Itching to get outside and explore somewhere new? Bored of being on your phone and needing a break from the screen? You don’t need to search “Woodland Walks Near Me” either, because if you’ve landed here, then congrats – you’re in the right place! We have all the most breathtaking, instagrammable & action-packed woodland walks near you.
But first, let’s talk about why woodland walks are such a great day out…
Exploring ancient woodland can be a magical experience for your youngsters and a great stress buster for your turbulent teens. Whether it’s crisp cloudless skies in the winter or a scenic walk through beautiful woodlands in the springtime, getting outdoors is a treat for your senses whatever the season.
You’re always guaranteed stunning views, a breath of fresh air and a wonderful day out.
Known for its magnificent mountains and atmospheric glens. Not to mention dramatic coastlines, picturesque lochs, rivers, and fabulous forestry!
It’s one of the best places to take your family for a woodland walk. Not only is Scotland a place recognised for its excellent green spaces, but its landscapes are steeped in mysterious mythology too… A woodland walk here is always going to be a magical experience.
Pucks Glen, Cowal
During your visit, remember to keep a sharp eye – you might just spot the mystical Ghillie Dhu! Fear not, the Ghillie is an ancient male fairy who looks out for children who wander the forest.
Kids can build dens, spot wildlife, and climb hills, and the walking trails are dog-friendly too!
Dunoon PA23 8QT
Northern Ireland is a natural wonder with some of the most beautiful towns in Europe. Water, fire and ice were the original sculptors of the nine beautiful Glens of Antrim. Green, clean and tranquil, these timeless glens and valleys will leave you submerged in awe.
Each of the glens has its own name, personality and charm. Around every corner, you’ll come across tumbling waterfalls with enchanting river banks, rich woodland, slopes, cliffs and shores. With long sandy beaches, historic buildings and spectacular mountains, it’s a must-visit for families who love exploring new places.
The Dark Hedges
Featured in the Game of Thrones, this creepy-looking road stretches 0.6 miles between the villages of Armoy and Stranocum. Filled with beautiful curving beech trees, an atmospheric tunnel is created, leaving those who pass under it feeling as if they have landed in the centre of an ancient fairytale.
The beech trees were planted in the 18th century and are believed to be between 300 – 350 years old. The Dark Hedges are one of many landscape hotspots for photographers and families.
Bregagh Rd, Stranocum, Ballymoney, BT53 8PX
Castlewellan Forest Park
There is a privately owned rental shop (The Grange Yard) and a coffee shop onsite too. The Grange Coffee House opens daily from 1 May to 30 September and at weekends from 1 April to mid-November. The Grange Yard rents out mountain bikes, e-bikes & canoes!
Castlewellan Forest Park is a beautiful walk all year round but its vibrant nature really (and rather ironically) comes to life in the autumn. You can see a wide variety of tree species, both coniferous and broadleaved, with a rich and striking display of autumn colours.
Forest Park View, Castlewellan, BT31 9BU
There is no entry fee but there are parking fees:
Coach (over 24 seats) £35
Seasonal Car permit (up to 7 seats) £25
Seasonal Minibus permit (8 to 24 seats) £65
The North East of England is a biodiverse area between the borders of Yorkshire and Scotland. The North East is known for its dramatic seascapes, world-significant coastlines, river valleys, and ancient woods. Not to mention coastal denes, rural agricultural landscapes, and internationally important peatland and heathland.
You can find some of the UK’s most endangered habitats and species living in the North East such as red squirrels, kittiwakes, puffins and water voles!
If there was one word to describe Hamsterley Forest it would be peaceful. Families can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life at County Durham’s largest forest. From wildlife watching to stargazing, and adventure play for all the family to exhilarating mountain biking, there is something to keep everyone happy. Psst, it’s dog-friendly too!
Turn your hand to geo coaching! Take part in the world’s largest treasure hunt and utilise GPS technology to locate and find hidden objects. If you have the need for adventure in your bones and like to embrace challenges, geo coaching is a unique activity that’s perfect for you.
If you are after something a bit more straightforward, take a peaceful wander through the trees. Hamsterley has an extensive network of trails and paths providing the perfect opportunity for you to explore the heart of the forest.
Redford Lane, Bedburn, Durham, United Kingdom, DL13 3NW
Off peak parking fees
Up to 1 hour £2.00
All day £6.00
Peak - Bank holiday weekends
Minibuses - £12.00
Coaches - £18.00
The North West of England comprises Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. It has great areas of natural beauty like the Peak District, where you can discover panoramic views and beautiful blooms.
