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Where to go forest bathing

Autumn woods with vibrant yellows and orangesAutumn colour, Alderley Edge, Cheshire 1461881
Autumn colour in Alderley Edge woods, Cheshire | © National Trust Images/Phil Neagle

Forest bathing – or Shinrin-yoku – is a way of relaxing and slowing down the mind by being immersed among the trees. It's believed to help to reduce blood pressure, lower stress levels and improve concentration. The idea is to focus on the details of nature using all your senses. Here are our top woodland picks for forest bathing.

Alderley Edge, Cheshire
Head for the heights of Alderley Edge, covered in mature Scots pines and beech woodlands, with far-reaching views of the Cheshire countryside. Keep an eye out for the Beech Cathedral, where the trees tower overhead to form a canopy over 100 feet high.Visit Alderley Edge
Basildon Park, Berkshire
There are four waymarked walks around the parkland at Basildon Park – the green and the blue walk are best for exploring the woodland. The rangers have created benches for forest bathing where you can lay back and watch the swaying branches of trees overhead.Visit Basildon Park
Borthwood Copse, Isle of Wight
Borthwood Copse has ancient oak and beech trees for you to take in on a mindful walk. The tall trees towering over you, red squirrels hopping from branch to branch and birds singing all add to a sense of peace throughout the woodland.Visit Borthwood Copse
Box Hill, Surrey
Box Hill is famous for its views, but it’s well worth exploring the woods too. Follow the path that weaves down through the woods towards the River Mole to the iconic Stepping Stones, where you can pause and watch the river flow by. If you’re lucky you might even spot the bright blue flash of a kingfisher.Visit Box Hill
Bradenham Estate, Buckinghamshire
Get off the beaten track and surround yourself with ancient beech trees on the Bradenham Estate. Take a moment to pause in the dappled shade of the woods, notice the light shining through the fluttering leaves and feel the warmth of the sun on your face.Visit Bradenham Estate
Glorious autumnal woodland with crisp brown leaves littering the narrow footpath and the tall beech trees resplendent in yellow and orange
The coppice at Bradenham, Chilterns Countryside, Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole
Brownsea Island, Dorset
Brownsea Island is covered in peaceful woodland, a great place for a mindful stroll. There are hundreds of pine trees on the western side of the island which are favoured by red squirrels. If you sit quietly enough you might even spot some of them.Visit Brownsea Island
Claremont Landscape Garden, Surrey
Well-known for its architectural features and vistas, this 18th-century pleasure ground also boasts winding footpaths, secret corners and shaded walkways amongst the trees. It's the perfect location to escape everyday life.Visit Claremont Landscape Garden
Coed Ganllwyd, South Snowdonia
Tucked away in a less-visited corner of Snowdonia lies Coed Ganllwyd – Wales’ answer to a tropical rainforest. The true highlight of a walk through the woods are the spectacular Rhaeadr Ddu waterfalls. Stand on the wooden bridge and marvel at the cascades, which are particularly dramatic after rainfall.Visit Coed Ganllwyd
Cragside, Northumberland
Cragside is home to millions of trees and shrubs, but the best spot for forest bathing has to be the Pinetum. Here you’ll find yourself surrounded by towering conifers, which create a green canopy all year round. Settle down on the bank of Debdon Burn to listen to the trickling water as the sun streams through the branches above.Visit Cragside
Downhill Demesne, County Londonderry
Nestled on the wild Northern Ireland coast is a small woodland haven that provides shelter from the windswept clifftops. The Black Glen arboretum is an oasis for those wanting to get closer to nature.Visit Downhill Demesne
Fingle Woods, Devon
The Teign Valley is easy to reach but still retains Dartmoor's air of mystery and wildness. As you stroll through Fingle Woods with a canopy of tree branches overhead, you can imagine you’ve stumbled into a forgotten forest. If you’re lucky, you might even spot otters or kingfishers along the way.Visit Fingle Woods
Trees in autumn at Hatfield Forest, Essex
Trees in autumn at Hatfield Forest, Essex | © National Trust/Justin Minns
Hatfield Forest, Essex
Embark on a forest walk and immerse yourself in the shaded ancient woodland at Hatfield Forest. It's managed using traditional methods including coppicing, pollarding and grazing to encourage 3,500 species of wildlife to make their home here.Visit Hatfield Forest
Longshaw, Derbyshire 
Wandering through Padley Gorge on the Longshaw Estate, it can seem as if you’ve stumbled into a fairy glen. Trees line the rocky slopes, their branches twisting and intertwining overhead, while Burbage Brook flows down the gritstone gorge below.Visit Longshaw
Minnowburn, County Down
Immerse yourself in the beauty of Minnowburn with a mindful moment on their forest bathing beds. Relax under a canopy of towering beech trees in this woodland haven by the River Lagan. Walk along the burn and look for minnows and spot wooden sculptures along the trails before taking in the views from the Terrace Hill garden.Visit Minnowburn
Sheffield Park and Gardens, East Sussex
Wander around the calming lakes before heading out into the surrounding glades and woodlands. You can hear woodpeckers drumming through the trees. Remember to book your car park space between September and November, as the place is popular for its autumn colour.Visit Sheffield Park and Garden
Standish Woods, Gloucestershire
Discover the healing power of nature on a woodland walk at this Cotswold escape. If you’re feeling energised, you can head uphill to Haresfield Beacon and take in the views of the countryside beneath you. You might even see a buzzard or a kestrel gliding above.Visit Standish Woods
Toys Hill, Kent
Soak up the views from Toys Hill, one of the places that inspired Octavia Hill to found the National Trust. Enjoy a tranquil walk as you focus on the sights and sounds around you, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.Visit Toys Hill
Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey
Immerse yourself in the multi-coloured landscape created by Dr Wilfrid Fox at Winkworth Arboretum. Reflect on the colours of the changing seasons, from carpets of bluebells in spring to vibrant greens in summer and rainbow hues in autumn.Visit Winkworth Arboretum
Visitors  walk through a round structure of twigs in Walk Wood, Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex

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