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Wildlife, beauty and utter serenity — Woodland Escapes

Dan Hobson

Wildlife, beauty and utter serenity — Woodland Escapes

Hiking Collection by Country Walking Magazine

10

Tours

26:18 h

58.1 mi

5,475 ft

Welcome to Walking! This beautiful Collection is inspired by Welcome to Walking, a 32-page guide included with the January 2022 issue of Country Walking, Britain’s bestselling walking magazine. Produced in association with komoot, it’s the complete guide to getting started in the world of walking: where to go, what to look for, how to stay on track, what to wear – and why it’s the healthiest, happiest, simplest and free-est outdoor activity on the planet.

The hikes in this Collection range from 3.3 to 9.9 miles (5.3 to 15.9 km). While some routes involve some climbing to epic viewpoints, there is nothing too steep, sustained or technical. As such, each Tour is suitable for all ages and abilities.

These majestic woodlands can be explored at any time of year and each season brings its own charms; from spring bluebells to autumnal colours, luscious summer canopies to winter wonderlands, intriguing fungi to seasonal wildlife. We’ve chosen routes that showcase the rich variety of woodland settings in the UK. All reveal enchanting natural wonders, historical sites and, of course, exceptional beauty and utter tranquility.

Most of these hikes include refreshment opportunities. However, it’s always worth bringing a few snacks and enough water along. While these routes afford a real sense of escape and solitude, none venture too far into the wilderness. Sturdy boots, waterproofs and sunscreen in summer are recommended.

So, lace up your boots, grab your camera and get ready to explore the immense wonder of Britain’s woodlands with your family and friends.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Intermediate
    04:06
    8.97 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,075 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Queen Elizabeth Country Park boasts more than 2,000 acres (809 ha) of majestic woodland and verdant downland. As you explore this jewel in Hampshire’s crown, expect rare wildlife, rich history and epic views from Butser Hill, the highest point on the South Downs.

    From the visitor centre, while legs are fresh, you begin by climbing to the summit of Butser …

  • Intermediate
    04:22
    9.94 mi
    2.3 mph
    800 ft
    800 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Tucked away in the southeastern tip of North York Moors National Park is the vast and magical Dalby Forest. Boasting spectacular wildlife, ancient rock formations and endless trails to explore, it's a place to reconnect with the senses. Moreover, Dalby is one of the few places in England where you can observe the Milky Way with the naked eye.

    From …

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  • Easy
    01:51
    4.45 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    With crystal clear waters, a crumbling castle at its heart and surrounded by rugged mountains, Loch An Eilein is like a scene from a watercolour painting. This leisurely loop of the loch, plus its neighbour Loch Gamhna, is undoubtedly one of the finest short walks in Scotland.

    At less than 4 miles (6 km) in total, this easy-going route is …

  • Intermediate
    02:01
    4.08 mi
    2.0 mph
    775 ft
    775 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Rising from the eastern shore of Loch Lomond, Rowardennan Forest is a picturesque woodland that is home to many species of plants and animals. With breathtaking viewpoints, dappled trails and a loch-side beach finish, this diverse hike has plenty to keep you entertained.

    From the Sallochy Campsite car park, climb steadily through thick woodland. Upon reaching the forestry road, head …

  • Easy
    01:48
    4.00 mi
    2.2 mph
    425 ft
    425 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Ethereal ancient oakwoods, secluded lakes, tree-lined trails, historic steam trains and the opportunity to spot some rare wildlife — this hike around Coed Hafod-y-llyn packs lots of interest and beauty into a couple of hours.

    The Tour begins from Tan y Bwlch railway station, where steam engines stop on their journey through the forests, foothills and mountains of Snowdonia. A …

  • Easy
    01:45
    3.27 mi
    1.9 mph
    300 ft
    300 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stood atop a dramatic hilltop with views over Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains, Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest affords superb hiking. Moreover, with a tradition of daily red kite feeding sessions, you can witness these beautiful birds of prey up close on every visit.

    From the visitor centre, hike around the llyn, past the red kite feeding station and …

  • Easy
    01:50
    4.06 mi
    2.2 mph
    425 ft
    425 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Wistman’s Wood is like the setting from a fairytale. Eerie and enchanting, its twisted dwarf oaks and jumble of boulders are festooned in thick, surreal moss. Ghostly green drapes hang from the trees and roots tangle together like serpents. It feels like a fairy could fly past at any moment!

    This magical little woodland is most likely a leftover from …

  • Intermediate
    01:27
    3.49 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Blackwater Arboretum might be modest in scale but its collection of trees from around the world is a national treasure. This leisurely loop explores these enchanting natural wonders, paying visits to the tallest tree and oldest oak in the New Forest.

    As this hike can easily be completed in under two hours, you have plenty of time to admire these …

  • Intermediate
    04:11
    8.84 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,250 ft
    1,250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Breathtaking views, luscious woodlands, peaceful trails, mythical caves, abundant wildlife, an Iron Age fort and a quirky rope bridge river crossing — this Wye Valley wander is packed with interest and beauty.

    From Symonds Yat Car Park, you hike south through the trees and almost immediately stumble upon a spellbinding view over the River Wye meandering through the valley. Retrace …

  • Intermediate
    02:57
    7.01 mi
    2.4 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Thetford Forest is the UK’s largest man made lowland forest. With 46,283 acres (730 ha) to explore, the picturesque patchwork of pines, broadleaf trees and heathland affords untold adventures for all the family.

    From High Lodge Visitor Centre, join the Fir Trail through Downham Highlodge Warren. After a short while, join the Beech Trail and continue through the picturesque Thetford …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    10
  • Distance
    58.1 mi
  • Duration
    26:18 h
  • Elevation
    5,475 ft

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Wildlife, beauty and utter serenity — Woodland Escapes