From waterfalls, wild ponies, and stargazing, to fairies, sculptures, and folklore, the UK is home to some truly beautiful forests and woodland areas.
Here is our list of some of the most enchanting forests in the UK to add to your travel bucket list.
Puzzlewood – Forest of Dean
Puzzlewood is a unique and enchanting woodland area, located in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.
Verdant trees hang overhead as winding pathways lead the way through moss covered rocks and over twisted, gnarled wooden bridges, giving it a magical, fairytale feel.
Over the years, this mystical setting has become a coveted filming location for the fantasy genre.
Puzzlewood has been used as a film set for a number of well known productions, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Secret Garden, Doctor Who, and Merlin.
Home to an animal menagerie, a willow maze, outdoor instruments, and willow igloos, as well as the nearby Secret Forest and Clearwell Caves, there is a plethora of interesting things to discover as you wander through the area.
Staffhurst Wood in Surrey is an ancient woodand area, with a wide variety of flora and fauna.
In the Spring, Staffhurst Wood lights up with a spectacular blanket of bluebells – known as ‘fairy flowers’.
Folklore suggests that bluebells indicate the presence of fairies in an area, but the nearby Limpsfield Common may be inhabited by other woodland creatures…
Limpsfield Common is home to a miniature village made for woodland creatures. Miniature houses include Fox Villa, Beaver Bug Hotel, Owl’s House, Badger Barracks, and Mole’s Hole. This tiny woodland village even has a little red post box, where you can post miniature letters.
Grizedale Forest falls within the Lake District World Heritage Site in Cumbria.
Grizedale Forest is the UK’s first ‘Forest for Sculpture’, providing a living backdrop for artwork created by a range of artists.
Over 40 sculptures are hidden throughout the forest. Whether you decide to collect a map of the sculptures at the Visitor Information Point, or you prefer to stumble across the artwork organically, it is a fantastic place to spend some time in the peace and quiet of nature, seeing the artwork in natural light, far from the context of a traditional art gallery.
The New Forest
The New Forest National Park is an area of ancient woodland, in the south-west of Hampshire.
Filled with wildlife, this beautiful forest provides a natural habitat for a range of animals, including free roaming pigs, fallow deer, and wild ponies.
Kielder Forest in Northumberland is England’s largest forest.
Tucked away in the north of the forest is Hindhope Linn waterfall. This beautiful and serene feature is a great place to stop and reflect as you listen to the sound of the water flowing and take in the calming views of the rich green forest.
Kielder Forest is however, arguably best visited after dark. The Kielder Observatory is an incredible place for stargazing, as the low levels of light pollution means you can see a wide expanse of dark sky.
The area forms part of Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, which is recognised as one of the largest areas of protected night sky in Europe.
Whether you’re hoping to witness a meteor shower, or even the Northern Lights, this is definitely one for your bucket list.
Wistman’s Wood in Dartmoor, Devon, has long been shrouded in cautionary tales and unsettling stories of supernatural monsters, ghosts, druids, and dangerous creatures.
It is easy to see why the area inspires sinister storytelling. Crooked dwarf oak trees twist and tangle over moss covered rocks, creating an eerie, haunting atmosphere in Wistman’s Wood.
Tales include legends of Wisht Hounds – large black dogs with red eyes, sharp fangs, and a taste for human souls, as well as Hosts – highly venomous adders that slither discretely through the rocks, waiting for travelers.
Every Autumn, Faskally Forest in Tayside, Scotland, becomes ‘The Enchanted Forest’.
During the daytime in Autumn, Faskally Forest is a tapestry of the warm, spicy colours, but the forest really comes to life after darkness falls.
Every October, Faskally Forest hosts a huge light and sound show event known as ‘The Enchanted Forest’.
This spectacular event draws large crowds seeking to soak up the magical atmosphere.
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