As the summer begins to fade away and thoughts turn to chillier autumn days there is no reason to pack your walking boots away. The coming months bring some of the most beautiful days to be out in the open. Leaves start changing colour, the air becomes cool and crisp and we guarantee there is absolutely nothing better than going for a woodland walk.
We’ve selected four woodland walks we think you might find rather wonderful.
A great place to begin is the one and only Westonbirt Arboretum. Every visit to this place still leaves me with a sense of calm and awe at nature’s finest efforts on show here. Not far from the market town of Tetbury, Westonbirt is home to a world class tree collection, wonderfully inspiring landscape and seasonal rhythms that the young and the old will adore. There is also a café, play area, shop and toilets. The best advice is to wander off the beaten track to find the very greatest of beauty spots nestled amongst the trees.
Next on our list of woodland walks is Sydenham Hill Wood which forms part of the largest remnants of the old Great North Wood, surprisingly located in the London Borough of Southwark. London is perhaps not the first place that springs to mind when daydreaming of peaceful, fresh, woodland walks, but honestly trust us on this one. A haven away from the super-speed pace of London living, you can expect to find over 200 species of trees and flowering plants, a vast array of fungi, rare insects, birds and woodland mammals. A railway once passed through the wood and you can follow the tracks along to a disused tunnel which is now a bat roost. As one of the closest ancient woods to central London, Sydenham Hill Wood is definitely worth a visit if you are feeling drawn to a woodland walk.
Closer to our home you’ll find Dumbleton Hill which we believe is one of the Cotswold’s best kept secrets! Expect dense woodland, deciduous trees and insane panoramic views of the Cotswold's once you’ve reached the top. It’s also worth mentioning that deer are often sighted grazing around the forest, so keep your eyes peeled.
To finish off we have to discuss the New Forest, with too many woodland walks to even think about listing, it’s best just to go and find out for yourselves. This forest is alive with freely grazing ponies and donkeys, wild deer, and an abundance of birds due to the variety of nature reserves, heathland and woodland. If you’re heading there any time soon you might be lucky enough to spot the pigs that are let out in September for Pannage. You’ll also find some beautiful pubs scattered around the forest which make for an ideal place to refuel and enjoy the peace of the forest over a well-earned pint. There is something rather magical about The New Forest; you’ll find a sense of serenity and a real connection with nature amongst those trees.
Hope you manage to get your woodland walk on soon - enjoy!