Woodland walks

We care for a variety of woodland habitats including ancient and landscaped woodlands and tree-lined avenues. These tranquil spaces are the perfect place to get closer to nature, particularly in autumn when they burst with colour and there are lots of woodland walks to enjoy as autumn colour starts to emerge.

The benefits of woodlands

We all take comfort in the stillness given to us by woodlands. Everyone needs nature to feel calmer, and to be brought back to a sense of peace. The colours of autumn trees on woodland walks creates a picture of serenity to escape our busy world.

The soft creaking of branches overhead and the familiar smell after a fresh rainfall along a fern-filled path can add a sense of magic to a walk. Be at peace among the trees as you explore a wooded path surrounded by autumn colours. We’ve pulled together some woodland walks for you to stroll solo or with friends. 

 

 

In England, we're pleased to have been able to keep our gardens, parks and outdoor spaces open through the current lockdown. From 2 December, we'll be able to reopen some houses and welcome you to sit in our cafés again. In tier 3, indoor areas will remain closed and cafés will be takeaway only. Please follow your area's tiering system and government guidance when planning a visit.

Following Welsh government guidance, all places in Wales are now open for Wales residents, and we're pleased to be welcoming many of you again.

In line with Northern Ireland Executive circuit break restrictions, our gardens and parks in Northern Ireland will open from 28 November. All houses, shops and visitor centres will stay closed during the circuit break until 11 December, and cafés will be takeaway only.

Before visiting, please always check local and national government guidance on travelling. You can check the property webpage in case of local restrictions. We're following government advice closely and will reopen more places as soon as we can. 

Woodland walks near you:
 Visitors walking their dogs at Arnside and Silverdale, Cumbria
Walking trail

Borrowdale Borger Dalr geology walk, Cumbria 

Head into Grange Wood, a craggy wooded knoll above the village of Grange in the Borrowdale valley, and discover a landscape which made a lasting impression on fell walker and author Alfred Wainwright. This circular walk will see you emerge from the trees to climb the summit of Castle Crag.

Visitors walking among the trees in Clumber park
Walking trail

A glimpse of southern Clumber, Nottinghamshire 

Discover the habitats of Clumber Park from majestic broadleaved woods with leaves which turn red, orange and brown in their autumn colours to regimented pine woodlands with evergreen foliage. Under the tree canopy the bracken turns from green to golden brown and then to brown as autumn progresses, and look out for fly agaric fungi with its red and white dotted cap. On this circular walk you can also see autumnal reflections in the lake.

Beech avenues at Hinton Ampner, Hampshire
Walking trail

Dutton Estate walk at Hinton Ampner, Hampshire 

Explore the ancient woodland of the historic Dutton Estate at Hinton Amper. A mixture of conifer and native broad leaf trees, the woodland is home to badgers, roe deer, foxes and rare barbastelle bats. This circular walk will also take you along avenues lined with towering beech trees, which shed their distinctive beechnuts in autumn.

Autumn at Minnowburn bridge, County Down
Walking trail

Sculpture trail at Minnowburn, County Down 

A tranquil retreat outside Belfast, the Minnowburn Beeches were saved from development in 1952. This circular walk includes views of the beeches and passes through Minnowburn Woods, planted with the involvement of environmentalist Richard St Barbe Baker to provide additional tree cover in the area and continue the character of the original beeches.

Visitors walk through the woods at Nymans, West Sussex
Walking trail

A woodland walk at Nymans, West Sussex 

Passing through the pinetum and arboretum at Nymans, this circular walk takes you into the heart of woodland on the wider estate. In its autumn colours, the tree canopy is a mosaic of coppers and yellows punctuated by evergreens. Look out for the giant redwood tree, which stands at over 55yd (50m) tall, and fungi of all shapes and sizes.

