Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Woodland Walk Map
|Abbot's Wood Sussex||3 miles (5.5 km)||Explore miles of walking and cycling trails in these extensive woods in Arlington, Sussex. There's nice waymarked footpaths and bridleways which are great for mountain biking. You can reach the woods from Hailsham by heading south along the Cuckoo Trail and then heading west along NCN Route 2 from Polegate.|
There are two trails to try on the site. Abbots Amble will take you through bluebell woods to the lake. The Oak walk will take you through the collection of Oaks with bluebells and woodland birds to look out for. Both are easy paths ideal for a peaceful afternoon stroll.
To extend your walking in the area you can head about a mile to the west and visit Arlington Reservoir. There's a nice walking trail around the water with lots of birdlife to look out for.
The Wealdway passes through Arlington so you could pick this up and head towards Hailsham or Wilmington.
Also nearby is Michelham Priory in Upper Dicker. It's just to the north of the woods and is well worth a visit. The Augustine Priory dates from the 13th century and includes a restored watermill in the pleasant grounds.
|Anston Stones||2 miles (4 km)||Anston Stones Wood is a biological site of Special Scientific Interest in Anston, South Yorkshire. It's a nice place for a peaceful stroll with interesting vegetation and the Anston Brook running through the woods. The site is a local nature reserve consisting of grassland, scrub and wetland. The woodland is the second best example of limestone woodland in South Yorkshire. |
The area is known for its limestone gorges and interesting geological features. As such it is very popular with rock climbers. There is also an Ice Age Cave known as 'Dead Man's cave'. In the 1960's ancient flint tools from the ice age and animal bones from animals such reindeer and hyena were uncovered.
The walk can be extended by heading east to Woodsetts via Lindrick Common. Just to the north is Swinston Hill Wood and if you head south you can pick up the Cuckoo Way and enjoy a stroll along the Chesterfield Canal.
|Ashclyst Forest||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy miles of woodland cycling and walking trails in this large forest near Killerton. There are a number of waymarked trails to try starting from the National Trust Car Park. The forest is excellent for wildlife spotting with various birds and deer to look out for. It is also well known for its butterflies with white admiral, small pearl-bordered fritillary, dark green fritillary, purple emperor and silver-washed fritillary amongst the species. You can extend your exercise by heading to the nearby Killerton Park where there are more cycling and walking tracks to try.|
Ashclyst Forest is located just a few miles north east of Exeter.
|Ashdown Forest||7 miles (12 km)||Explore the 'home' of Winnie-the-Pooh in this large area of woodland and heathland near Crowborough. The expansive forest has miles of good footpaths to try. This route makes use of the Wealdway long distance footpath which runs through the woods from south to north. There are car parks near Duddleswell which give direct access to the forest paths. You then head north passing Camp Hill and Wren's Warren before finishing at Five Hundred Acre Wood. Hundred Acre Wood in the Pooh stories is based on this area. From here you can return the same way or continue north to the nearby village of Hartfield for refreshments.|
The forest consists of open heathland, woodland trails and a series of hills where you can enjoy splendid views over the Weald to the chalk escarpments of the North Downs and South Downs.
The area is great for wildlife. Look out for several species of deer including roe, muntjac and sika deer. Keen eyed birdwatchers can spot Dartford warbler, yellowhammer and stonechat.
There's also a wide variety of flora to look out for with Oak and Beech Woods, interesting vegetation around the streams and ponds and a variety of heathland plants and flowers.
Ashdown Forest is well known as the setting for the Winnie-the-Pooh stories by A. A. Milne, who lived on the northern edge of Ashdown forest. The illustrations in the Pooh books are based on areas of the woods you will see on this walk.
This route is designed for walkers but the area is also very popular with cyclists. You could start your ride from the same start point as this walk and then follow the country lanes through the forest. See the link below for more details or download one of the maps below for all the tracks, lanes and routes in the area.
|Balmaha Forest||1 miles (2 km)||This walk takes you along Loch Lomond, through woodland to Craigie Fort. The walk starts from the Balmaha car park/visitor centre. It's a short climb to the fort from which there are super views across the loch. |
If you would like to continue your walk in this area then you could climb Conic Hill for great views over the loch. You could also catch the ferry to Inchcailloch Island and enjoy nature trails and a little beach.
|Banagher Glen||5 miles (8 km)||Follow the riverside trail through these ancient oak woodlands and look out for red squirrels on this walk through the beautiful Banagher Glen Nature Reserve. The walk takes you through a steep ravine along the Altnaheglish river leading to the Altnaheglish Reservoir at the end of the route. Along the way you'll pass oak, ash, hazel, hawthorn and holly trees with lots of wildlife to look out for. There's also pretty waterfalls, wonderful views of the Sperrin Mountains and the splendid Banagher Dam to enjoy.|
You can start the walk from the car park at Strone Hill, a few miles south of Dungiven. From here you pick up the riverside trail heading east towards the reservoir, passing Teeavan Hill and Streeve Mountain.
|Banstead Woods||2 miles (4 km)||These lovely woods in Surrey have miles of well marked walking paths and a nature trail to follow. There's over 230 acres to explore with lots of pretty bluebells in the spring months.|
You can start your walk from the Holly Lane car park at the north eastern corner of the woods. Chipstead and Kingswood train stations are also very nearby. The car park gives direct access to the nature trail where you can see lots of interesting flora and fauna. Look out for wild primroses, purple emperor butterflies and willow warblers as you make your way along the ancient woodland trail.
You can extend your walking in the area by picking up the Banstead Countryside Walk. This 5 mile self guided trail explores Chiphouse Wood, Ruffett Wood and the attractive countryside surrounding the town.
If you enjoy this walk then you could head a couple of miles north and visit Banstead Downs. The downs are located just to the north of the town and consist of open grass chalkland, wildflowers and nice views towards London from the high points.
A couple of miles to the west is Epsom Common where you can explore the famous racecourse and enjoy attractive chalk downland, grassland and woodland.
|Beddgelert Forest||3 miles (5 km)||This large forest in the Snowdonia National Park has miles of walking paths and great mountain bike trails. There are great views towards Snowdon and a nice path around the lovely Llyn Llewellyn. The Welsh Highland Railway also runs through the forest so look out for the fine steam trains as you go.|
This circular route starts from the car park just off the A4085 but you could also start from the nearby village. You can hire bikes there at Beddgelert Bikes. You can also pick up trail maps. The cycle routes are all waymarked so you can find your way easily.
The forest is also great for walkers with miles of good tracks taking you through the attractive conifer woodland.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could climb Moel Hebog or visit the stunning Aberglaslyn Pass. Both of these walks can be started from Beddgelert.
|Bedford Purlieus National Nature Reserve||2 miles (3.5 km)||These splendid ancient woods near Peterborough have miles of woodland walking trails to try. The area is a hidden gem with 520 acres of ancient woodland to explore. The extensive flora includes beech, birch, field maple, bluebells, primroses, celandines, violets and wood anemones, wild strawberries and garlic. There's also lots of wildlife to look out for including deer, cuckoo, foxes, red kites and buzzards. The woods contains more plant and insect species than most other woods in this country. |
Bedford Purlieus is located just to the west of the lovely riverside village of Wansford. The Nene Way long distance footpath runs through the village so you could pick this up to extend your walk.
|Bedgebury Forest||6 miles (10 km)||Bedgebury is a great place for cyclists with miles of family cycle tracks and a more challenging mountain bike trail. The gentle 10km trail is perfect for exploring the 2000 acre forest at a leisurely pace on generally flat surfaced paths. Adrenalin junkies can enjoy 13km of single-track mountain biking. It's generally graded as a red trail and has fast sweeping gradual descents and some challenging climbs. There's also cycle shop where you can hire a bike.|
The forest is also great for walkers with miles of peaceful woodland trails to follow. You can enjoy a stroll around the beautiful Bedgebury Pinetum. This recreational and conservational arboretum has 10,000 trees growing across 320 acres including the most complete collection of conifers on one site in the world.
|Bellever Forest||5 miles (8 km)||Enjoy a cycle or walk around this lovely forest in the Dartmoor National Park. The circular route starts in the pretty hamlet of Bellever and passes Laughter Hole Farm, Laughter Tor, Bellever Tor and a number of interesting stone cairn circles. It's a delightful and peaceful area with lots of different walking trails to choose from. Cyclists are welcome but please keep to the stone roads. The East Dart River also runs through the forest so you can enjoy a waterside stroll and a picnic. Look out for Dartmoor Ponies as they graze the forest.|
The River Teign Walk starts from the northern edge of the forest at the car park at Postbridge. You could extend your walk by following the trail north to Fernworthy Reservoir and Fernworthy Forest.
The Lych Way ancient path also starts from the car park at Bellever. You could pick this trail up and follow it west across Dartmoor Forest to Longaford Tor and then on to Lydford.
|Ben Bhraggie||5 miles (8.5 km)||This circular walk climbs Ben Bhraggie hill in Golspie. The hill stands at a height of 397 metres (1,302 ft) giving fabulous views over Sutherland. At the summit you will find the Sutherland monument. The 100ft statue represents George Leveson-Gower, the first Duke of Sutherland. He remains a controversial figure for the part he played in the Highland Clearances where thousands of Sutherland tenants were forced out of their homes in the early 19th century.|
The walk begins in the pretty village of Golspie on the North Sea coast. You then follow waymarked paths through forest and over heather moorland to the summit. You descend to Golspie on more woodland trails through Ben Bhraggie Wood.
The area is also fantastic for mountain biking with a wildcat trail billed as the longest freeride descent in the UK.
|Bisham Woods||2 miles (3 km)||These woods near Marlow have some nice walking trails to try. Bisham Woods actually consists of several woods including Quarry Wood, Fultness Wood and Inkydown Wood. The area covers nearly 400 acres and are considered 'the richest ancient woods in Berkshire'. There's lots to see with bluebells, beechwoods, ponds, woodland orchids and some climbs with great views over the Chilterns and Marlow. Other features in the wood include an ice house constructed in the 1760’s and Bisham Quarry which provided the stone for Windsor Castle. |
The circular walking route below takes you along various trails in the central and southern section of the woods but there are also bridleways running through Quarry Woods which are suitable for cyclists. See the video below for an example of a downhill mountain bike trail you can try.
Bisham Woods are thought to have been the original 'Wild Wood' in Kenneth Grahame's 'Wind in the Willows', which he wrote in the nearby village of Cookham Dean.
The woods are located very close to the River Thames so it's easy to extend your walk. You could pick up the Thames Path and head east to Cliveden House. Here you'll find a fine Italianate mansion with lots of parkland and gardens to explore.
|Blackheath Common||2 miles (4 km)||This large area of heathland and woodland near Albury is very popular with walkers and cyclists. There's 250 acres to explore on a myriad of footpaths and bridleways. The area consists of lowland heathland, woodland and acid grassland. |
You can park at the Blackheath car park on Blackheath Lane to start your outing. Chilworth railway station is also just to the north of the common. This is another good start point if you are coming by public transport. The paths then take you across the common and through Blackheath Forest. There's some nice sandy paths and lots of pretty heather to look out for in the late summer.
It's easy to extend your walking in this lovely area. You can follow the Downs Link to St Martha's Hill. It's a couple of miles to the north of the common with the path passing Chilworth Manor on the way. From the 574 feet (175 m) hill summit there are great views over the North Downs.
Other footpaths head north east from the common taking you to Albury Park. The 150 acre estate includes parkland, woodland and pretty lakes.
|Blackwater Arboretum Trail||2 miles (3 km)||Explore the New Forest's Blackwater Arboretum on two super waymarked walking trails. The Blackwater Tall Trees Trail runs along the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive to Brock Hill on good footpaths. The trail is lined with majestic Douglas fir trees which are among the tallest and oldest trees in Britain. There are also two enormous redwoods visible from the path. |
The shorter Blackwater Sensory Trail encourages you to discover the many different smells, textures and sounds of the trees.
If you enjoy this trail you could head to the nearby Knightwood Oak where you will find the largest oak tree in the forest. Also nearby is the delightful Ober Water.
The Arboretum is located just a few miles south west of Lyndhurst.
|Blean Woods National Nature Reserve||6 miles (9 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking paths in the ancient woodland of Blean Woods near Canterbury.|
|Boltby Forest||8 miles (13 km)||This large area of coniferous woodland on the western edge of the North York Moors is very popular with mountain bikers and walkers. |
You can start off at the Sneck Yake car park a couple of miles east of Boltby village. There's miles of tracks, bridleways and footpaths to try with fantastic views over the moors from the forest's elevated position. See the video below for an example of the jumps and bumps you will find on the downhill track in the woods.
The Cleveland Way national trail skirts the eastern edge of the forest so you could pick this up to further explore the Hambleton Hills area of the moors. Heading north will take you to the 1,308 feet (400 m) high Black Hambleton and then on to Silton Forest where there are more off roading oppportunites.
|Borthwood Copse||1 miles (2 km)||Visit this delightful area of woodland near Sandown and look out for red squirrels on this short walk on the Isle of Wight. The shady woodland is owned by the National Trust so there are nice footpaths to follow and an on site car park. The woodland consists of hazel and sweet chestnut with carpets of bluebells in the spring. You can also climb to a viewpoint where you can enjoy views towards the coast and Culver Down. The woods are close to the villages of Queen's Bower and Alverston where you can buy refreshments.|
If you'd like to walk to the woods then you could follow the Yar River Trail from Sandown to Alverston and then head south. If you are coming by bike then you could follow National Cycle Route 67 from Sandown.
|Bostall Woods||2 miles (3 km)||This walk explores Bostall Woods and Bostall Heath in Abbey Wood, Greenwich. The woods are well known as the former haunt of highwaymen such as the infamous Dick Turpin. You can follow a selection of nice footpaths through the 160 hectare site which includes woodland and open grassland. It's a lovely retreat from the urban surroundings with lots of wildlife to look out for and listen to. Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of woodland birds and butterflies in the summer months. |
There is a car park on Longleigh Lane where you can pick up the trails. There's paths leading west into Bostall Woods and east into Bostall Heath.
