Where to go forest bathing
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
Forest bathing is a way of relaxing and slowing down the mind by immersing yourself in nature. It can help reduce blood pressure, lower stress levels and improve concentration.
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