Forest Bathing at Badbury Woods

Badbury Woods in the afternoon sun

We know that spending times outdoors in the forests and woods is good for our mental health and wellbeing.

What is Forest Bathing?

Forest Bathing is the Japanese practice of relaxation and is a very ancient process. In Japan it's known as shinrin yoku; where shinrin means 'forest' and yoku means 'bath', so it literally means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking the forest in through our senses. 

A visitor enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the woods
A visitor enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the woods
A visitor enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the woods

Who can do Forest Bathing?

Everybody! Whether you're 1 or 100 (or any number in-between) you can have a go at this nature activity. 

It's brilliant fun for both adults and children and something a bit different to what we usually put on to entertain people. It's really useful in teaching and honing concentration and mindfulness skills whilst also learning from each other and the natural environment around you. 

You can do Forest Bathing on your own, in a group or with the kids. If you're going to bring the kids along we advise supervising them at all times, and watch out for those sting nettles and brambles!

Visitiors enjoying an autumnal walk
Visitiors enjoying an autumnal walk
Visitiors enjoying an autumnal walk

Where and when can I do Forest Bathing? 

We think Badbury Woods is the perfect place to unwind and have a moment or two to yourself. With it's winding paths, beautiful vistas and hidden places it's has a wonderfully meditative atmosphere. 

You can do Forest Bathing at anytime throughout the year. We recommend visiting Badbury at the quieter times or outside of peak hours, however there are so many spaces you can find a quiet spot. 

Autumn at Badbury Hill
Beech trees in autumn at Badbury Hill Oxfordshire
Autumn at Badbury Hill

Our top tips for getting the most out of your Forest Bathing experience

  • Turn off any electronic devices such as mobile phones, tabets or music players to give yourself the best chance of relaxing, being mindful and calm and enjoying the sensory experience in the place you find yourself in.
  • Take it slow. You will see and feel more. 
  • Take deep, long breaths in. Take twice the amount of time to exhale as you did to inhale. This will send a signal to the body that it can relax.
  • Stop, sit down or stand still - what can you smell around you?
  • Take in your surroundings, engaing all your senses. How does this environment make you feel? Look at what's around you. How does it make you feel?
  • Sit or stand quietly. Try to not think about work, to-do lists or issues related to every day life.
  • Keep your eyes open. Notice the colours; greens and blues help us to relax, focus on them.
  • Stay in this environment and state for as long as you can. Start with an achievable time limit of 30 mins and work your way up to the recommended 2 hours for a complete forest bathing experience. 

Go on, give it a go - it's the perfect antedote for these troubled times!