Part of this walk uses the Green Chain Walk which runs right through the site. You can pick this up to extend your walk. Heading west will take you to Shooter's Hill and Oxleas Wood where there is an elevated terrace garden with splendid views over the capital and the surrounding counties. Just to the east is Lesnes Abbey Woods where you will find the ruins of the 12th century abbey, an arboretum and more woodland walking trails.
Cyclists can reach the woods by following a local cycle route which passes through Abbey Wood.
|Bourne Woods Lincolnshire||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoy miles of woodland cycling and walking trails in this large forest in the market town of Bourne, Lincolnshire. A local cycle route runs through the eastern side of the woods to Hanthorpe while miles of footpaths take you through the ancient woodland with its mixture of conifers and broad-leaved trees. There's also some tranquil ponds which attract birds such as kingfishers and herons. Look out for sculptures by local artists as you make your way through the site.|
This circular route starts at the car park off West Road. The first section heads through the eastern part of the forest so is suitable for cyclists. The western section is better suited for walkers.
To continue your walking in the area you could head to Willow Tree Fen Nature Reserve. Here you will find a beautiful fenland setting with meres, flooded pastures, hay meadows and reedbeds. The Macmillan Way also runs just to the south of Bourne. You can pick it up and enjoy a waterside walk along the River Glen.
|Brampton Wood||2 miles (2.5 km)||These ancient woods near Huntingdon consist of 326 acres with lots of nice walking trails and interesting flora and fauna. Look out for 280 species of fern, conifer, flowering plant and trees. There are lots of pretty flowers in the spring and summer months such as bluebells, primrose and violets. It's great for wildlife too with several species of butterfly including Brown Argus, White Admiral and Purple Hairstreak. Also look out for Hazel Dormouse and Muntjac deer.|
To extend your walk you could visit the nearby Grafham Water. There's a great walking and cycling trail running around the lake with lots of water loving birdlife to look out for on the way. You can reach Brampton Wood and Grafham Water by cycling along National Cycle Route 12 which runs past the southern edge of the woods. This runs all the way to Huntingdon, passing Hinchingbrooke Country Park on the way. There is also a car park at the southern edge of the woods just off the Brampton Road.
|Bramshill Forest||7 miles (12 km)||This circular walk takes you around the pretty Bramshill Forest, near Eversley in Hampshire. The walk makes use of the Three Castles Path and various woodland trails, taking you through Warren Heath, Hazeley Heath and Heath Warren Wood. You'll pass a number of pretty streams and tranquil ponds on the way.|
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could head to the nearby Bracknell Forest or Wellington Country Park where you'll find miles of walking trails.
|Brodsworth Community Woodland||2 miles (3 km)||These lovely woods in Doncaster have lots of nice walks to try. The park consists of broadleaf woodland, expansive meadows and wetland areas. There's a really nice mixture of habitats with great views of the surrounding countryside from the park's high points. Also look out for a number of tranquil ponds and a series of interesting sculptures dotted around the site.|
The park is located in Adwick Le Street with a car park just off Long Lands Lane. National Cycle Network Route 62 runs just to the east of the woods, near Scawthorpe.
To extend your walking in the area you could visit the nearby Brodsworth Hall. The Victorian country house has some beautiful gardens to explore.
|Broxa Forest||3 miles (5 km)||Visit this large forest on the North York Moors and enjoy miles of good woodland trails. The woods are in an elevated position so there are great views across the moors and Harwood Dale from the escarpment edge. There's good trails for mountain bikers with the Moors to Sea cycle route passing through the woods. Broxa Forest is also popular with bird watchers looking for the elusive nightjar.|
This circular route starts at the Reasty Hill Top car park and takes you along bridleways in the northern and central section of the forest. Park at the car park at the north eastern part of the forest and then pick up the trail west towards Ward Hill. You can extend your outing by continuing west towards Langdale End and Langdale Forest as shown in the video below. If you keep heading west you can also visit Hingles Wood and the River Derwent which runs past the western end of the woods. Heading south from the car park will take you along Whisper Dales Beck to Broxa.
If you head north you will come to the pretty village of Harwood Dale with it's old church and the Harwood Dale Beck. Harwood Dale Forest lies just to the north of the village and has nearly 2000 acres of woodland trails to try.
|Broxbourne Woods||9 miles (14.5 km)||Follow the Broxbourne Woods Nature Trail on this splendid walk in Hertfordshire. The site is Hertfordshire's only National Nature Reserve and includes Wormley Woods, Cowheath Wood and Hoddesdonpark Wood. You'll pass attractive Hornbeam coppice, tranquil ponds, pretty meadows and field edges as you make your way along the figure of eight trail. The woods have car parks on White Stubbs Lane where you can pick up the waymarked trails.|
This 9 mile walk takes you around most of the site but there are shorter walks and mountain bike trails for cyclists too. In the heart of the forest there is a 1km sculpture trail with several beautifully carved wooden pieces. These include a life size Roman soldier and a magnificent stag. Each sculpture illustrates something interesting about the forest, highlighting the historical importance of the woods and taking a close up look at the nature and wildlife that lives there. The video below gives and example of what you can expect to see on the trail. For cyclists there are some fun single-track rides to enjoy too.
If you'd like to extend your walking in the area then there are several good options. You could head west and visit Northaw Great Wood. This country park has 300 acres of woodland to explore.
The Hertfordshire Chain Walk and the Hertfordshire Way also pass the site. The Hertfordshire Chain Walk actually passes through the western end of the woods. You could pick this up and head south towards Cuffley and Enfield where you will pass Whitewebbs Park.
|Burnham Beeches||2 miles (2.5 km)||This National Nature Reserve and woodland has miles of good walking trails to try. The area consists mostly of beech woodland with lots of peaceful woodland footpaths to follow. There's also ponds, streams, grassland and heathland with over 500 acres to explore. The reserve is great for wildlife too. Look out for Exmoor Ponies, Berkshire Pigs, Jacob Sheep and grazing cattle. Facilities are very good with a car park off Lord Mayors Drive and a nice cafe.|
Burnham Beeches proximity to London and the beauty of the area attracts over half a million visitors per year. It has been used as a film location for Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1.
Please note this circular route is devised for walkers but cyclists can enjoy a network of tarmac surfaced roads, the majority of which are closed to cars. Click here for a map showing the the cycle trails. Please note off road cycling is not permitted in the reserve.
If you'd like to extend your outing then you can pick up the Beeches Way which runs through the reserve. If you head east you'll come to Farnham Common and Stoke Common where you'll find attractive Gorse and Heather heathland. If you follow the trail west it will take you to Cookham and the delightful Cliveden House. The Italianate mansion is surrounded by beautiful parkland and gardens with miles of walking trails and views of the River Thames.
|Calverley Woods||2 miles (2.5 km)||These woods in Leeds have walking trails and cycling trails suitable for mountain bikes. There's lots of good tracks with some decent jumps. The area also includes the adjacent West Wood with its walking trails taking you to bluebell woodland, an old walled garden and hidden grottoes.|
The woods are located next to the village of Calverley just south of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. You can pick up the walking and cycling trail along the canal to extend your outing. Following it west will take you towards Bradford while heading east takes you into Leeds.
|Canaston Woods||5 miles (8 km)||Enjoy a walk or cycle around these pretty woodlands in Pembrokeshire. There's 420 acres to explore with a good mountain bike track running through the centre of the woods. It's a fairly easy path so it's suitable for families. There are also numerous footpaths to follow through the ancient mixed woodland.|
The route begins near Canaston Bridge next to Blackpool Mill. There is a lay-by immediately south of Canaston Bridge where you can park. You then pick up the Knight's Way into the forest and follow various waymarked paths around the heart of the woods.
If you would like to continue your outing then you could head to the nearby Picton Castle Gardens and Slebech Park where you will find more excellent walking trails.
|Castle Coch||3 miles (5 km)||Visit this 19th-century Gothic Revival in Tongwynlais and enjoy a walk or cycle in the adjacent Fforest Fawr in the Brecon Beacons National Park.|
The route starts in Tongwynlais taking you around the castle and then into the peaceful woodland of Fforest Fawr.
The castle is located next to the Taff Trail so you could extend your cycle/walk by heading along the River Taff.
|Chalkney Wood||1 miles (2 km)||This area of ancient woodland near Chappel is a lovely place for a peaceful stroll. There is a car park off Tey Road near White Colne where you can pick up the public footpaths through the forest. In the springtime there are lots of pretty bluebells to enjoy. Look out for wildlife including deer, blackcap and nightingale. As an alternative to driving to the woods you could walk from the nearby village of Chappel where there is a train station. It's a really pretty village with an impressive viaduct, pretty houses, a mill and views of the River Colne.|
The Essex Way long distance walk runs close to the forest so you could pick this up to extend your walk.
|Chambers Farm Wood||5 miles (8 km)||Enjoy a series of peaceful walking trails in this forest and nature reserve in Wragby. The tranquil medieval woodland contains ancient limes and is well known for its large numbers of butterflies. |
There are three colour coded walking trails to try. Two are very easy walks on well surfaced paths which will suit all abilites. There is also a longer route which can be a bit muddy. It's a very tranquil place with a diversity of flora of fauna to look out for. Birdwatchers can look out for nuthatch, Woodlark, Buzzard, Hen harrier and green and great spotted woodpecker. There have also been 16 species of butterfly recorded.
The reserve is located about 10 miles east of Lincoln, not far from Horncastle.
|Chantry Wood||2 miles (3.5 km)||Explore 200 acres of woodland and meadows on this circular walk in Chantry Wood in Guildford. There's miles of woodland trails to follow with the North Downs Way passing along the northern edge of the forest (you can see some of this section on the google street view link below). There's a fair amount of climbing on the trails with nice views over the surrounding area from the high points. Look out for carpets of pretty bluebells in the springtime and a variety of birdlife all year round.|
This walk starts at the car park at the eastern end of the woods and follows the North Downs Way across the northern edge before picking up other trails to return you to the start point.
Just to the east you will find St Martha's Hill. You can climb to the 574 feet (175 m) summit and enjoy wonderful views of the surrounding area.
Also nearby is Newlands Corner where there are woodland trails and open chalk downland with wonderful views over the Surrey Hills.
|Chicksands Wood||2 miles (4 km)||These woods in central Bedfordshire have some good walking trails to try. In the peaceful woods you will find lots of flora and fauna with pretty bluebells in the spring and a variety of woodland birds. |
You can start your walk from Appley Corner where there is some parking available. Then follow the Long Drive south west through the centre of the woods. This nice wide track includes a monument to Lord Halifax. At Pedley Wood you can pick up the Greensand Ridge Walk long distance trail to take you back to Appley Corner.
It's easy to extend your walk if you have time. Just continue south west along the Greensand Ridge Walk to Clophill where you will find Maulden Woods. Here you will find more walking trails taking you through semi-natural broadleaf woodland, acidic grassland and conifer plantations.
At the Appley Corner end of the woods you can pick up the John Bunyan Trail and follow it a short distance to Rowney Warren Wood near Shefford. The large coniferous woodland has lots of footpaths, a BMX trail and a mountain bike trail.
|Chopwell Wood||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this large forest near Gateshead. There's 360-hectares of mixed woodland to explore on a variety of waymarked paths. Walkers can try four trails of varying lengths and difficulty. These include an easy walk along the Old Railway Footpath which takes you through the heart of the forest on a well surfaced path. There are also longer, more challenging trails around the boundary of the forest and a riverside walk along the River Derwent. Look out for a number of woodland sculptures including the popular Chopwell 'hands'.|
It's great for mountain biking too with a number of blue graded trails and one fast technical red grade trail.
|Clowes Wood||3 miles (5.5 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this area of woodland near Whitstable. The site is also a nature reserve and includes attractive mixed woodland, heathland and wet meadow. Look out for wildlife which includes woodpeckers, Woodcock and if you're lucky an owl. |
Part of National Cycle Route 1, known as the Crab and Winkle Way, passes through the woods. You could follow this lovely traffic free path from nearby Whitstable to reach the woods.
The walk can be extended by heading east through Thornden Wood and West Blean Wood to the splendid Wildwood Forest Park. Here you will find a wonderful collection of animals including badgers, foxes, otters, pine marten and red squirrels. Also in Thornden Wood you can climb Knockhimdown Hill for nice views over the area.
|Consall Nature Park||2 miles (4 km)||This lovely nature park near Stoke-on-Trent has four waymarked walking trails to try. All the walks start from the visitor centre which has displays, exhibitions and a shop. In the park you will find two large ponds, streams, easy woodland trails and a more challenging climb to Kingsley Banks where there are wonderful views over the Churnet Valley. The area is also great for wildlife with birds including Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Woodcock and Tree Pipit. Also look out for grass snakes, butterflies and dragonflies around the peaceful pools. There are also lots of pretty plants and flowers to enjoy such as marsh-marigold, Butterbur and bluebells in the woods.|
At the eastern edge of the park you will find the pretty Caldon Canal. You could extend your walk by following the towpath to Consall Forge where you can stop for refreshments at the canalside Black Lion Inn. Also of interest is the Churnet Valley Steam Railway which runs alongside the canal. The beautiful Consall Hall Gardens lie just to the north and are well worth a visit in the summer months.
|Cranham Woods||3 miles (5.5 km)||This circular woodland walk in the Cotswolds visits Cranham Woods, Buckholt Wood and Cooper's Hill. These large peaceful woods have miles of walking trails through attractive Beech woodland. Cyclists can try a series of downhill mountain bike trails. |
The walk starts from the parking area at the southern end of the woods near Cranham. You then head through Buckholt Wood towards Cooper's Hill, site of the Cheese Rolling event held on the Spring Bank Holiday which involves locals chasing a large round cheese down a near-vertical grass slope. The route then heads through Cooper's Hill Woods before returning to the car park.
