Lovely, leafy & lesser-known

Es­cape into a wooded won­der­land.

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - Contents -

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.

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