You can find lots of waterfalls, reservoirs, lakes, castles and mysterious caves like Rydal Cave in Ambleside!
Families can enjoy acres of woodland in the walking trails, spotting beautiful flower displays and a diverse range of wildlife. You can expect to see foxes, deer, badgers and many woodland birds, cuckoos, woodpeckers, and wood pigeons on your travels. Don’t forget to wear your wellies – there are some seriously tempting ponds to splash around in!
The country woodland park is neither big nor small but a great size for smaller children with just enough land to explore.
Hagg Farm, Intake Ln, York YO19 5NY
Free entry & free parking
Can you spot the heron nests? Home to Cheshire’s largest heronry with around 22 nests, Macclesfield Forest is a haven for all creatures great and small. Sharpen your eyesight with a pair of binoculars and search for waterfowl and honey fungus. Make sure to take a snap of the abundant bluebells too!
Follow colour-waymarked trails and familiarise yourself with the nature around you. Each trail is a different length, so whatever your ability or preference, there’s an ideal trail for you! Once you’ve found your way to the Trentabank Reservoir, you can enjoy a lovely picnic beside the calming water – a great way to finish off your day!
Macclesfield Forest, Macclesfield, SK11 0AR
There is a pay and display car park at the Visitor Centre near Trentabank Reservoir and another small car park at Standing Stone. There are also other minor car parking areas in lay-bys in the forest.
Trentabank Reservoir car park costs a minimum fee of £1.20. Blue badge holders get free parking.
The East Midlands has many geographical and historical wonders contained within its borders. It’s home to the Peak District, Lincoln Cathedral, the 12,000-year-old cave drawings at Creswell Crags, Rutland Water and of course the ancient tales of Robin Hood.
Funnily enough, our top pick for woodland walks in the East Midlands, is the one and only, Sherwood Pines.
Pick from multiple walking routes in this 3,300-acre forest. Whether it’s spectacular mountain hikes and sheltered pinewood trails or quiet streamside paths and short play trails, you’re never far from a great walk. Try out other walking routes like Archer’s Stroll, Nightjar Trail or the Ranger’s Path!
Head to the bike rental shack, borrow a plump pair of wheels and head for the hills! Go big or go home with the Outlaw Red Trail – it’s a whopping 9 miles. Check out the advanced dirt jump and downhill area and learn different stunts. Whether you’re an adrenaline-filled mountain biker or you prefer a relaxing cycle session with beautiful views, there’s something fun for everyone.
When was the last time you saw a fallow deer? Small, dark and shy these calm creatures aren’t always easy to spot – so keep your eyes peeled! During your outdoor adventure, you will also stumble across many other woodland wildlife like Rabbits, Voles, Shrews, Hedgehogs, Stoats, Weasel, Foxes, Badgers, Pipistrelle bats and Noctule bats.
Big Lane, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 1ST.(This is the address for the Visitor Centre and the main car park).
Admission is free although there is a car parking charge of £3 for one hour, £5 for 2 hours or £8 for the full day.
When you think of the West Midlands you may associate it with the Industrial Revolution a lot more than you do nature. But don’t be fooled, there are lots of wonderful woodland walks, farms, reservoirs and forests.
From famous natural wonders like the River Severn, Malvern Hills, Shropshire Hills, Cotswolds, Wyre Forest, Cannock Chase, & plenty more, the West Midlands is a great place to take your kids for some outdoor fun.
There are lots of lovely woodland walks to try out at Kedleston Hall. Will it be the Wilderness Walk (2.6 miles), Lakeside Walk (2 miles) or some of the Long or Short Walks (3.2 miles/1.7 miles)? If you follow the path of The Wilderness walk you’ll discover the most natural part of the parkland. Located on the north side of the lake, this walk is a mixture of pasture, and woods and is home to the oldest Veteran tree in Derbyshire! The route includes uneven ground and passes through the grazing cattle!
If you want to see some wildlife then the Lakeside walk would be perfect for you. See swans, geese, oystercatchers, herons and coots – you might even spot a hare in the grasslands if you’re lucky! Sheep and cows graze along the entire route too. There are multiple benches along the way and the path is fairly flat throughout.
The Long and Short Walks form part of Robert Adam’s pleasure grounds and were originally designed for the enjoyment of ladies. This heavenly spot offers views across the parkland stretching to the rolling Derbyshire countryside.