If you would like to extend your walk then you could visit the nearby Prinknash Abbey Park or climb Painswick Beacon for wonderful views over the Cotswolds. Much of this walk makes use of the Cotswold Way National Trail so you could also continue east along the trail through Witcombe Wood to Birdlip Hill and the lovely Crickley Hill Country Park.
|Croham Hurst||2 miles (2.5 km)||Explore these geologically significant ancient woods on this short walk in Croydon. There's a number of footpaths to follow around the 83 acre site including a climb to Breackneck Hill. At the high points you will find seats where you can relax and enjoy the views of the surrounding area. The woods consist of hazel, beech, oak, wood anemones, wavy hair-grass, heather and bilberry. |
The Vanguard Way and London Loop long distance paths both run close to the woods so you can pick these up to extend your walk. If you head north east you will soon come to Addington Hills where there is a great viewpoint and London's largest area of heathland. Head south east and you come to Littleheath Woods and Selsdon Wood. Here you'll find 200 acres of ponds, open meadows and ancient woodland.
|Cropton Forest||6 miles (9 km)||This large area of coniferous woodland on the North York Moors has miles of footpaths and bridleways for walkers and mountain bikers. This route starts from Levisham train station where you can pick up the tracks into the forest. The trails are on nice wide paths with some climbs and fast descents to enjoy. Keep your eyes peeled for deer as you make your way through the woods.|
The Tabular Hills Walk passes the southern edge of the woods near Levisham. You could pick up this long distance trail and follow it to the nearby Hole of Horcum to extend your outing.
|Dalby Forest||5 miles (8.5 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this large forest in the North York Moors. The forest has lots of different cycling trails to try. These range from easy family routes to challenging trails for experienced mountain bikers. You can hire a bike and then pick one of the colour coded trails. The easy green route is a great one for families while the 21 mile red route is a more challenging single track trail. The trails start from the Dalby Visitor Centre on Dalby Forest Drive. There's also miles of country lanes to follow through the forest and its surrounding area.|
For walkers there are also several good trails to choose from. The trails are of varying lengths and difficulty. You can try easy waterside walks around the pretty Staindale Lake or along Ellerburn Beck. There are also longer walks to the sandstone sculptures of the Bridestones or to Adderstone Rigg.
This area of the North York Moors is great for walking and cycling with Wykeham Forest just a few miles to the east. Here you'll find more mountain bike trails and some climbs to great viewpoints.
The Tabular Hills Walk long distance trail also runs through the woods. The waymarked 48 mile trail takes you across the southern boundary of the North York Moors National Park from Scarborough to Helmsley.
|Dodd Wood||4 miles (6 km)||This splendid wood next to Bassenthwaite Lake has several waymarked walking trails to try. This includes a hike to the summit of Dodd Fell where there are excellent views to enjoy. The woods have very good facilities with a car park, cafe, picnic areas, toilets and viewpoints. The area is very popular with bird watchers who come to see the Bassenthwaite Ospreys from the viewpoints in the woods. You can watch the birds fishing over the lake with the high powered telescopes and binoculars provided at the viewpoints.|
There's four waymarked walking trails to try with the Dodd Summit trail the most challenging. You'll climb through woodland and open hill to the 502 m (1,647 ft) summit where you can enjoy far reaching views towards Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite Lake, the Solway Coast and the mountains of Scotland.
There's also three easier trails to try. These visit the magnificent Douglas Firs, the pretty Skill Beck and Sandbed Gill. After your walk you can refresh yourself at the excellent Old Sawmill Tearoom. Also nearby is the 17th century Mirehouse with its beatiful gardens and woodland.
The woods are located a few miles north west of Keswick. You could reach them on foot by following the Allerdale Ramble from the town. The path goes via Applethwaite and Millbeck, before reaching the eastern side of the woods. Cyclists can follow regional cycle route 38 from Keswick which also passes through Applethwaite and Millbeck.
Much of this walk follows the Allerdale Ramble footpath which runs right through the woods. You can continue along this path to extend your walking in the area. If you follow it north east you will climb to Carl Side and then on to the wonderful peak of Skiddaw. Skiddaw is the 4th highest mountain in England and commands majestic views over the Cheviots, North Pennines, Yorkshire Dales, Forest of Bowland and the Isle of Arran. The path can be followed in the other direction along Bassenthwaite Lake. It will take you past Mirehouse & Gardens and several bays and woods. It eventually reaches the end of the lake and continues along the River Derwent to Cockermouth.
|Dunwich Forest||5 miles (8 km)||This large forest is located in the Suffolk Coasts and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the village of Dunwich. There are miles of peaceful woodland walking trails and lovely conservation areas of marshland and wetland adjacent to the woodland.|
This walk starts at Dunwich village and takes you into the forest on the Suffolk Coast Path. You then follow a series of well defined trails through the coniferous and broadleaved woodland before returning to the village. At the northern end of the forest you will find the delightful Westwood Marshes and Walberswick Nature Reserve where there are excellent birdwatching opportunities. Also look out for the Dunwich ponies in the woodland area.
If you follow the Suffolk Coast Path south you will soon come to the wonderful Minsmere Nature Reserve. This coastal nature reserve is considered one of the best sites in the country for birdwatching.
Just to the south you'll find the lovely National Trust owned Dunwich Heath. There's miles of footpaths through beautiful purple heathland and coastal views along the pretty Dunwich beach.
|Ennerdale Forest||12 miles (20 km)||Enjoy miles of traffic free cycling and walking trails in this super forest in the Lake District National Park. The route starts at the Bowness Knott car park next to the beautiful Ennerdale Water. You then head east into the forest along the lakeside path. After leaving the lake behind the track follows the River Liza into the forest to Ash Crag before returning along the south side of the river. The forest tracks are quite uneven in places so a mountain bike is required for cyclists. |
The views of Ennerdale valley are fabulous with some of the highest and best-known fells in Cumbria forming a spectacular backdrop - Great Gable, Green Gable, Brandreth, High Crag, Steeple and Pillar are all visible on the route.
Just to the south of the forest is Pillar, the eighth highest mountain in the eighth highest mountain in the Lake District. You can climb to the peak from the forest via the striking Pillar Rock.
|Fermyn Woods||2 miles (2.5 km)||This country park and forest has a number of walking trails and two bridleways for cyclists. Formerly known as Brigstock Country Park, it is located a few miles north east of Kettering. |
For walkers there are three waymarked trails to enjoy:
The Skylark Nature trail is an all abilities trail on good surfaced paths. It takes you around the ponds and woods located next to the car park.
The Woodland walk is about a mile long and takes you a little further into the woods on good footpaths.
The Fermyn Forest Walk is just over two miles taking you deep into the woodland on a mixture of hard and soft tracks.
In the park you will find semi-natural oak and ash woodland, ponds, a visitor centre and cafe. It's a splendid area for wildlife watching - look out for Red kites, bullfinch, hawfinch, nightingales, skylark and green woodpeckers. You may also see badgers, fallow deer and Purple emperor butterflies.
|Fineshade Woods||5 miles (8 km)|
Top Lodgein Fineshade Woods has several waymarked cycling and walking trails. For cyclists there is a green graded easy route running through the main woodland block. It is a gentle ride perfect for families on largely flat paths. Running alongside the green route are 7 alternative blue grade sections. These are great for mountain bikers looking for more of a challenge.
Walkers can enjoy three colour coded, waymarked trails of varying difficulty.
The Smelters' Walk is an easy trail for abilities. It runs for 2 miles on flat well surfaced paths.
The moderate Dales Wood Trail visits the Wildlife Hide where can you look out for birds on the feeders and deer in the woodland. There is also a short climb to a viewpoint with great views over Rockingham Forest.
For a more challenging walk you can try the Mill Wood Trail which involves a few harder climbs.
If you would like to continue your walk you can pick up the Jurassic Way which runs through the forest. Or head to the nearby Wakerley Woods which is just a couple of miles to the west. Here you'll find pleasant walking trails and a blue grade, single-track mountain bike trail.
Fineshade Woods is located close to Peterbrough, Corby, Stamford and Oakham.
|Fingle Woods||4 miles (6 km)||Explore the delightful woods around Fingle Bridge and visit the Iron Age Hill Fort of Wooston Castle on this woodland walk in Dartmoor. The area is actually made up of a series of woods including Charles Wood, Hore Wood, Butterdon Ball Wood and Houndsmoor Wood. It covers over 400 acres with waymarked trails and lots of wildlife to look out for. From the high points there are wonderful views over Dartmoor and the option of continuing your walk through the Teign Gorge towards Castle Drogo.|
This circular walk starts at the Fingle Bridge car park and takes you along the River Teign which runs through the northern part of the woods. It's a lovely riverside path with the peaceful river surrounded by pretty bluebells and attractive woodland. The path then climbs to Wooston Castle which overlooks the Teign Valley. You then descend the hill fort and return to the car park on other trails in the southern section of the woods.
It's easy to extend your walk by heading west along the river and visiting Castle Drogo. You can pick up the fantastic Hunters Path and enjoy fabulous views across Dartmoor before exploring the wider estate of the country house of Castle Drogo. The Dartmoor Way also starts at Fingle Bridge so you can follow this along the Teign towards Chagford to further stretch your legs.
|Forest of Bere||3 miles (5.2 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this lovely forest near Portsmouth. The forest is a delightful mixture of woodland, open space, heathland, farmland, downland, streams and ponds. The forest includes Creech Woods with its conifers, heather and play areas for children. The circular route below starts at the car park and takes you around the forest on wide grassy paths.|
If you'd like to continue exploring this area then you could head a few miles west to Wickham where you can pick up the super Meon Valley Trail. This cycling and walking trail runs along a disused railway track from West Meon to Wickham, with great views of the River Meon.
|Forest of Dean Family Route||9 miles (14.22 km)||Family Cycle ride around the Forest of Dean:|
This circular route takes you along NCN route 42 and the Wye Valley path through the delightful Forest of Dean. The route takes place on off road paths making it ideal for families.
This route is also suitable for walkers.
|Forge Valley Woods||2 miles (3 km)||Follow the waterside trail through this delightful nature reserve in the North York Moors National Park. The route follows a wooden boardwalk through the wooded valley along the River Derwent. There's a wide variety of flora and fauna to look out for in the reserve. This includes wild garlic, wood anemone and broadleaved woodland. Also keep your eyes peeled for deer and woodland birds. It's easy to extend your walking in the area with Raincliffe Woods located just to the north west. The woods have some good mountain bike trails and more walking trails. Also nearby is Wykeham Forest which has some great viewpoints from its elevated position. |
Forge Valley is located just north of the villages of West Ayton and East Ayton. In West Ayton you can visit the 14th ruins of Ayton castle.
|Friston Forest||5 miles (8 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this large forest on the South Downs near Eastbourne. There are trails for mountain bikers ranging from gentle off road trails to an exhilarating single track ride. There are two fairly easy waymarked trails for walkers. Look out for wildlife including rare butterflies and deer. |
This circular route starts at the car park and takes you along some of the bridleways in the forest. It also visits the pretty village of West Dean.
It's easy to extend your outing by visiting the nearby Cuckmere River and Cuckmere Haven and Seven Sisters Country Park. You could also pick up the The South Downs Way which runs past the forest.
|Gisburn Forest||4 miles (6.5 km)||Enjoy miles of wonderful woodland walking and cycling trails in this large forest in the Forest of Bowland. Mountain bikers can enjoy a moderate 9.5km blue grade trail and a more challenging red grade trail. Walkers can enjoy 5 waymarked walks of varying lengths and difficulty. In the forest you will find wide, well surfaced trails taking you through mixed woodland and conifer plantation with a wide variety of wildlife to look out for in one of the hides. There are also becks, streams and waterfalls.|
This easy circular route starts at the forest hub and takes you to Hesbert Hall before returning with a waterside section along Bottoms Beck and the lovely Stocks Reservoir. If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could try the Stocks Reservoir route which takes you all away around the reservoir.
|Gledhow Valley Woods||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy a pleasant stroll through these woods in Leeds. There is a nice footpath running along Gledhow Beck and around Gledhow Lake for about a mile. The area is quite small at 57 acres but very peaceful and pretty. There's a wide variety of flora and fauna with birds such as Chaffinch, Chiff Chaff, Dipper and Dunnock to look out for. Plants and flowers include Bluebell, Common Knapweed and Cornflower. It also includes a 19th century open air bath house in the south eastern corner.|
You can extend your walk by heading to the nearby Roundhay Park. It's located just over a mile from the woods and includes 700 acres of parkland, lakes and gardens in one of the largest parks Britain. Gipton Wood is also located just a 10 minute walk away.
|Glenariff Forest Park||1 miles (2 km)||This 1185 hectare (2928 acre) forest has miles of walking trails including the waterfall walk and scenic trail.|
The waterfall walk is particularly lovely with footpaths leading you through steep wooded gorges with a series of beautiful falls to enjoy. There are some steep sections but it is a fairly easy climb and the footpaths are well maintained. There are some wonderful views of the surrounding area to enjoy from the high points.