A tawny owl dozes on a branch in dappled sunlight
Walking trail

Roseberry Topping woodland wildlife walk, North Yorkshire 

Beneath Roseberry Topping, a distinctive Matterhorn-shaped hill, lie tranquil woods where oak and ash trees several hundred years old tower over the network of paths. Take the circular route through Newton Wood and Cliff Ridge Wood, home to birds such as the green woodpecker as well as woodland flora and fungi.

View from the top of the gazebo viewing tower
Walking trail

Sheringham woodland and coastal walk, Sheringham Park, Norfolk 

Taking in the woods and parkland of Sheringham Park to the cliff tops of the Norfolk coastal path. You'll want to give yourself plenty of time to explore this wonderfully varied walk as you absorb the history and rich variety of trees, bird and animal life on this circular walk.

 St Mary's Vale, Monmouthshire
Walking trail

Sugar Loaf circuit, Monmouthshire 

On the slopes of Sugar Loaf, the southernmost peak of the Black Mountains, a semi-ancient oak woodland can be found. Known as St Mary’s Vale, the wildlife-rich woodland is also home to beech trees. The Sugar Loaf circuit walk starts in the historic town centre of Abergavenny and includes a climb to the summit of the mountain where you can admire the woodland from above.

Visitors enjoying an autumnal walk by the river at Wallington, Northumberland
Walking trail

River walk at Wallington, Northumberland 

Wander among the trees of the West Wood at Wallington, planted in the 18th century and now home to red squirrels. This circular walk also passes along the tree-lined River Wansbeck, with glimpses of the house along the way, before returning via the stepping stones or Palladian bridge if the river is too high.

Wimpole Hall with Autumn colours on the trees
Walking trail

Wimpole folly and woodland belt walk, Cambridgeshire 

The woodland belts on the Wimpole Estate were designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown as a frame for garden walks and are home to an array of wildlife including eight species of woodland bat. Meander beneath the branches on a circular walk of the estate taking in the lakes, Chinese bridge and 18th-century folly.

Woodchester Park boathouse, Gloucestershire
Walking trail

Woodchester Park boathouse walk, Gloucestershire 

Experience the peace and tranquillity of Woodchester Park, a secluded wooded valley nestled in the Cotswolds, on a walk to the restored boathouse on Middle Pond. Old alder trees fringe the banks of Middle Pond, one of a chain of lakes created in the 18th century. The route also passes Woochester Mansion (not National Trust), an unfinished Victorian Gothic building.

Learn to identify different trees
See how many trees you can identify with this spotter's sheet

Woodland wander leaf spotter sheet 

Connect to nature on your woodland wander when you identify different types of trees using this leaf spotter sheet. This guide was created by our brand licensee, children’s clothing brand, Frugi in celebration of our new Woodland Wanders collection.

Woodlands protect us all

Everyone needs nature to escape the hustle and bustle of the everyday. Not only are woodlands great for everyone to connect with nature, they're also fundamental to keeping the environment in balance.

Trees and woodlands provide habitats for hundreds of different species including owls, woodpeckers, deer, badgers and bugs – not to mention fungi and lichen. Air pollution is also reduced in the presence of woodlands, and surrounding soil is enriched with nutrients from fallen leaves and microorganisms meaning that other plants and flowers can thrive.

Combating climate change is one of the most crucial things woodlands contribute to. Trees take in CO2 for their growth and release oxygen, keeping the ecosystem in check by removing pollutants and helping nature to survive around them. We can all take small steps to make a big difference, because right now, nature needs you more than ever before.

Nature needs you Donate to the appeal

Help woodlands to thrive

Aerial view of Ringwood Toll at Sheffield Park, East Sussex

Our work for woodlands

We're planting 20 million new trees on land we care for in the next 10 years. Woodlands will be grown in urban areas such as towns and cities, which will achieve our aim of creating green spaces that are accessible for everyone. The trees we plant create new habitats for wildlife to thrive in, such as red squirrels, bugs and birds.

You can help support our work by making a donation to help nature to thrive.