Lovely, leafy & lesser-known
Escape into a wooded wonderland.
Glen Finglas, Trossachs, Scotland
The drama of Scottish scenery for all abilities: Glen Finglas is in the heart of the Trossachs, combining breathtaking views and a diverse range of wildlife and nine waymarked trails from the Lendrick Hill car park, including the 30mile Great Trossachs Path. The 15-mile signed Meall Trail provides the ultimate day challenge on foot or by bike.
What I love about Glen Finglas
“Glen Finglas offers everything from stunning woodland walks through routes.” to wilder more adventurous George Anderson, Woodland Trust.
Great Knott Wood, Cumbria
Occupying a stunning spot on the south west shore of Windermere, Great Knott Is home to red squirrels, and has a long and fascinating industrial history. The Woodland Trust is currently restoring it by removing conifers and encouraging growth of native species, and there are lots of routes, which perfectly combine with a stroll alongside the great lake.
What I love about Great Knott Wood
“The feeling that for centuries it’s been cherished and worked, providing locals today.” with timber and wood, just like Heather Swift, Woodland Trust.
Carnmoney Hill, Newtown Abbey, Northern Ireland
A beautiful pocket of nature right on Belfast’s doorstep. Reach the summit and you’ll be instantly catapulted miles from the city (or so it seems) into a mysterious woodland realm stalked by ghosts of vikings and highwaymen, and saved by the passion of locals. Start from Valley Leisure Centre and build to a bird’s eye view of Belfast below too.
What I love about Carnmoney Hill
“Ancient hedgerows and passageways dotted with primroses that in the 1800s farmsteads.” would have led to isolated Kaye Coates, Woodland Trust.
Heartwood Forest, Hertfordshire
At over 300 hectares and straddling the rolling hills of Hertfordshire, Heartwood is a vast, beautiful forest with a mix of new and ancient areas – a great place to get lost and explore on foot. Catch the swathes of beautiful bluebells in spring or the red of poppies in early summer. There’s a big car park and there are paths of varying lengths.
What I love about Heartwood Forest
“Its vastness, and the fact you can wander for hours, enjoying woodland, wildlife.” wildflower meadows and Louise Neicho, Woodland Trust.
Skipton Castle Woods, Skipton, North Yorks
A thousand-year history, stunning waterfall and impressive medieval castle surrounded by beautiful scenery and wildlife makes for a great setting to while away an afternoon at any time of year. Rumour has it the Olympic athletes the Brownlee brothers like to train here but you don’t need to be of gold medal standard to enjoy this
What I love about Skipton Castle Woods
“It’s an oasis of ancient woodland just minutes from the high street. The woods love.” have a magical quality I Hazel Birdsall, Visitor Officer, Woodland Trust
Tring Park, London
A wood with a long and intriguing past and two historical curios: an obelisk known as Nell Gwynn’s monument, and the remains of a summer house in which actress Dame Peggy Ashcroft lived during the Second World War. There are wildflowers and butterflies, open vistas and an eight-and-a-halfmile walk leaving from the museum on Akeman Street: follow signs to Tring Park.
What I love about Tring Park
“The fantastic views across Tring and the surrounding areas and the mix of grade II listed parkland woodland.” and Karen Trickey, Woodland Trust.
Wentwood, Llanfair Discoed, Wales
Keep your eyes out for adders and lizards as you put your best feet forward through Wales’s largest ancient woodland. Once a hunting preserve of Chepstow Castle, it’s now home to a number of heritage sites giving clues to the past uses of the forest. Great walks of varying lengths, from the Cadira Beeches car park (grid ref ST422949).
What I love about Wentwood
“Dense woodland mixed with open areas affording commanding views Channel.” across the Bristol Barry Embling, Site Manager, Woodland Trust.
Marden Park Woods, North Downs, Surrey
High on the North Downs near Woldingham, this stunning 167-acre wood is an SSSI of great diversity with ancient and new woodland, and stretches of recreated chalk grassland. The North Downs Way and the six-mile Woldingham Countryside Walk both run through the site which is well served by footpaths and a bridleway.
What I love about Marden Park Woods
“It’s such a peaceful setting for a walk, with fantastic views across the hours.” Surrey Hills. You can while away Julie Morrow, Woodland Trust.
Fingle, Dartmoor, Devon
Fingle is so rich in wildlife and colours it’s always tempting to lose yourself for a few hours under its canopy, each season bringing a new treasure. If you fancy making a weekend of it, head over to the more wild and windswept corners of Dartmoor for a second day’s walking. The Fingle Bridge Inn (EX6 6PW) provides an excellent starting point for a walk.
What I love about Fingle
“How diverse the wildlife is here. There are more than 36 bird species, kingfisher.” dormice, bats, otters and Andy Bond, Woodland Trust.
Crinan Wood, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
A remnant of Scotland’s own rainforest, rising 100m above the village of the same name and bordered by the Crinan Canal. A few miles out to sea lies the famous Corryvreckan whirlpool – and if it’s really wild you can hear it from the wood. 24 species of bird can be found within its 35 hectares, including buzzards, tree creepers and redstarts.
What I love about Crinan Wood
“You emerge from lichen-covered trees to amazing views west to the Isle of Mull.” Jura, north to the Luing, Seil and Eilidh Mair, Woodland Trust Scotland.
Hucking Estate, Kent
A glorious place to visit at any time of the year: large and engaging with a mix of ancient woodland, new tree planting and open grassland, together with a wealth of archaeological gems. It’s laced by wonderful walks, wildlife and breathtaking views set in the Kent Downs AONB. The Hook and Hatchet Inn is right next door where you can park, eat and pick up a walks leaflet.
What I love about Hucking Estate
“The sense that you are in an extremely rural part of Kent, and the very varied landscape.” Clive Steward, Woodland Trust.
Bunker’s Hill, Birmingham
A wonderful pocket of mixed broadleaves and conifers, providing a hidden haven for flora and wildlife just outside Stourbridge on the south-west side of Birmingham. There are ancient trees on site and excellent views of the surrounding countryside. A good path network enables you to explore this little-visited woodland thoroughly – and several are suitable for wheelchairs.
What I love about Bunker’s Hill
“It feels like you’re a million miles from civilisation. Veteran trees provide measure.” beauty and habitat in equal Jane Ward, Woodland Trust.