The park is located in Glenariff County Antrim. There are good facilities with a car park, tea room and gift shop.
|Glenmore Forest Park||6 miles (9 km)||This forest in the Cairngorms National Park has miles of fantastic cycling and walking trails to enjoy. This circular route starts at the excellent visitor centre and follows cycle and walking trails into the forest and alongside the lovely Loch Morlich. The loch has a pretty beach perfect for relaxing on after your ride/walk, while the visitor centre has a great cafe with refreshments. There's also a wide variety of wildlife to look out for including Scottish Crossbill, Crested Tit, Capercaillie and Red Deer. The magnificent Cairngorms mountains make a wonderful backdrop for the route.|
From the nearby town of Aviemore you could pick up the excellent Speyside Way for more cycling and walking in the area.
|Gosford Forest Park||4 miles (6 km)||Follow the way marked trails through this large park near the village of Markethill in County Armagh. It's a great place for walking with miles of woodland trails, streams, waterfalls, ponds, grassland and a lovely arboretum to visit. |
Features of the park include an area of open parkland with deer and rare breeds. There is also a lovely Arboretum with attractive conifer and broadleaf trees with a pretty walled garden.
There are several colour coded walking trails to try and also a cycling trail. These are of varying lengths and difficulty and take you to the impressive 19th century Gosford Castle, the Drumlack River and Draper's Hill. See the maps below for details of the trails.
|Great Wood Quantocks||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this large area of woodland in the Quantocks. There is a red waymarked walking trail starting from the main car park which takes you to Ramscombe on good footpaths. The area has fine trees including ancient oaks, Majestic Douglas firs and Sitka spruce. There are also lovely streams and grassy glades to enjoy a picnic in. Look out for a variety of wildlife including red and roe deer, nightjar and sparrowhawk. |
The wood has miles of wide paths which are excellent for mountain biking. You can easily extend your ride by continuing along the many bridleways in Seven Wells Wood or Quantock Combe.
|Grizedale Forest||4 miles (7 km)||This huge forest in the Lake District has several way-marked cycling and walking trails to enjoy. There are six way-marked mountain bike trails of varying lengths and difficulty. These include a moderate (blue) 2 mile trail which visits the Goosey Foot and Juniper Tarns. The Hawkshead Moor Trail is graded red and visits the western side of the valley, overlooking Coniston Water. For an exciting rollercoaster ride try The North Face Mountain Bike Trail. The singletrack trail offers an adrenelising descent through oak woodlands and conifer forest. |
Walkers can enjoy 8 super, way-marked trails. These include the moderate Bogle Crag Trail which runs for 2.5 miles and features numerous sculptures along the way. The Silurian Way is a longer, more challenging walk which visits the summit of Carron Crag, the highest point in the forest. The walks offer great views of the Lake District mountains and lakes such as Coniston Water, Windermere and Esthwaite Water.
There's a great visitor centre at the start of the route where you can hire bikes and find out more information on all the cycling and walking trails in the forest.
|Grovely Wood||6 miles (9 km)||Enjoy cycling and walking trails in this large area of woodland near the Wiltshire village of Great Wishford.|
This route starts in Great Wishford and makes use of the Monarch's Way and the Salisbury Country Way to take you into the woods. Start off in the village centre and then follow the Grovely Road south west to the woods. There's lots of nice wide trails with beech trees lining the way. Look out for a variety of birdlife and the Purple Emperor butterfly as you make your way around the expansive site.
A Roman road also passes through the centre of the woods. This makes for a good cycle path taking you from one end of the woods to the other. You can pick up the path from Wilton and head west to the forest, as an alternative route. It's a great area for mountain bikes with lots of additional trails to choose from.
If you would like to extend your walking in the area then the village of Great Wishford and the surrounding area is well worth exploring. The village has a fascinating parish church with a 13th-century chancel and 15th-century tower. You can also enjoy a stroll along the River Wylye which runs through the village.
If you continue west along the Monarch's Way it will take you to Great Ridge Wood where there are more good woodland trails to try.
|Hackfall Woods||1 miles (2 km)||These peaceful woods near Grewelthorpe have miles of nice walking trails to try. It's a special place with grottos, old temples, follies, waterfalls and riverside paths along the River Ure. There's also a nice pond with a fountain, carpets of bluebells in the spring and a variety of woodland birds to look out for. |
The woods include the famous viewpoint at Limehouse Hill . The climb is well worth the effort as there are splendid views of Masham Church, The Ruin and Mowbray Castle which was famously painted by Turner.
The Ripon Rowel long distance walking route passes through the woods so you have the option of extending your walk along the River Ure in either direction. This walk starts from the car park near the woods but you could also start from the nearby town of Masham and follow the Ripon Rowel along the river to the woods. It's about a 2 mile walk from the town.
Just to the west of the woods you will find Nutwith Common where there are miles of forest trails to try.
|Hagg Wood||1 miles (2 km)||Visit these bluebell woods in Dunnington and enjoy a series of peaceful woodland walking trails through the attractive coniferous woodland. There's lots of interesting flora and fauna with primroses, yellow pimpernel, wood anemone and dog violets. Look out for foxes, deer, badgers and various woodland birds too. |
To extend your walking in the area you could head east through the countryside and pick up the Minster Way. It runs along the River Derwent into Stamford Bridge.
The woods are located a few miles east of York. You can reach the woods by bike using National Route 66.
|Haldon Forest Park||2 miles (3.5 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this 3500 acre forest near Exeter. The cycling trails are well laid out and colour coded according to difficulty. There is a nice easy trail named the 'Discovery Trail' which is well surfaced and great for families looking for a safe ride or for walkers looking for a pleasant stroll. It has fun features for children and takes in some stunning views over Exeter and Dartmoor. |
The blue Challenge trail is a moderate mountain bike trail with a combination of surfaces, some narrow sections and gentle gradients for intermediate cyclists. More experienced riders can try the red graded 'Ridge Ride Trail' which is a technical, fast and flowing trail with tight corners and lively descents to test your reflexes. Bike hire is available from Forest Cycle Hire. Walkers can enjoy a number of waymarked trails of varying lengths and difficulty. The Butterfly Trail is a three mile circular walk with views across the forest and over the Teign valley. The Mamhead Trail is an easy 1.5 miles trail with it breathtaking views over the Exe estuary and along the Jurassic Coast. The Raptor Trail and Tree Trail offer more challenging walks with some steep climbs.
Haldon Forest Park is located about 6 miles south west of Exeter town centre.
|Hamsterley Forest||9 miles (15 km)||Hamsterley Forest is a great place for exciting mountain bike trails, leisurely family cycle rides or peaceful woodland walking.|
There are three colour coded, way-marked mountain bike trails in the forest. The blue trail follows purpose built cycle tracks and the Bedburn Beck through the southern part of the forest at a leisurely pace. It's suitable for families and people looking for a gentle introduction to off road cycling. The red trail goes further into the forest and climbs to a point with fabulous views of the surrounding area before descending on an exciting single track running along Euden Beck. The black trail is the most severe trail and suitable for experienced mountain bikers. Cycle hire is available from the start of route below.
Walkers will find five way-marked trails of varying lengths and difficulty to follow. These include an easy, riverside stroll along Bedburn Beck and longer trails with climbs and a visit to Blackling Hole waterfall. The route mapped out below is suitable for both leisure walkers and cyclists looking for a fairly easy ride.
|Harcourt Arboretum||1 miles (2 km)||This beautiful arboretum near Oxford has a series of well laid out footpaths to try. There's 130 acres to explore with wildflower meadows, rhododendrons and bluebell woods. |
In the arboretum you will find giant redwoods, azaleas and monkey-puzzle trees. Many of the trees have been introduced from the Pacific North West region of North America. The lovely paths take you to the Serpentine Ride and peaceful glades. It really is a spectacular sight in autumn while in spring there are beautiful carpets of bluebells.
In addition to the woodland there is a 67 acre wildflower meadow with views of the surrounding countryside.
Look out for a variety of birdlife and the resident peacocks as you make your way through the grounds.
Harcourt is located near to the Thames Path so this is a good option if you would like to extend your walk. Both Abingdon and Oxford are nearby.
|Harewood Forest||4 miles (7 km)||This large forest near Andover has miles of woodland walking trails to try. You can reach the forest by following the Test Way from nearby Chilbolton or Wherwell. It's about a one mile walk through the countryside to the woods from Wherwell. The Test Way passes through the woods but there are also other public footpaths to pick up once you are there.|
The forest has an intersting history with the 19th centruy Dead Man's Plack to see. The Grade-II listed monument is dedicated to Ethelwald, Ealdorman of East Anglia, who (as legend goes) was killed in 963 by his rival in love, King Edgar I.
To extend your walking in the area you could head south west along the Test Way towards Stockbridge and visit Danebury Hill Fort. The fascinating Iron Age fort commands wonderful views over the Test Valley.
Cyclists can reach the forest area by cycling along National Cycle Network route 246 which runs through nearby Goodworth Clatford and Upper Clatford from Andover.
|Hartburn Glebe||1 miles (1.5 km)||Explore these pretty little woods in the village of Hartburn on this short walk in Northumberland. A river runs through the area with a deep pool reputed to have been used to hide silver and valuables during Viking Raids. Look out for wildlife including red squirrels, badgers and otters and various interesting plants and flowers. There's also a splendid Grade ll listed grotto near the river. It was created in the 18th century as a changing area for ladies wishing to bathe in the Hart Burn. |
Hartburn Glebe is situated about 6 miles (10 km) to the west of Morpeth.
|Harwood Dale Forest||5 miles (8 km)||Enjoy a walk through this large forest and around the pretty village of Harwood Dale on this circular route in the North York Moors.|
You can start your walk from the village and then head north to reach the forest. There's lots of footpaths and bridleways to explore the coniferous woodland with its pine and spruce trees, streams and ponds. Look out for wildlife including roe deer, badgers, squirrels, foxes and various woodland birds.
After visiting the forest it's well worth exploring the area around the village. If you head west you can visit the old church and enjoy a stroll along Harwood Dale Beck and Hagg Wood. Just to the south you'll find Broxa Forest, while continuing west will take you past the River Derwent into Langdale Forest. Here you'll find more good walking paths, mountain bike trails and great views over the North York Moors.
|Haugh Woods||2 miles (4 km)||These woods in Hereford have mountain bike trails and a Butterfly Trail for walkers. The area covers about 850 acres so there's plenty of different trails to try. It's great for wildlife with over 600 recorded species of butterfly and moth. Families can enjoy nice easy walking trails with picnic benches to rest and refresh yourselves. The Haugh Wood Butterfly Trails are particularly popular. You can follow the waymarked trails and look out for the information boards which show you the different types of butterfly you may see on your walk. You can pick up all the trails from Haugh Wood car park in the centre of the woods.|
There's lots of footpaths to choose from including the Three Choirs Way long distance trail which runs right through the wood. The Wye Valley Walk also skirts the western edge of the woods. You could actually follow the waymarked path from Hereford all the way to the woods as an alternative route.
The woods also link with the Mordiford Loop. The circular trail takes you through the orchards, woodland and countryside surrounding the village.
|Haughmond Hill||3 miles (5.6 km)||Enjoy a series of waymarked walking trails in this woodland area near Shrewsbury. There are four colour coded trails of varying lengths and difficulty.|
The Bardon Geo Trail is waymarked with orange markers. It will take you to a viewpoint with wonderful views over the Shropshire countryside and the Rivern Severn.
The red waymakers will take you on Henry's Hike where you can enjoy excellent views of The Wrekin.
Wilfred's Walk follows blue markers on a four km circular tour of the area. It is named after Wilfred Owen the famous World War One poet who had links with the area.
There is also an easy access trail suitable for wheelchairs and buggies which is waymarked with yellow markers.
You will pass through mixed deciduous/coniferous woodland and visit an Iron Age enclosure and Haughmond quarry on the way. Look out for deer as you make your way through the woodland areas.
Parking is available on site but you could easily reach the forest by following the Shropshire Way along the River Severn from Shrewsbury if you wanted to come by foot. If you wanted to continue your walk you could visit the ruins of the nearby
Haughmond Abbeyand Haughmond Abbey Woods. You could also pick up the Severn Way and enjoy some riverside walking.
|Heartwood Forest||3 miles (5 km)||This large forest near St Albans has some fine cycling and walking trails to try. The forest includes over half a million trees, ancient woodland, wildflower meadows and miles of waymarked walks. There's also bridleways suitable for mountain biking. It's great in the spring with carpets of bluebells and lots of wildlife to look out for. This includes barn owls, tawny owls, kestrels and 27 species of butterfly. There is also a community orchard with apple and pears trees plus an arboretum which, once fully grown, will be the only one known in the UK to contain all 57 of our native tree species. |
There's three waymarked walks to try all of which are fairly easy and of similar lengths. These take place on a mixture of surfaced tracks and grassy paths.
You can park at the car park near the village of Sandridge to start your walk. The bridleways can also be picked up from the High Street in the village.
The area includes Langley Wood and Pudler's Wood with Nomansland Common just to the north. If you are on a bike please keep to the marked bridleways.
The forest is located near to a number of excellent cycling and walking trails. If you head north towards Wheathampstead you can pick up the Ayot Greenway. This rail trail will take you to Welwyn Garden City on a marked National Cycle Route. You can also pick up the Lea Valley Walk and enjoy a riverside stroll.
|Hicks Lodge||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy cycling and walking trails in this converted coal mining site in Ashby-de-la-Zouch. |
Cyclists can enjoy two mountain bike trails. There is an easy trail suitable for all abilities and the more challenging Shell Brook Trail which has some jumps and bumps.
