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Top spots to see hares

A group of three brown hares sit close to each other on the shingle at Orford Ness Nature Reserve.
A group of hares at Orford Ness National Nature Reserve, Suffolk | © National Trust Images/Justin Minns

There are three main species of hare in the UK – brown, mountain and Irish. Early spring is the best time to spot these shy animals, as they can be seen 'boxing' each other during the mating season. Look out for them in our top pick of places below.

Dark Peak Moors, Derbyshire
The Dark Peak Moors are a great spot for mountain hares, which have adapted to the tough moorland conditions. They’re shy and nocturnal, so your best chance of spotting them is on an early morning walk or at dusk.Visit the Dark Peak Moors
Divis and the Black Mountain, County Down
Although their numbers have declined in Northern Ireland, Irish hares can still be found at Divis and the Black Mountain near Belfast. The combination of rush pasture, meadows and heather make up a habitat that provides them with food and shelter all year round.Visit Divis and the Black Mountain
Durham Coast, County Durham
The Durham Coast is a varied landscape with coastal bays, headlands, grassland and wooded valleys. As the hare mating season gets underway, they're at their most visible – if you’re lucky you might spot them ‘boxing’ in fields and along woodland edges.Visit the Durham Coast
Hare Hill, Cheshire
While the garden may be called Hare Hill, the hares themselves are elusive creatures. If you’re lucky, you may spot one during your visit. If not, there are several carvings of hares for you to find throughout the garden.Visit Hare Hill
A brown hare in a grassy field, sat upright and looking to the left of the frame.
A brown hare at Gramborough Hill, Norfolk | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman
Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire
The north side of the lake, known as the wilderness, is the most natural part of Kedleston's parkland. It’s a great place to spot birds such as owls and woodpeckers, and maybe even a hare or two.Visit Kedleston Hall
Lyme, Cheshire
The open spaces of Lyme Park are ideal hare-spotting territory during early spring. Head up to The Cage, a hill-top hunting lodge with sweeping views across the park, to see them ‘boxing’ and chasing each other.Visit Lyme
Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire
We care for more than 5,500 acres of moorland at Marsden, which is an ideal habitat for mountain hares. They become easier to spot zigzagging over the moor in winter, as their coats change colour from brown to white.Visit Marsden Moor
Orford Ness, Suffolk
Take a short boat trip to Orford Ness, a haven for wildlife. The brown hares here tend to be bigger than their mainland cousins and can often be spotted on the shingle bank from the top of the Bomb Ballistics building.Visit Orford Ness
Rhosili, Gower Peninsula, Swansea
Our team have been working hard to restore the Vile – one of the UK’s few surviving medieval strip field farming systems. The project includes restoring field boundaries, which act as corridors for farmland wildlife and provide homes for invertebrates and birds. Look out for brown hares in the open fields too.Visit Rhosili
Two small baby hares in the flowerbeds on brown earth surrounded by green leaves and a white flower
Baby hares (leverets) in the flowerbeds at Tyntesfield near Bristol | © National Trust Images/Peter Hall
Sherborne Park Estate, Gloucestershire
With woodland, open farm fields, ancient trees and water meadows, there are a huge range of habitats for wildlife at Sherborne Park Estate. Look out for raptors flying overhead and, if you’re lucky, you might spot a hare in the quieter areas of the estate.Visit Sherborne Park Estate
Tyntesfield, Bristol
The Tyntesfield estate supports a wide variety of flora and fauna, from bats to fungi. There are also hares living here, and in 2016 the team even found three leverets (baby hares) taking shelter in a flowerbed.Visit Tyntesfield
White Horse Hill, Oxfordshire
White Horse Hill is rich with wildlife and birds of prey, such as red kites and kestrels, are a common sight. If you’re lucky you might even spot one of the resident hares – they’re best seen in March when they begin competing for mates.Visit White Horse Hill
Wimpole, Cambridgeshire
Wimpole has an abundant population of brown hares due to its combination of different grasslands. There is also an abundance of arable land and woodland for hares to use as shelter from predators and the British weather.Visit Wimpole
Yorkshire Coast
The Yorkshire Wolds and coastline are a stronghold for brown hares in the north. See if you can track them by looking out for tufts of fur caught in brambles and fences.Visit the Yorkshire coast
Two women walking along a footpath surrounded by bare trees in winter.

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