This 18th-century hall also offers summer activities too! From archery sessions, orienteering and family picnics, to nature-spotting, and a “50 things'” list for kids to tick off!
National Nature Reserve Park Road, The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield B73 6BU England
Grounds entrance fee: £5
National Trust members go for free
Wales is a country with distinctive traditions, heritage and culture. It is known as a land of song and a country steeped in myth and legend, which, when you see the awe-inspiring landscape, is no surprise.
Historically a Celtic nation, its dreamy coastlines, dense forests, waterfalls and miraculous mountains make Wales an extraordinary place to visit. The most popular places to experience the full throws of Welsh nature are Snowdonia (where you’ll find the tallest Welsh mountain), Wyre Valley, Anglesey, Clwydian Range, Llŷn Peninsula, Brecon Beacons and of course the Pembrokeshire Coast.
Set in the heart of the South Wales valleys, Cwm Carn Forest has some of the best walking trails in Wales. Choose from trails under a mile or up to nine miles – there are trails for all abilities to enjoy. Take part in the Cwmcarn Wildlife Explorer Challenge and win a certificate at the end – it’s great material for show & tell, am I right kids? And if you’re feeling tired there’s always the option to stay over in one of the adorable glamping pods onsite!
Adrenaline junkies will love all of the outdoor activities on offer with Caerphilly Adventures. Get stuck into epic biking trails, paddleboarding, archery, and other fun sports.
Cwmcarn Forest, Dr, Newport
Parking: £1 for 2 hours or £3 all day
The South West of England possesses perhaps some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the UK. Not only will you experience a warmer climate in this part of the country but there’s a diverse range of woodland walks, coastal walks, cave explorations, deep gorges & forest trails too.
The South West has many popular spots of exploration like the Cheddar Gorge, St Michael’s Mount, Glastonbury Tor, Jurassic Coast, Kents Cavern, Lulworth Coast, Stonehenge, Wistman’s Wood and St Nectan’s Glen.
Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail
For 35 years the Forest of Dean has had artistic and ethereal sculptures hidden amongst the ash, beech, birch holly, and sweet chestnut trees. Take shelter under the Plastic Pavillion! It’s a rainbow of technicolour, beams through the trees. Did you see those tiny moss hands? Take a peek at the Tree Hug sculpture and see how many tiny hands you can spot wrapped around the trees.
One of the most beautiful sculptures is The Cathedral Piece. Hanging in suspension above the trail path, you’ll feel as if you are a character in a mystical tale. See how the light catches in the stained glass? It acts as a window connecting the concepts of two separate spaces, the ‘forest’ and the ‘cathedral’. Watch out for the Shovel Bugs! Bright red bugs climb the trees like something from a wacky sci-fi scene.
The sculptures celebrate forest wildlife, flora and fauna and present a diversity of voices, with artists from the UK and overseas contributing their art to the trail. Fun fact: One of the sculptures was created by a father and his 9-year-old daughter!
Speech House Rd, Coleford GL16 7EL
The trail is free of charge
Parking: three hours £1. four hours £1.50. more than four hours £2. weekly ticket (valid for 7 days) £6.
Coleford GL16 7EL (car park address)
The South East of England is famous for its beautiful countryside, which includes two national parks: the New Forest and the South Downs, as well as the North Downs, the Chiltern Hills and part of the Cotswolds.
The River Thames flows through the region and its basin is known as the Thames Valley. The South East is a wonderful place to take your kids for a staycation or for a simple day out in the glorious woodlands. For those who live in London’s city centre, it’s the ultimate country escape too.
Do you enjoy a good view? Wendover Woods offers magnificent views across Aylesbury Vale. In the mixed woodland, you can spot a wide variety of birds, including the rare Firecrest. So, a pair of binoculars and a camera might come in handy!
Looking for a fun trail? Try out the new Superworm Trail on your woodland adventure. See what amazing facts you can discover about the small but mighty creatures in the much-loved Superworm story. You should also check out the Hill Fort trail! It’s an easy circular route trail with spectacular views of the Chilterns.
Wendover Woods, Upper Icknield Way, Aston Clinton, Aylesbury, Tring HP22 5NQ
Up to 2hrs £2.70
Up to 4hrs £5.00
All day £10.00
We hope you’ve found a wonderful woodland walk near you! Whether it’s mature woodlands, a dog-friendly woodland walk or you want a list of forest walks to add to your bucket list, there’s a woodland walk for everyone.
Get outside and feel the fresh air and hear the crunch of leaves under your feet.