Walkers can enjoy a short stroll around the lake or explore deeper into the forest on woodland trails.
|Highnam Woods||1 miles (2 km)||Follow the 2km nature trail through this pretty RSPB reserve near Gloucester. There are nice woodland paths where you can look out for a variety of bird species including the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Marsh Tit, Nightingale, Song Thrush, and Spotted Flycatchers. Also look out for woodland butterflies such as white admirals and white-letter hairstreaks. |
The Wysis Way and the Gloucestershire Way both pass close to the reserve so there is scope for extending your walk along one of these long distance paths.
If you head a mile to the east you will come to the lovely Highnam Court with its beautiful gardens, lake and 17th century grade I listed country house.
|Hockley Woods||2 miles (2.5 km)||Follow the peaceful walking trails through this large area of mixed woodland near Rayleigh in Essex. There's a car park at the northern tip of the woods just off Main Road. From here you can pick up the waymarked trails. In the wood you'll find Oak and sweet chestnut trees, streams and wildflowers including three species of orchid. In the springtime there are lovely carpets of bluebells to enjoy. Look out for wildlife including various woodland birds and the protected heath fritillary butterfly.|
The Saffron Trail long distance footpath runs past the woods so you can pick this up to extend your walk. To visit Hockley from nearby Rochford you could follow the Roach Valley Way west through the countryside to the woods. This will take you past the pretty Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park with its lake, woodland and grassland covering 200 acres.
|Hopwas Woods||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy walking and cycling trails in these woods near Tamworth. There's 385 acres of ancient woodland to explore with the Coventry Canal running through the eastern edge of the forest. For mountain bikers there are opportunites for some fun off road cycling with natural single track, dirt tracks and some short steep descents.|
You can gain access to the woods from the village of Hopwas by following the canal into the woods and then picking up the bridleways.
If you head south along the canal you can pick up the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal and head towards Tamworth and Birmingham to extend you outing.
|Hucking Estate||2 miles (4 km)||Enjoy a peaceful stroll through the ancient woodland and open grassland of the Hucking Estate in the Kent Downs AONB. Waymarked walking trails will take you along well surfaced paths with fantastic views over the surrounding countryside. Spring is a great time for this walk as you will find a carpet of pretty bluebells in the delightful woodland glades. Free parking is available on Church Road, where this circular walk starts and finishes. |
If you'd like to extend your walk then you could follow the North Downs Way to the nearby White Horse Wood Country Park for more walking trails with great views. It is located about 2.5 miles to the west.
The Hucking Estate is located a few miles north east of Maidstone.
|Hurn Forest||5 miles (8 km)||Enjoy a cycle or walk through this pleasant area of woodland near Bournemouth. There are miles of good tracks to explore the area which includes woodland, heathland and ponds. The Moors River also runs past the western edge of the wood.|
There is a parking area on Matchams Lane from which this route starts. You can see this on the street view link below.
To extend your outing head to the nearby Avon Heath Country Park near Ringwood. Parley Common is also only a mile to the west in Ferndown.
|Idless Woods||2 miles (4 km)||Enjoy miles of woodland walking and cycling trails in this beautiful area of mixed woodland near Truro. This circular route starts at the car park at the western end of the forest and takes you around the area on good paths. Features in the forest include an Iron Age hill fort, lots of pretty bluebells in spring and the River Allen which runs past the western end of the forest. The woods are made up of beeches, larches and eucalyptus. It's a great for wildlife too with roe deer, otters and badgers to look out for. |
The woods are are very popular with mountain bikers with numerous off road trails to try.
|Jeskyns Park||2 miles (2.5 km)||Explore the woodlands, ponds, orchards and wildflower meadows in this country park near Gravesend. Walkers can enjoy a number of waymarked surfaced paths and an 8km grass trail. There are also easy surfaced paths for cyclists. These are good for families looking for a safe ride. |
There's lots to see with 100 acres of meadowland with over 40 species of wildflower. You can also explore the orchards with apple, plum, cherry and pear trees. At Henhurst Lake you can look out for water loving wildlife while the woodland area and glades are a lovely tranquil place for a stroll too.
If you'd like to extend your outing then you could head to the nearby Shorne Woods Country Park where you'll find 288 acres of rolling woodlands, wetlands and meadows.
|Joydens Wood||4 miles (6.5 km)||Explore these ancient woods near Bexleyheath on this easy walk on the border of London and Kent. The area is historically and archeologically significant with remains found from Roman times. This is represented with a series of impressive wooden sculptures. Look out for the Saxon Warrior and Roman Soldier pieces in particular. There's lots of wildlife to see also. Look out for bats, woodpecker, owl and dormouse all of which are represented by a sculpture.|
The wood has lots of good waymarked footpaths and nice wide bridleways for cyclists to follow. It's a peaceful place for walkers to visit on the outskirts of the city. With over 136 hectares (325 acres) to explore on miles of paths there's plenty to keep walkers and mountain bikers busy.
You can start your walk from Bexley train station just to the north of the woods. Then follows paths south to the site. As well as the extensive woodland there's an area of open heathland with ponds and picnic tables. Look out for pretty plants and flowers including bluebells, lily-of-the-valley, honeysuckle and wood sage.
The London Loop passes close to the woods so it's to extend your walking in the area. You can follow it to a number of parks and nature reserves close to the wood. At Foots Cray Meadows nature reserve you can enjoy a waterside walk along the River Cray while at Scadbury Park you can explore the ruins of Scadbury Manor. The popular trails at Petts Wood Circular and Jubilee Country Park are also close by.
|Kielder Forest Lakeside Way||22 miles (35 km)||This fantastic circular cycling and walking route takes you around the beautiful Kielder Reservoir in Kielder Forest Park, Northumberland. The route is known as the Lakeside Way and follows the shoreline of the reservoir on a lovely multi-user track. Along the way you can see twenty pieces of outdoor public art including the futuristic Belvedere shelter and the three large rotating Janus Chairs. There's excellent wildlife spotting opportunities with Ospreys regularly seen around the reservoir. |
The route also passes Kielder Dam and Kielder Castle where you will find an excellent visitor centre with exhibitions, information and a cafe. The castle is also the centre for cycling within the park - you can hire a bike here or get your own repaired. It is located at the northern tip of the reservoir at Kielder village.
If you're looking for a more challenging cycle ride you will also find several colour coded mountain bike trails within the park. They range from the easy Borderline trail to the thrilling Deadwater black trail.
For great views over the Lake District and the Scottish Hills you could climb Deadwater Fell from Kielder Castle.
|King's Wood Kent||2 miles (4 km)||This large area of woodland near Challock has miles of good walking trails to try. There's a good sized sculpture trail with a series of interesting wooden sculptures and pretty bluebells in the springtime. The ancient woodland is comprised of Sweet Chestnut, Beech, Corsican Pine and Douglas Fir. It's a great place for wildlife with species including fallow deer, adders, nightjars and green woodpeckers. |
The forest is located just to the east of Challock with a parking area on White Hill Road. It is not too far from Canterbury and Ashford.
This route is designed for walkers to explore the sculptures but there are also lots of good cycling trails on the hard forest roads and mountain bike trails in the woods. The North Downs Way also passes through the eastern end of the woods so you can pick up this bridleway section too.
|Lady Clough Woods||2 miles (4 km)||These attractive woodlands are located just off the Snake Pass in the Peak District. There are miles of nice nice walking trails to try. It's a very pretty area with the rushing water of the River Ashop, tranquil ponds and attractive coniferous woodland. |
The walk starts from the car park at Birchen Clough Bridge just off Snake Road. From here you gain direct access to the woodland trails which take you to Lady Clough Moor and Urchin Moor. There are two colour coded waymarked trails on challenging paths with stream crossings and great views of the surrounding moorland. After the walk you can refresh yourself at the Snake Pass Inn just south of the woods.
The walk can be extended by heading west across Ashop Moor to Ashop Clough. Just to the east you will find the Alport Castles Walk.
|Langdale Forest||7 miles (12 km)||This large forest in the North Yorks Moors has mountain bike trails and walking routes to try. The coniferous forest has a number of pretty streams and lots of wildlife to look out for. Keep your eyes peeled for nightjar, bullfinch, adders, lizards and the pearl bordered fritillary butterflies. |
The Blue Man Walk passes through the forest so you can pick this up to extend your walk. You can follow the trail through the North York Moors to Dalby Forest and Broxa Forest. Also nearby is the expansive Wykeham Forest and the fascinating sandstone sculptures at Bridestones Nature Reserve.
Harwood Dale Forest lies just to the east of the forest and has nearly 2000 acres of woodland trails to try. The pretty village and beck are also well worth exploring.
|Laughton Woods||8 miles (12.5 km)||Follow the long woodland trail through Laughton Woods on this easy walk in Lincolnshire. You can park at the car park at Tuetoes Wood and then follow a footpath through Laughton Forest to the nearby village of Scotten. The path passes Scotton Common and Green Howe Pond. Look out for wildlife such as herons and nightjars in the woods. |
Laughton Woods is located about 7 miles south of Scunthorpe.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could head to the nearby Messingham Sand Quarry where there are nice footpaths running around a series of lagoons.
Also nearby is the lovely Twigmoor Woods with its large ponds and lovely colourful rhododendrons.
|Leigh Woods||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy cycling and walking trails in this forest and nature reserve in Bristol. The reserve is located in the beautiful Avon Gorge and is a popular retreat from the city. You can enjoy oak, small leaf lime and ash forest with carpets of bluebells in the springtime. Along the way you can enjoy sculpture trails, views of the River Avon and the Clifton Suspension Bridge and a variety of wildlife. Look out for bullfinch, marsh tit, song thrush and Peregrine falcon as you make your way through the woods. The area is managed by the National Trust so the trails are well maintained. |
Walkers can enjoy various waymarked walking trails including the popular one-mile woodland wander which will suit all abilities. The whole of the circular route below is designed for walkers. If you are on a bike please stick to the marked cycle trails which start from the same point as this route.
For cyclists there is a blue grade trail which makes for a nice traffic free ride for beginners or families. The video below shows this trail known as the Yer Tiz trail. There is also a red grade trail for more experienced mountain bikers to try. A National Cycle Network trail also runs through the forest.
Parking is available at the woods but you could follow the River Avon Trail from the centre of Bristol to extend your exercise. It's about a 2-3 mile walk/cycle along the river from the city centre and train station.
|Lesnes Abbey Woods||1 miles (2 km)||Visit the fascinating ruins of Lesney Abbey and enjoy a stroll through the adjacent ancient woodland, on this lovely walk in south east London.|
To start your walk you can park at the Lesnes Abbey car park just of Abbey Road. Abbey wood train station is also very close to the entrance to the ruins at the northern end of the park. Just stroll along Abbey Road for a few minutes and the abbey ruins are just on your right.
The abbey dates from the late 12th century and is dedicated to St Mary and St Thomas the Martyr. After exploring the ruins you can also visit the arboretum and the ornamental garden.
The walk extends into Lesney Abbey Woods just to the south of the ruins. There's a nice selection of footpaths surrounded by pretty flowers such as daffodils, bluebell and wood anemone. Look out for wildlife including butterflies and a variety of woodland birds.
The park has good facilities with a nice cafe and an exhibition giving details of the history of the abbey.
The Green Chain Walk passes right through the grounds so there is plenty of scope for extending your walk. If you follow the trail east it will take you into Bostall Woods. Continue south east and you will soon come to Shooter's Hill and Oxleas Wood where there is an elevated terrace garden with fine views over the city of London and the countryside of the surrounding counties.
If you head north along the path it will take you to the River Thames via the pretty Southmere Lake.
|Llandegla Forest||7 miles (12 km)||This large forest near Wrexham is a fantastic place for walking and cycling. There are 50km of graded, waymarked mountain bike trails. The trails range from nice easy family trails to more exhilarating downhill tracks. The Green Route is a leisurely ride around the pretty Pendinas Reservoir with views of the Clwydian Range. At the other end of the scale is the challenging Black Route with steep descents, large steps, gaps and drop-offs. The Blue route is a good one to try for people new to mountain bikers while the Red Route is for Intermediate riders.|
Walkers are also well catered for with a series of waymarked walks. Easy trail include one around the reservoir with views of Moel Famau. There's also a nice trail across the Ruabon moors where you can look out for the Black Grouse from the bird hides.
The forest has an excellent visitor centre with bike hire and a cafe.
The Offa's Dyke Path runs through the forest so you could pick this up to extend your exercise. If you follow the trail south for a couple of miles you will come to the lovely wooded gorge at World's End.
|Macclesfield Forest and Trentabank Reservoir||3 miles (4.5 km)||This circular walk explores Macclesfield Forest and also pays a visit to the pretty Trentabank Reservoir on the western edge of the Peak District.|
The walk starts at the Standing Stone car park on the eastern edge of the forest. You then head west on good woodland footpaths through the conifer forest, passing along the Bollin Brook before arriving at Trentabank Reservoir. The area is great for wildlife spotting with a large heronry and other water loving birds such as common sandpiper, green sandpiper and little ringed plover. You may also see red deer in the woodland area. The area also include grassland with a variety of pretty plants and flowers including bluebell, tormentil, pignut, birdsfoot trefoil, foxglove and lesser knapweed.
From the reservoir the route heads south back into the woodland towards Nessit Hill before returning to the car park.
It's easy to extend your walking in this lovely area. You could head west past Ridegate Reservoir and pick up the Gritstone Trail and follow it to the excellent Tegg's Nose Country Park.
|Maulden Woods||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoy miles of nice woodland walking trails in this popular wood in Maulden, Bedfordshire. The site consist of semi-natural broadleaf woodland, acidic grassland and some conifer plantations. You can access the woods by following the Greensand Ridge Walk from the village. The path takes you through some nice countryside to the woods where you can pick from several trails. The southern section takes you into Pennyfather's Woods with a path through more open countryside and grassland to enjoy. Look out for wildlife including deer, badgers and foxes. In the spring and summer months there are lots of wildflowers and bluebells. These attract a wide variety of butterflies including white admiral and purple hairstreak.|
This walk starts from the village of Maudlen but there is also a car park in the north eastern corner of the site, just off the A6. There's also a picnic area in the southern section.
