Woodland walks in the South East

Did you know, the most densely wooded region in the UK is London and the South East? These woodlands make up the largest concentration and most diverse collection of ancient woodlands under the National Trust’s care and provide a home for wildlife.

From a three-in-one woodland walk at Ashridge in Buckinghamshire to taking in the mighty view of a 940 year-old ancient oak tree in Petworth in West Sussex. Marvel on a woodland walk this autumn at some of the oldest and largest trees in the country, discovering sweeping views of fiery autumnal tones or spot majestic autumn wildlife including fallow deer, foxes and bats.

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Coronavirus update 

From end of Tuesday 24 March, we closed all our car parks to further restrict the spread of coronavirus. This followed the decision to close our parks and gardens in addition to our houses, shops and cafes. We urge people to stay local and observe social distancing. Please do not travel.

View of autumnal trees reflected in the lake at Petworth
Walking trail


Marvel at some of the oldest and largest trees in the country, and see an ancient oak that's 940 years old and has survived all the major landscape changes since the 12th century at Petworth.

A couple enjoying the autumn colour as they walk through the grounds of Basildon Park

Basildon Park 

The four parkland walks at Basildon Park are clearly sign posted, easy to follow and of varying lengths and terrains. Put your wellies on, choose your route and enjoy your walk.

National Trust Stowe, Buckinghamshire

Deer Park walk at Stowe

Walk through the rolling hills, fields and woodland of trees in the deer park, where green spotted woodpeckers and other wildlife can be enjoyed.

Sunrise on the Mottisfont estate, Hampshire

Mottisfont estate walk

Discover our diverse estate on a walk through ancient woodlands, historic farmland and along the crystal-clear River Test.

A group of people walking across grass under a blue sky

Polesden Lacey little big walk

This easy route is great for all the family, so round them up and have a fun day outdoors tramping through our estate and discovering the delightful wooded valley. Dog friendly too.

The view from Wilmot Hill on the National Trust Ightham Mote estate in Kent

Ightham Mote's circular walk to Wilmot Hill

Enjoy the Kentish countryside from the Ightham Mote estate as you walk the periphery of a large part of its 580 acres. The walk incorporates Scathes Wood, the Greensand Way, Wilmot Hill and Broadhoath Wood.

Oakhurst Cottage in Hambledon, Surrey

Winkworth to Oakhurst wonder walk

A peaceful and gentle wooded walk connecting three very special and unique National Trust properties hidden away in the sunny West Weald.

A Woodland path through Bateman's estate, East Sussex

Bateman’s Puck's walk

Enjoy our woodland walk at Bateman's and take in views over the Sussex countryside, a landscape which was the home of Rudyard Kipling.

Beautiful, natural and historic places matter for our sprit, our wellbeing and our relationships and visiting a woodland is great for both body and soul. An autumn woodland glowing with colour and rich with the smell of damp earth is a wonderful, uplifting place to be and we can all play our part in ensuring they continue to thrive.

" A woodland may be ancient, but it never stands still – it is teeming with life at all times of year, not just above ground, but beneath our feet. The falling leaves nourish the soil and produce a habitat all of their own, supporting billions of microscopic organisms that provide the building blocks for all life in the forest. It’s also a special time of year to appreciate the amazing natural architecture of our trees as their branches are revealed for the first time in months and we are reminded of how every single tree is unique, shaped by the elements over its lifetime."
- Tom Hill, London and South East Trees and Woodlands Advisor
Child in autumn woodland

Six things to see on an autumn woodland walk 

An autumn woodland glowing with colour and rich with the smell of damp earth is a wonderful place to be. National Trust Ranger Chloe Bradbrooke suggests six mini wonders of nature to look out for on an autumn woodland walk.