­est bathing’ in Hamp­shire

Lonely Planet (UK) - - In This Issue... -

Sushi and karaoke have reached all con­ti­nents; Ja­pan’s lat­est trend to head our way is shin­rin yoku (‘for­est bathing’). Im­mer­sion here is metaphor­i­cal – no wild swim­ming nec­es­sary, just a sense of sink­ing peace­fully into a world of leaves, wood, muted light and muf­fled sound. More than two-thirds of Ja­pan is forested, but it’s a lit­tle trick­ier to find spots for a ‘dip’ in the wooded tenth of Eng­land. In Hamp­shire’s Black­wood For­est, how­ever, the over-ur­banised can es­cape for a few hours on a spe­cial, ranger-led walk, which ends fit­tingly with a tea cer­e­mony us­ing for­aged plants.


For­est Hol­i­days of­fers breaks in 10 lo­ca­tions across the UK, of which two – in Hamp­shire and Nor­folk – have ded­i­cated for­est-bathing pro­grammes (£30pp; foresthol­i­days.co.uk/ things-to-do/for­est-bathing). You can also stay in one of 60 lux­ury wood­land cab­ins in Hamp­shire (three nights from £645). Black­wood For­est is off the M3 be­tween Bas­ingstoke and Winchester. Guests stay­ing at the cab­ins can also pre-book a complimentary shut­tle bus from Michelde­ver train sta­tion.

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