To extend your walk you could visit the nearby Ampthilll Park where you can enjoy fabulous views from the Greensand Ridge. If you follow the Greensand Ridge Walk east it will take you through Clophill to Chicksands Wood and Rowney Warren Wood. This large coniferous woodland has lots of footpaths, a BMX trail and a mountain bike trail.
|Millington Woods||1 miles (1.5 km)||Visit these delightful woods in the Yorkshire Wolds on this short walk near Pocklington. The site consists of the best ancient ash woods in the Yorkshire Wolds. You can also enjoy carpets of bluebells, giant bellflowers and the scent of wild garlic. There's a nice surfaced walking trail running from the car park to a view point where you can admire a fine panoramic view across the treetops.|
The Minster Way and the Yorkshire Wolds Way both run past the woods so you could pick up these long distance footpaths to extend your walk. You could then explore the lovely Sylvan Dale and Millington Dale which are right next to the woods. You could actually reach the woods by following the Wolds Way from Pocklington. National Cycle Network Route 164 also runs to the woods from Pocklington so it's easy to cycle there too. There's also a car park just off Wood Gate Road at the southern end of the site.
|National Memorial Arboretum||5 miles (8 km)||This peaceful circular walk takes you through the National Memorial Arboretum and its surrounding countryside in Alrewas, near Lichfield in Staffordshire. There are 30,000 trees in the 150 acre Arboretum, forming a unique living tribute to those who have served and continue to serve our country. There are also over 300 thought-provoking memorials, each with a story to tell. |
This walk starts in the Arboretum car park and takes you through the grounds to Wychnor Viaduct on the River Trent. You will pass the pretty Croxall Lakes Nature Reserve. The reserve consists of two large lakes which attract various wildfowl and waders during the autumn months. It's a pretty area with reedbeds and the River flowing through it. Look out for otters and short-eared owls during winter.
From the nature reserve you continue to Catholme and Wynchnor Bridges where you pick up the Trent and Mersey Canal. A nice waterside section along the towpath takes you into Alrewas before returning to the finish point at the car park.
You can virtually explore the National Memorial Arboretum using the google street view link below.
|Oversley Wood||2 miles (3.5 km)||Follow the woodland trails through the delightful forest on this circular walk in Alcester. The woods are located just to the south of Alcester. You can easily reach them from the town by following the Arden Way over the River Arrow and past Oversley Green. There's also a car park in the north eastern corner just off the A46. This will give you access to miles of good woodland trails. It's great in the spring and summer with lots of bluebells and wildflowers to enjoy. Look out for butterflies, badgers and lots of birdlife as you make your way through the woods.|
To extend your walk you can continue along the Arden Way towards Upton and Walcote.
|Oxhey Woods||2 miles (3 km)||These peaceful woods near Watford have nice footpaths and a popular sculpture trail to follow. You can park at the Oxhey Woods car park off Oxhey Drive which runs through the centre of the woods. There are lots of trails in the woods but the main attraction is the excellent sculpture trail. Along the 1km trail you will find numerous carved wooden sculptures of the wildlife you can see in the area. Watch the video below to see the pieces being carved.|
The woods are also a local nature reserve so look out for a variety of interesting flora and fauna. Plants includes bluebells, anemones and violets amongst the ancient woodland. There's also a rhododendron trail running through the southern section of the site near the sculpture trail. Wildlife includes the tiny pipistrelle bat and a variety of woodland birdlife.
The London Loop passes through the wood so there is scope for extending your walk in the area. If you head east the trail will take you to Harrow Weald Common, Bentley Priory Nature Reserve and Stanmore Common. The commons have nice woodland trails, heathland and wildlife including muntjac deer to look out for.
|Oxleas Wood||1 miles (2 km)||This lovely park in south east London has good footpaths through woodland, a terraced garden, a rose garden and parkland. The area is in an elevated position on Shooter's Hill so there are great views of the city of London and the surrounding countryside to enjoy. In the park you will find ancient woodland including oak, silver birch, hornbeam and coppice hazel. There's nice wide lawns where you can enjoy a picnic and the far ranging views. |
In Castle Wood you will find the 18th century Severndroog Castle. The impressive Gothic-style castle has a viewing platform from which you can see several of the surrounding counties on a clear day.
The park also has good facilities with a car park and a nice cafe.
The Green Chain Walk passes right through the park so you can pick this up to extend your walking in the area. Heading north will take you through Eltham Common and Woolwich Common before coming to the River Thames in Greenwich. Head east and you will soon come to Bostall Woods where there are more nice walking trails to try. Adjacent to Bostall Woods is the fine Lesnes Abbey Woods where you can explore the ruins of the 12th century abbey and visit the lovely ornamental garden and arboretum.
|Pamber Forest||2 miles (4 km)||This large forest in Tadley covers nearly 500 acres. It is criss crossed with numerous footpaths ideal for a peaceful stroll. The area consists of Oak and Birch ancient woodland and heathland. The pretty Honeymill Brook also runs through the forest.|
The area is great for wildlife with many species of butterfly to look out for. White admiral, purple emperor and silver-washed fritillary are just a few you may see as you make your way through the woods. Birds such as Blackcap and Green woodpeckers are regular visitors to the woods too. Interesting flora includes wild daffodils, honeysuckle and lovely purple heather.
This circular route is more suited for walking but on the eastern side of the forest you will find a bridleway which is good for cycling. This runs from Pamber heath to Bridle's Copse, passing Silchester Common on the way.
The Brenda Parker Way runs through the woods so you could pick up this long distance footpath to extend your walking in the area. If you follow the path north east you will come to the fascinating Silchester Roman Town (Calleva Atrebatum). The town's ruined walls are still visible as are the remains of the amphitheatre, added about AD 70-80 and situated outside the city walls.
If you head west you'll come to the pretty Ashford Hill Nature Reserve where there are more nice woodland trails.
|Pressmennan Wood||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoy a visit to Pressmennan Wood and Pressmennan Lake on this circular walk near Dunbar in East Lothian. There's over 200 acres to explore with views of the Firth of Forth and Bass Rock. You can also enjoy a stroll along Pressmennan Lake, one of only three lakes in Scotland. It's a splendid place with Pressmennan considered by many to be one of the best woods in the UK.|
There's a nice waymarked walking trail starting from the car park at the western end of the woods. Along the way there's lots of interesting flora to look out for including bluebells, conifers, wild garlic (ransoms) and wild raspberries. Wildlife is abundant with deer, hares, bats, otters and owls. It's great for children too with a sculpture trail where they can hunt for fairies known as Glingbobs and Tooflits.
|Puddletown Forest||4 miles (6 km)||This large area of woodland near Dorchester has miles of footpaths and mountain bike trails. There are a number of easy walking trails and some more challenging climbs to Green Hill and Beacon Hill. If you are on a moutain bike you can enjoy miles of bridleways, short natural singletracks, downhill sections and some jumps. The forest is located just to the west of the village of Puddletown and the River Piddle. It is a nice walk to do if you are visiting Thomas Hardy's cottage which is located on the western fringe of the forest.|
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could visit the nearby Athelhampton House. National Cycle Network Route 2 runs just to the south of the forest.
|Raincliffe Woods||2 miles (3 km)||This woodland area in the North York Moors has some good bridleways for mountain biking and nice walking trails. You can park at the car park off Mowthorp Road to pick up the tracks. Follow Middle Road through the centre of the forest before picking up Lady Mildred's Ride to return. If you head all the way through the woods you will come to Scarborough where you can pick up National Cycle Network Route 1.|
The woods are good for wildlife spotting with deer, badgers, squirrels, frogs, toads, foxes and various woodland birds to look out for. In the spring months there are also lots of bluebells.
To extend your exercise you can head into the adjacent Forge Valley Woods. This nature reserve has a nice boardwalk trail along the River Derwent. Just to the west is the expansive Wykeham Forest with miles more trails to try.
|Rendlesham Forest||5 miles (8 km)||Rendlesham Forest is probably most famous for reported UFO sightings in 1980 but it is also a great place for cycling and walking. Cyclists can enjoy two easy, family cycle routes on flat well defined paths and quiet country lanes. For walkers there are also two way-marked trails of differing lengths. Both are an easy stroll suitable for all abilties. There is also a UFO trail which takes you to some of the areas connected to the UFO sighting in December 1980. |
The circular route below starts at the car park/visitor centre and takes you through forest on trails and quiet roads. The route is suitable for cyclists and walkers but the latter could take the woodland paths adjacent to the section along the road.
The forest also has a bike park with two challenging one-way rides. This is located near the car park.
Rendlesham is located just a few miles east of Woodbridge.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could pick up the Suffolk Coast Path. It runs along the Butley River through Boyton Marshes to the River Ore and the coast. Also nearby is the wonderful Orford Ness Nature Reserve. The national trust owned reserve is located on a remote shingle spit by the River Ore and can be accessed by catching the National Trust ferry from Orford Quay.
Also nearby is Tunstall Forest where you can try the excellent 10 mile red graded single-track mountain bike trail.
|Salcey Forest||4 miles (7 km)||Enjoy peaceful cycling and walking trails in this popular forest in Northamptonshire. For cyclists there is a lovely, family cycle trail starting at the car park. It's a gentle circuit of the forest on surfaced paths but with a couple of road crossings to look out for.|
Walkers can enjoy three waymarked routes of varying lengths. The easy Elephant walk takes you past Elephant pond and the super Tree Top Way. Here you climb to a walkway 15 metres above the woodland floor for splendid views of the forest and surrounding countryside. For a longer walk you could try the 10km (6 mile) Woodpecker trail where you can look out for all three British species of woodpecker - the lesser spotted, greater spotted, and green.
The forest has good facilities with parking spaces and a very good cafe. It is located about 7 miles south of Northampton.
Several long distance cycling and walking trails run through or past the forest so it's easy to continue your exercise in the area. You could pick up the Hanslope Circular Ride, The Swan's Way or the Midshires Way to extend your outing.
Salcey forest postcodeNN7 2HX.
|Selsdon Wood||2 miles (3 km)||This woodland and nature reserve in Croydon is criss crossed with a number of nice footpaths and walking trails. The reserve includes 200 acres of ponds, open meadows and ancient woodland including oak, beech, ash and sweet chestnut. There's two colour coded waymarked trails which you can pick up from the car park. |
The area is also known as the Bird Sanctuary with birds such as Blackcap, Buzzard, Cuckoo and Chiffchaff to look out for. Also keep your eyes peeled for Roe Deer, various insects and the rare White Squirrel.
It's great for flora too with 130 flowering plants to see. These include Crocus, Red Campion, Bluebell and Cowslip.
The London Loop and the Vanguard Way pass through the wood so you can pick these long distance footpaths up and extend your walk. One option is to follow the trails north to Littleheath Woods and then on to Addington Hills. This lovely park includes London's largest area of heathland and a great viewpoint with views towards Parliament Hill and Docklands. Just to the west of Addington Hills is Croham Hurst Woods where you'll find ancient woodland and a climb to Breackneck Hill.
Heading east from Selsdon Wood will take you to Frith Wood and Frylands Wood.
Heading south will take you into Surrey, passing Greatpark Wood, Holt Wood and Chelsham.
For cyclists National Cycle Route 21 passes close to the woods at New Addington.
|Shaw Forest Park||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy some nice walking trails in this community woodland in Swindon. You can park in the car park on Forest Park Road off Mead Way. From here you can pick up the trails to the ash/willow woodland, wildflower meadows, grassland and ponds. Look out for wildlife including roe deer, foxes and various wildfowl. At the north western edge of the park you can visit the pretty Peatmoor Lake.|
To extend your outing you can head a mile north and visit Mouldon Hill Country Park. Here you'll find a lake, the River Ray, a section of the North Wilts Canal and nice views from the high points. Also nearby is Lydiard Country Park. Here you'll find 260 acres of lawns, woodlands and pasture to walk or cycle through.
|Sherrardspark Wood||1 miles (1.5 km)||Enjoy a walk or cycle around these pleasant woods near Welwyn Garden City. There's lots of footpaths for walkers and bridleways for cyclists to try. The area is great for wildlife. Look out for nuthatches, treecreepers, woodpeckers, thrushes, robins, tits and wrens. You may also see Muntjac Deer and foxes.|
The Ayot Greenway runs through the woods so you can extend your exercise on this great rail trail.
|Sherwood Pines Forest Park||5 miles (8 km)||Enjoy several waymarked cycling and walking trails in this large woodland area in Mansfield. The cycle trails include a 3 mile, green graded ride which is great for families. The Adventure Cycle Trail is blue graded and runs for 6 miles - it's also a nice flat ride which is suitable for all abilities. It takes place on a super all weather limestone surface so you can try it at any time of year. For enthusiasts there is the red graded Kitchener Trail which is a much faster and more challenging ride.|
Walkers can enjoy two waymarked walking trails through mature pine woodland and lowland heathland. The Dragonfly Trail runs for 1 mile and takes place on a well surfaced path. The Nightjar Trail is unsurfaced and runs for about 2 miles.
If you'd like to continue your exercise you could visit the nearby Vicar Water Country Park for more walking and cycling trails.
|Shillito Woods||2 miles (3 km)||These woods near the village of Millthorpe have a nice walking trail and views across Ramsley Moor in the Peak District. |
There's a car park at the southern end of the woods on Fox Lane. You can pick up the trail from here and follow it through the mature conifer woodland. The walk can be extended by crossing Fox Lane and heading north along Blake Brook on Ramsey Moor. Continue north and you will come to Smeekley Wood and Cockshutts Wood. Footpaths can be followed all the way to the Derbyshire village of Holmesfield and the nearby Holmesfield Woods.
