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Enchanted forests to visit with the family

A family of four are strolling through woodland at Rowallane Garden, County Down, where the leaves on the trees have turned yellow. The family is looking at something out of the shot.
A family walking through the woods in autumn | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Looking for magical days outdoors? Here are our best enchanted forests to explore with your family. Keep an eye out for fairies, boggarts and creatures of the wild woods on your day out.

Acorn Bank, Cumbria
Acorn Bank in Cumbria is best known for its collection of herbs and traditional fruit orchards. Explore a little further into the woods and you'll find hidden doors, a hollow tree, and a wild play area where children can create their own adventures. Who will be the first to find a pixie house?Visit Acorn Bank
Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire
The forest at Dinefwr has some of the oldest trees in Britain, and is home to modern-day mini-dragons in the form of freshwater dragonflies. Another hill in Wales is Dinas Emrys, which has links to Merlin and King Arthur, and legend has it that this is where the red dragon of Wales came from.Visit Dinefwr
Visitors on a woodland walk family trail at Acorn Bank, Cumbria
Visitors on a woodland walk family trail at Acorn Bank, Cumbria | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor
Hatfield Forest, Essex
The ancient trees of Hatfield Forest are like living sculptures. Some are an incredible 1,200 years old and others have become 'walking trees', where branches of the tree touch the ground and grow new roots. If you're looking for somewhere where children can run off some energy, this medieval royal hunting forest will get their imaginations whirring.Visit Hatfield Forest
Longshaw, Derbyshire
Legend has it that Longshaw in Derbyshire is home to mythical creatures called boggarts – goblin-like creatures that are said to live in woods and on moors. Go on the boggart hunting trail with your family to see how many you can spot among the ancient trees.Visit Longshaw
Lydford Gorge, Devon
Lydford Gorge is an ancient forest, home to the spectacular White Lady Waterfall and the Devil's Cauldron, a naturally-formed pothole. The gorge is associated with many stories and myths, which you can explore on a day out.Visit Lydford Gorge
Family in Comer Woods on the Dudmaston Estate in Shropshire
Set off on your own woodland adventure | © Lucy Rebecca Photography
Runnymede, Surrey
Explore Runnymede and you and the kids can discover the story of the oldest tree in our care – the 2,500-year-old Ankerwycke yew. It’s said to have witnessed the events around the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215 and King Henry VIII’s wooing of Anne Boleyn in the 1530s.Visit Runnymede
Shervage Wood, Somerset
Rumour has it that Shervage Wood, in the Quantock Hills near Fyne Court, was once home to a fire-breathing dragon called the Gurt Worm. The dragon was eventually defeated and cut into two halves, and legend tells that the two halves of the dragon formed the Quantock Hills, so you’ll be walking an enchanted path through this wood.Visit the Quantock Hills
Ullswater, Cumbria
A family stroll through Ullswater, Cumbria leads you to Aira Force, a magical waterfall surrounded by trees and peaceful glades. Look out for resident red squirrels as you explore this woodland.Visit Ullswater and Aira Force
Children exploring the pond in the Italian Garden at Mount Stewart

Enjoy some family fun

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