Find a woodland walk near you
Here's a selection of our favourite walks around the UK, plus information on how to find other walks near you.
Windsor Great Park, Berkshire
Windsor Great Park, one of Tony Hall’s favourites, has a good mixture of trees, including the largest number of ancient oaks in Western Europe. It was once part of a vast Norman hunting forest which was enclosed in the late 13th century. With 2,020 hectares (5,000 acres) of parkland, there’s plenty of room to stretch your legs. The woodland is interspersed with grassland, formal avenues, gardens and of course the famous deer park.
Access: There are different entry points. Virginia Water Lake is two miles from Englefield Green and 6 miles from Windsor town centre, postcode GU25 4QF. Virginia Water car park is located on the A30, close to the M25 (J13).
Carrs Wood, near Bath
This pretty little woodland offers views of Brunel’s railway tunnel with its neo-Gothic arches, and bluebells and garlic in the spring. There's a woodland play area for children too. An impressive stand of beech trees dates from about 1850. A grand house once stood nearby, but now only a set of stairs remains.
Access: from Lower Bristol Road, between Twerton and Corston
Kersal Dale, Greater Manchester
Kersal Dale woodland is a Salford Metropolitan Borough Council wood connected to the Cliff conservation area. Offering a variety of habitats and paths leading past the ruins of large houses, this beech woodland has plenty to offer walkers. The site is a local nature reserve and a site of biological importance. Look out for woodpeckers and kingfishers along the river.
Access: via Radford Street, Broughton, Salford, M7 3PG.
Croxteth Country Park, Liverpool
Only six miles from the city centre, this Liverpool City Council wood is an excellent place to see wildlife, livestock and traditional country cottages. There are miles of paths throughout the park.
Achany Wood, Sutherland, Scotland
This Forestry Commission Scotland wood has good views over the River Shin and ‘salmon leap’ falls. It's a site planted on ancient woodland, now mostly conifers, but with glades of alder and birch trees. Look out for the woodland mosses and plants such as wood sorrel and dog violet.
Access: take the A839 west of Lairg, about half a mile out of the village turn left down the B864 followings the tourist signs for Falls of Shin.
Firhill Basin, Glasgow, Scotland
Two miles away from the centre of Glasgow on the banks of the Forth and Clyde canal, this privately owned wood is open to the public and provides stunning views over the city and out to Arran on a clear day.
Coed Craig Ruperra, Risca, Wales
A fantastic recovering broadleaved woodland, Coed Craig Ruperra is in the triangle between Caerphilly, Newport and Cardiff. It's owned by Ruperra Conservation Trust. It has an Iron Age hill fort on the ridge with panoramic views and there’s lots of wildlife, too. This planted ancient woodland site is maintained by volunteers.
Access: The main car park is on an unclassified road between Draetha and Michaelstone / Michaelston-y-Fedw.
Rhyd-y-gwern Woods, Caerphilly
This is a beautiful walk, especially when covered in bluebells during spring. Within this mixed woodland there are interesting traces of an industrial past to look out for. With paths, this is graded as an easy walk. There is also a picnic site closely situated at Llwyn Hir.
Access: via public rights of way from Machen and from Draethen, opposite the Hollybush public house.
Burntollet Wood, Claudy, Northern Ireland
Sitting in the beautiful Faughan Valley, just southeast of the city of Derry/Londonderry, this young Woodland Trust wood is not only a lovely little gem, but it’s right next door to Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s Ness Country Park, which is an Area of Special Scientific Interest with fragments of rare ancient woodland. An easy to moderate stroll, though the adjacent woods can be steep in parts.
Access: Travelling along the A6 from Belfast to Londonderry, pass through Dungiven and proceed for approximately 19 km (12 miles). On the right hand side of the Glenshane Road you will see Ness Nurseries. Just after Ness Nurseries, take a right turn to Ervey Wood, as marked by road signs. Follow the signs to Ervey Wood/Ness Country Park car park.
Ballymoyer Woodland, County Armagh
Ballymoyer Woodland is a mixed wood with deep mossy and ferned banks - perfect for a stroll with the family. Some of the large trees in the wood, including oak, beech and ash, are thought to date from the 18th century. It is owned by the National Trust and has been restored with help from community volunteers. Look out for yellow flag iris and long-eared owls.
Access: start at the carpark at the junction of Ballymoyer Road and Drumcrow Road, near Whitecross. Follow the path through the gate alongside the Creggan River until it joins the Ballymoyer Road.
How to find a wood near you
To find which Woodland Trust woods are within a 30-mile radius of you, use the Visit Woods website and enter your postcode or town, or call 01476 581135.
The Ramblers website - for information on walking and a database of routes to choose from. Or call 020 7339 8500 (England); 01577 861222 (Scotland); 029 2064 4308 (Wales).
For organised health walks, see Walking for Health.
For information about all the woods that the Forestry Commission oversees in England and Wales Forestry Commission website.