Shillito Woods are located a few miles south of Sheffield and not far from Dronfield where you can pick up the Dronfield 2000 Rotary Walk. Also nearby are the climbs to Curbar Edge and Birchen Edge where you can look out for fascinating rock formations and enjoy wonderful views from the elevated position of these wonderful Peak District locations.
Ramsley Reservoir is also located just a mile west of the car park.
|Shining Cliff Woods||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy waymarked walking trails through this peaceful woodland near Ambergate. In the spring you'll find carpets of bluebells. Wildlife includes warblers, flycatchers and bramblings. The woods are near to the Derwent Valley Heritage Way, so you could pick this up and follow the River Derwent to continue your walk.|
|Shrawley Woods||2 miles (4 km)||Enjoy a circular walk around this attractive area of woodland near Worcester. There are miles of good woodland trails, a riverside path along the River Severn and several large ponds to enjoy. The woods are very popular with walkers during the springtime as you will find carpets of pretty bluebells. The area near the village hall is known as the grove and has a stream running through a lovely wooded valley, with lots of pretty flowers and vegetation. |
The Severn Way runs past the woods so you can pick this up to extend your walk. The woods are located close to Stourport-on-Severn where you will find Hartlebury Common which has more nice woodland trails to try. You could also visit Witley Court which is located only a few miles to the west. Here you will find a palatial 19th century mansion surrounded by beautiful gardens.
|Spring Wood Whalley||2 miles (4 km)||Follow the nature trail through delightful woodland on this easy walk in Whalley. The woods are located close to the town centre and a short walk from Whalley railway station. The area has a series of waymarked, surfaced footpaths to follow through the ancient woodland. There are twenty four different species of trees, wild garlic flowers, ponds and in the spring there are carpets of bluebells.|
Spring Wood has good facilites with parking, an information centre and picnic areas. You can also extend your walk into the surrounding countryside at Wiswell where there are nice views towards Longridge Fell.
Whalley is a lovely town to stroll through so you can easily extend your walk by visiting the fascinating Whalley Abbey. In fact the monks of the abbey once owned Spring Wood. The River Calder also runs through the town so you can enjoy a waterside walk along the river too.
|St Leonard's Forest||2 miles (4 km)||This large area of woodland is located just to the east of Horsham. There are miles of cycling and walking trails to explore with attractive pine woodland, a series of pretty streams and the Whitevane Pond at the north western end of the forest. There are good wide tracks ideal for a mountain bike or hybrid. There's some steep climbs to try with fun descents. For walkers there are miles of easy flat tracks to enjoy. Look out for wildlife including peacocks and wood warblers.
The forest can be easily reached by following the High Weald Landscape Trail from the centre of Horsham.
|Staffhurst Wood||1 miles (2 km)||This woodland area near Tandridge is popular with walkers in spring when there are carpets of pretty bluebells and a nice woodland pond to see. There are a number of trails to follow around the woods with the option of extending your walk into the adjacent Great Earls Wood and Merle Common. You can enjoy refreshment at the nearby Royal Oak Pub after your walk.|
There is a car park at the woods but if you wanted to visit the woods by train you could follow the Eden Valley Walk and the Vanguard Way from Edenbridge towards the woods.
|Standish Wood||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy peaceful woodland trails in this large area of woodland near Whiteshill, Stroud. In the springtime there are carpets of bluebells to enjoy.|
The walk can be extended by climbing Haresfield Beacon for wonderful views over the Severn Vale and the Cotswolds.
|Stapleford Woods||1 miles (1.5 km)||This area of ancient woodland near Newark-on-Trent has some nice footpaths taking you around the forest. In the woods you will find large Victorian era-planted Rhododendrons and other interesting flora and fauna.
There is a car park off Coddington Lane where you can pick up the circular surfaced walking trail. It runs for just under a mile and is a nice way to spend half an hour. |
To extend your walking in the area you could head a couple of miles west and pick up the Trent Valley Way. The lovely riverside trail runs through Newark-on-Trent and Collingham.
The woods are close to the villages of Coddington and Beckingham which are nice places to go for refreshments after your walk.
|Sunnyhurst Woods||2 miles (2.5 km)||Explores 85 acres of woodland on this circular walk through Sunnyhurst Woods in Darwen. There's a nice stream running through the woods with good waterside footpaths on either side. It's perfect for a peaceful stroll and a picnic. The area is also a nature reserve so look out for a wide variety of flowering plants and birdlife including the great spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, tree creeper, kingfisher and tawny owl. There is also a pretty visitor centre with information about all the trails in the woods.|
This circular walk takes you through the woods and then past the neighbouring reservoirs of Earnsdale and Sunnyhurst Hey. Near the reservoirs there are great views across the moorland to Jubilee Tower.
If you would like to extend your walk then you could pick up the Witton Weavers Way and climb Darwen Tower for great views over the surrounding countryside.
|Symonds Yat Rock||2 miles (4 km)||Enjoy wonderful views over the Wye Valley from this well know viewpoint on the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire border. From the elevated position you have a great view of the beautiful wooded gorge below. It's also a popular spot for birdwatching with peregrine falcons, buzzards, goshawks and hobbies regularly seen. The area is great for walking and cycling with miles of waymarked woodland trails and riverside paths to try. This circular walk starts from the car park and follows good footpaths to the viewpoint. You then continue along the river through the woodland, passing Huntsham Hill on the way. A section along the Perigrine Path then takes you along the River Wye before heading through Riddings Wood to the car park. |
There are several other waymarked trails in the area which visit the Iron Age Hillfort and Mailscot Wood. There is also a nature trail with nature boards through an attractive section of mixed woodland. You can buy refreshments from the excellent Log cabin cafe.
This route is designed for walkers but cyclists can try the Symonds Yat Rock Cycle Trail which runs for about 3 miles from the campsite. You can also pick up the Perigrine Path cycle route which runs through Symonds Yat.
If you would like to extend your walk then you can continue along the river using the Wye Valley Walk. If you head west you will soon cross the England-Wales border and arrive at Monmouth where you can visit the splendid Kymin Hill for more wonderful views over the area. If you head east you'll soon come to Lower Lydbrook and the ruinous Norman medieval Goodrich Castle. Here you can climb Coppet Hill for more great views into Wales.
|Taf Fechan Forest||6 miles (9 km)||Enjoy a series of beautiful waterfalls and delightful woodland trails on this walk in the Brecon Beacons National Park. |
The walk begins at the Taf Fechan Forest car park near the northern end of Pentwyn Reservoir. You then head to Lower and Upper Neuadd Reservoirs on peaceful woodland trails. You'll pass along the Taf Fechan River which is dotted with a number of picturesque waterfalls. The trail then passes along the lovely Lower and Upper Neuadd Reservoirs with the imposing Pen Y Fan making a wonderful backdrop. The route returns to the car park on alternative woodland trails.
The whole of this route is designed for walkers but the eastern leg takes place on a super track which is suitable for walkers and cyclists.
The route can be extended by following the Taff Trail to the nearby Blaen y Glyn Waterfalls.
|Thetford Forest||4 miles (7 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this large forest in Suffolk.|
Cyclists will find 4 way-marked trails of varying distance and difficulty. The Shepherd Trail is a nice easy ride on well defined paths, suitable for families. Experienced mountain bikers can try the exciting Beater trail which takes you through beautiful beech woods on a single track.
Walkers can enjoy a number of way-marked walks such as the lovely Nature Trail. This walk features a viewing hide where you can look out for the wildlife in the forest. This includes four types of deer and countless varieities of birds and butterflies.
The circular route below starts at the visitor centre and follows cycling and walking tracks around the centre of the forest.
If you would like to continue your excercise you could head to the nearby Brandon Country Park. Here you will find beautiful lakeside lawns, a delightful walled garden and an excellent visitor centre.
The super Little Ouse Path walking route also runs through the forest. Head a few miles north towards Lynford and you will find the delightful Lynford Arboretum with its peaceful, woodland walking trails.
|Thorp Perrow Arboretum||1 miles (2 km)||Explore 100 acres of woodland, gardens and lakes in this beautiful arboretum near Bedale in North Yorkshire. It's perfect for an easy afternoon stroll with a series of good footpaths including tree trails, a nature trail and a children's trail. There's lovely grassy paths, glades, bays, and avenues connecting the different sections of the arboretum. There's a wonderful collection of rare trees and plants from China, Japan, North America, Chile, and Europe. In spring there are daffodils, wild flowers and bluebells while in the summer the hydrangeas are in full bloom. In autumn the colours of the trees create a spectacular natural fireworks display.|
The site also includes a wonderful Bird of Prey and Mammal Centre with one of the largest collections of birds of prey in the north of England. These include eagles, falcons, hawks, vultures and owls with experts giving flying demonstrations.
|Thrunton Woods||5 miles (8.5 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this large area of woodland near Alnwick. The forest has two waymarked walking trails. One is an easy trail of 2 miles and the other is a more challenging 5 mile walk involving some climbing. The area is also popular with mountain bikers as there are a number of very good off road trails to try. On the trails you can climb Thrunton Crag and enjoy wonderful views towards the Cheviots.|
A few miles to the south of the woods you will find the splendid Cragside Country Park. Here you will find peaceful woodland trails, Nelly Moss Lakes and two waterfalls.
|Tunstall Forest||10 miles (16.5 km)||This large forest in Suffolk has miles of good footpaths and a 10 mile red graded single-track mountain bike trail. The waymarked route is called the Viking Trail and is a narrow flowing singletrack running through the trees, with twists, berms and some short climbs. It's a fun ride and not too challenging though there are some technically tricky bits. The ride starts at the car park off Tunstall Road towards the northern end of the forest. |
This mountain bike route is designed for cyclists but walkers can easily pick up the forest footpaths from the same start location. You can walk down to Tunstall Common and then continue south to the little village of Chillesford for refreshments. From here you can pick up the Suffolk Coast Path to take you back into the forest and then head west to return to the car park.
If you'd like to continue your exercise in the area then you could head to the nearby Rendlesham Forest where you'll find family cycle routes on flat well defined paths and quiet country lanes. For walkers there are also two way-marked trails of differing lengths.
Also nearby is the splendid Orford Ness Nature Reserve. The national trust owned reserve is located on a remote shingle spit by the River Ore and can be accessed by catching the National Trust ferry from Orford Quay.
|Twigmoor Woods||1 miles (1.5 km)||Enjoy a short stroll around these pretty woods near Scunthorpe. The walking trails take you around the pretty Gull Ponds and past shrubs, conifers and lovely colourful rhododendrons. It's good for wildlife spotting too. Look out for woodpeckers, tree creepers and common warblers. There's a parking area just north of Greetwell which gives direct access to the footpaths. The woods are located just west of Scawby. |
The area has an interesting history. Twigmoor Hall, was the home of Jack Wright, one of Guy Fawkes' co-conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot. Legend has it that the plot was hatched at Twigmoor Hall.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could head to the nearby Messingham Sand Quarry where there are nice footpaths running around a series of lagoons. Also nearby is Laughton Woods with more peaceful woodland trails to try.
|Twyford Wood||2 miles (4 km)||This wood near Grantham has miles of footpaths taking you to conifer woodland, grassland and the lovely Twyford Wood butterfly glades. Here you can look out for dingy and grizzled skipper butterflies.|
The site is a former second world war airfield with a control tower and wide open runways which are good for cycling. There is a small car park at the northern end of the forest where you can pick up the trails. The woods are very close to Colsterworth and Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton. Here you can visit the 17th-century limestone house of Woolsthorpe Manor which is owned by the National Trust. This is said to be the site where Newton, observing an apple fall from a tree, was inspired to formulate his law of universal gravitation. The village and manor are only about a mile from the woods. It's a nice place to go for refreshments and to learn about the history of the area after your walk.
The Viking Way passes through nearby Buckminster so this is a good option if you'd like to extend your walking in the area.
|Uffmoor Wood||1 miles (1.5 km)||These attractive woods near Romsley cover over 200 acres with miles of waymarked trails to try. The shady paths are particularly lovely in the spring when there are carpets of bluebells to enjoy. There's also pretty little streams with wooden footbridges and lots of wildlife. Look out for fallow deer, foxes and a variety of birdlife as you make your way through the woods.|
The woods are located very close to the splendid Clent Hills Country Park. Here you'll find miles of National Trust devised footpaths with magnificent views over the Cotswolds, Shropshire Hills and Welsh borders from the high points.
About a mile east of the woods you'll find the Illey Way. This dismantled railway line will take you through the countryside to Waseley Hills Country Park and Woodgate near Halesowen.
|Wakerley Woods||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoy several cycling and walking trails in this forest near Peterbrough. Mountain bikers can have a go on the Scar Tree Trail. This blue graded, single-track ride is three miles in length and starts at the car park. |
Walkers can enjoy the 2 mile Deer Park Trail where you will pass two Bronze age burial cairns and hopefully spot a few of the deer that roam through the forest.
The route below is designed for walkers and starts at the car park, taking you through the forest on various trails. Cyclists should please stick to the Scar Tree Trail which you can also pick up at the car park.
If you would like to continue your outing you could head a couple of miles east to Fineshade Woods where you'll find more cycling and walking trails.
|Wendover Woods||4 miles (7 km)||Enjoy miles of great cycling and walking trails in this large forest in Buckinghamshire. The cycle trail is a moderate 5 mile route on waymarked surfaced tracks. It has some steep sections but is generally suitable for all abilities/families. |
For walkers there are several waymarked trails including a lovely easy access trail for all abilities. On the way you can see sculptures, deciduous trees, evergreen trees and many woodland flowers. There are also splendid views of the surrounding Chilterns countryside.
Other attractions in the woods include a splendid cafe and a Go Ape forest adventure with Zip Wires, Tarzan Swings and a variety of Crossings. For children there is a fun Superworm trail from the creators of the Gruffalo.
If you'd like to continue your outing then several long distance trails run past the forest. You could pick up the Icknield Way Path, the Chiltern Link or The Ridgeway or head to the nearby Grand Union Canal.
The woods are located near Aylesbury and Tring.
|West Woods||4 miles (7 km)||This large area of woodland near Marlborough has miles of hard surfaced cycling and walking trails to try. It's nice for an easy family cycle and there are more challenging tracks for mountain bikers. Walkers can also enjoy various waymarked trails and an easy access route. The woods consist of a beautiful plantation of beech trees with carpets of bluebells in the spring.|
The Wansdyke Path runs through the woods so you could pick this up to continue your exercise. You could also reach the woods from Marlborough by following the Wansdyke Path south west from the town centre for about 2 miles.
|Westonbirt Arboretum||4 miles (6 km)||Enjoy a woodland walk through this beautiful Arboretum near Tetbury in the Cotswolds. Here you will find 15,000 specimens from all over the world in an area covering about 600 acres. It is considered one of the most valued and significant collections of trees in the whole of the United Kingdom. In autumn it is a simply stunning spectacle providing one of the best natural fireworks displays in Britain. In spring you can see rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias in the Old Arboretum and wildflowers, bluebells and cherry trees in Silk Wood. |
The area is criss crossed with numerous well surfaced walking trails. The Macmillan Way and the Monarch's Way long distance trails also run past the site so you can easily pick up a trail to extend your walk.
|Wharncliffe Woods||9 miles (15 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails through this large wooded area near Rotherham. The route starts at the Woodhead road car park and follows the Trans Pennine Trail north through the woods towards Wortley. You then double back on the same trail before heading towards Wharncliffe Crags and Wharncliffe Nature Reserve. Here you can find heather, scrub and bracken with a variety of wildlife including nightjar, linnet, viviparous lizard and green tiger beetle.
There are also streams and tranquil ponds to enjoy on your tour of the woods.|
Walkers can enjoy two colour coded, waymarked trails. The area is also popular with mountain bikers with a number of challenging off road trails.
If you would like to continue exploring the area then you could visit the nearby Wentworth Woodhouse and Westwood Country Park where you will find more enjoyable walking trails.
|Whichford Wood||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy a short, peaceful stroll through these delightful woods on the edge of the Cotswolds. The area consists of Broadleaved and conifer woodland with a number of woodland walking trails to try. There are lovely views over the surrounding Warwickshire countryside from the forest too. Look out for various wildflowers, bluebells and wildlife including fallow deer. After your walk you can enjoy refreshments at the pub in the village of Whichford.|
The Macmillan Way long distance footpath runs through the woods so you could pick this up to extend your walk through Long Compton Woods to the village of Long Compton. If you continue south you will soon come to the fascinating Rollright Stones. The group of Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monuments consists of three groups of stones: the King's Men stone circle, the Whispering Knights burial chamber and the single King Stone.
|Whinfell Forest||5 miles (8 km)||This walk visits the Cliburn Moss Nature Reserve before following woodland trails into the adjacent Whinfell Forest. Much of the area is taken up by the Center Parcs but there are public footpaths through the forest as well. You can park at the Cliburn Moss car park and explore the reserve first. It has some nice waymarked footpaths taking you to fen, bog, heath and woods. Look out for wildlife including red squirrels, blackcaps and willow warblers. After exploring the reserve you can head north and skirt around the edge of the holiday village in Whinfell Forest. |
The woods are located a few miles south east of Penrith. You can follow National Cycle Network Route 71 from Penrith to the woods.
To extend your walking in the area you could visit the National Trust owned Acorn Bank. Here you can explore stunning gardens and visit the restored 19th century watermill. Also nearby is Lowther Castle with its 130 acres of parkland and the splendid Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre.
|Whippendell Woods||2 miles (3 km)||Explore 165 acres of ancient woodland on this circular walk through Whippendell Woods in Watford. There are a series of good trails to follow with an avenue of lime trees dating back to 1672. Other trees include oak, beech, ash and silver birch. In the spring months the woods are covered with huge numbers of pretty bluebells. |
The area is also very good for wildlife spotting. Look out for birds such as woodpeckers, tawny owls and sparrow hawks. Other creatures you might see include bats, badgers and deer.
The woods were used as the location for The Gungan Forest in Star Wars Episode 1 The Phantom Menace. The video on the page shows scenes from the film.
This walk starts at the car park, just off Grove Mill Lane and takes you on a circuit around the outskirts of the wood.
It's easy to extend your walk if you have time. You can head a mile east to the nearby Cassiobury Park crossing the Grand Union Canal on the way. Also nearby is Chipperfield Common where you'll find waymarked, woodland walking trails to try.
|Whitwell Wood||2 miles (3.5 km)||This 171 hectare broad-leaved woodland has three colour coded, waymarked walking trails to try. They are all easy trails making the woods an ideal location for a peaceful afternoon stroll. In the woods you'll find a pond with a variety of wildlife, pretty wild flowers and a number of woodland birds. Look out for tadpoles, baby frogs and spiders around the pond and butterflies near the wildflowers. |
The woods are located just north of the little Derbyshire village of Whitwell. It's just a short stroll from the village centre to the entrance of the woods off Clinthill Lane.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could head a few miles south to Cresswell Crags. Here you will find a wonderful limestone gorge with a waterside footpath running along Crags Lake with views of the surrounding caves and cliffs.
|Winkworth Arboretum||2 miles (2.5 km)||Enjoy a series of woodland walking trails in this beautiful arboretum in Godalming. The area is run by the National Trust so there are very good facilities including a free car park and a tea room. In the woods you will find over 1,000 different shrubs and trees with many rare species. These include magnolias, bluebells, azaleas, rhododendron and holly. There are also large landscaped garden lakes, an attractive boathouse and lovely carved benches with animal figures. |
There are three colour coded, waymarked trails to try:- a blue 'Access for All' walk, a yellow 'Taste of Winkworth' walk and a red 'Challenging' walk. Look out for wildlife such as herons, green woodpecker and cormorants.
It's a great place to spend a peaceful afternoon, particularly in autumn when the woods look spectacular.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could head to the nearby River Wey Navigation and enjoy a waterside stroll along the towpath from Godalming.
Just over a mile to the south west is another fine National Trust owned area. Hydon's Ball and Hydon Heath have a waymarked footoath taking you to the Octavia Hill memorial seat where there are splendid views over the Surrey Hills. You can follow footpaths from the arboretum through Busbridge Woods and the Juniper Valley to reach the site.
|Winterfold Forest||4 miles (6 km)||This lovely area of the Surrey Hills is a popular place for walkers and cyclists. Winterfold Wood and the adjacent Hurt Wood have many miles of footpaths and bridleways which are suitable for mountain bikers.|
There are Hurtwood Control car parks on Greensand Lane where you can start your walk or ride. The car park is near to a number of mountain bike trails including the Charles Bronson and the Northern Monkey. These are located just south of the car park. You can see them marked on the open street map link below. There's also the Secret Santa trail. See the video below to give you an idea of what you can expect on this exhilarating ride.
For walkers there are miles of woodland trails with some decent climbs, picnic areas and great viewpoints.
This circular route starts at the Hurtwood Control car park on Winterfold Hill and follows bridleways to the northern part of the forest, visiting Winterfold Heath and Reynards Hill.
The Greensand Way long distance footpath passes through the woods. If you follow it east you can visit Hurt Wood, Pitch Hill and climb to Holmbury Hill. The hill stands at an impressive 856 feet (261 m), giving fine views over the surrounding area.
|Wistman's Wood||4 miles (7 km)||Enjoy a walk around this atmospheric forest and nature reserve in the Dartmoor National Park. It's an unusual place consisting of stunted oak trees with gnarled, tangled branches. There's also lots of spongy moss and over 100 types of lichen hanging from the branches. Other features include boulders covered with lichen and other trees such as rowan, holly, hawthorn, hazel and eared-willow. |
This circular walk starts at a car park near the Two Bridges Hotel, just to the south of the wood. You then pick up a footpath to the nature reserve before climbing Longaford Tor, where there are great views over Dartmoor. You return passing Littaford Tors and Crockern Tor.
The wood is located just to the north of Princetown which is on the Dartmoor Way. The eery Lych Way ancient footpath also passes the northern tip of the woods.
|Wombwell Wood||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy a peaceful walk around these pretty woods near Barnsley. In the centre of the wood there's a lovely large pond with a stream. There are a number of trails taking you through the semi-natural broadleaf woodland. Look out for carpets of Bluebells in the spring and a variety of wildlife including skylarks, meadow pipits, woodpeckers and kestrels. There's a car park just off Woodhead Lane where you can start your walk. From here you can pick up a footpath to the pond and the rest of the site. The woods are also located very close to Wombwell train station too.|
There's lots of good options to extend your walking in this lovely area. Just to the north west there's Dovecliffe Woods and beyond that waterside paths along the River Dove and the Worsbrough Canal. If you follow the canal west you will soon come to the delightful Worsbrough Mill Country Park. The park includes a 17th Century working water mill set in 240 acres of parkland.
|Woolmer Forest||3 miles (5.5 km)||This large area of heathland and woodland has public footpaths to follow from the hamlet of Conford in the north eastern part of the site. It is a significant area with a diversity of habitats supporting twelve known native species of reptiles and amphibians. Scenery includes oak-birch woodland, conifer plantations, open sandy heaths, and rough grazed pastures. There's lots of interesting plants and flowers to look out for. Also keep your eyes peeled for birds such as Dartford warbler and European nightjar.|
N.B The Forest is a Range Danger Area and it is illegal and dangerous to enter when the red flags are flying. Access is NOT permitted most weekdays between 8am and 4pm and some weekends.
The woods are located very close to Liphook. You could follow footpaths from the town to the site. The National Trust managed Ludshott Common and Bramshott Common are located just to the east. These are good options if you would like to extend your walking in the area.
|Wychwood Forest||4 miles (6 km)||Explore this large area of forest near Charlbury on this woodland walk. The forest can be reached from the nearby village of Finstock or from Charlbury. There are rail stations at both.|
The forest consists of hundreds of acres of attractive woodland, pretty streams and a series of lakes and ponds. The area is also a nature reserve so look out for a variety of interesting flora and fauna. These include several species of wildflower such as celadine, kidney vetch and bluebells. These flowers attract butterflies such as Barberry Carpet and Pale Shining Brown.
Wychwood fair is a popular event which takes place in the forest at Cornbury Park. The fairs are centred on rural communities and crafts.
The Oxfordshire Way passes through the area so you could pick up this long distance path to extend your walk. If you head east along the path you will come to Woodstock and the beautiful Blenheim Park. If you head north west from Charlbury you can enjoy a walk along the River Evenlode to Ascott-under-Wychwood.
|Wykeham Forest||4 miles (6 km)||This large forest in the North York Moors has miles of walking trails and a mountain bike trail. Cyclists can also follow the many country lanes that run through the woods. The woods consist mainly of pine trees with some great viewpoints to visit. The Raptor viewpoint overlooks Troutsdale and is a popular spot for birdwatchers looking for birds of prey such as Buzzards and Crossbills. From the High Wood Brow viewpoint there are great views over the River Derwent Valley.|
The forest is located just to the east of the expansive Dalby Forest. It's a great place to extend your outing with miles of cycling and walking trails to follow. Also nearby is the splendid Bridestones nature reserve with its fascinating sandstone sculptures and variety of interesting flora fauna. You could follow the long distance Tabular Hills Walk to both of these sites. The waymarked 48 mile trail takes you across the southern boundary of the North York Moors National Park from Scarborough to Helmsley.
|Wyre Forest||7 miles (11 km)||This large forest near Bewdley has miles of super cycling and walking trails to enjoy. Cyclists can enjoy the family mountain bike trail which runs along nice wide paths through the woodland. There is also a section along a disused railway line and through a Nature Reserve. The trail is waymarked with blue markers. Bikes can be hired from Bewdley Outdoors. Walkers can enjoy three waymarked walking trails of varying lengths and difficulty. On the trails you'll pass through coniferous and deciduous forest and visit the lovely Wyre Arboretum. |
The route below starts near Buttonoak and follows the cycle/walk trails through the forest to Dowles. Here you can return to the start point on country lanes if you are on a bike. If on foot you may prefer to return along the lovely waterside path along Dowles Brook which runs parallel to the dismantled railway line.
If you'd like to continue you exercise in the area then several trails run through or past the forest. One nice option is to head to the nearby Severn Way where you can pick up a riverside walking trail along the River Severn. The Sabrina Way and the Geopark Way also run through the forest.
|Yarner Woods||2 miles (3.5 km)||This large woodland area near Bovey Tracey is part of the East Dartmoor Woods and Heaths National Nature Reserve. It's a great area for walking with miles of woodland paths to follow. The area is dominated by ancient oak but there are other species such as birch, scots pine, larch and beech. Other flora includes flowers such as cow-wheat and bilberry, and various Lichens and mosses. |
Look out for an abundance of wildlife including doormice and butterflies. Birdlife includes pied flycatcher, redstart, buzzards, sparrow hawks and nightjars.
This circular walk starts at the car park at the eastern end of the woods but you could also follow the Templer Way from nearby Bovey Tracey to reach the woods.