Posted on 18th March 2021 by Lindsey McDean

Fantastic Forests

March 21st is International Day of Forests, raising awareness of the importance forests play in our lives.  Forestry England are responsible for managing over 1,500 forests and woodlands in England.  For over  100 years they have cared and managed sites for wildlife, people and the production of sustainably-sourced timber.  They have constructed over 1,800 miles of walking, running and cycling trails allowing more and more people to access and enjoy benefits of being amongst nature and visiting the forest.


How important are forests?

Just some of the reasons forests are vital to the health and wellbeing to people and the planet:


How do forests benefit our lives?

As well as the health benefits, forests provide an economic benefit bringing people and communities together.  Directly they offer the space for businesses and organisations (such as Go Ape, cafes and concert venues).  But first and foremost the forests are a home for wildlife and nature. From deer to dormice, spiders to squirrels and butterflies to bees there is plenty of wildlife to spot on your next visit to the forest.

Did you know? Forestry England are one of the largest managers of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in England


Great Wood


Here’s our shortlist for some inspiration on your next visit to the forest:



South East

Abbots Wood – Ancient woodland.  Things to do: 2 walking trails, picnic area, horse riding.  Address: Abbots Wood, Arlington, Polegate.

Sat Nav Postcode: BN26 6SL


Micheldever Wood – Ancient woodland.  Things to do: 2 walking trails, picnic area.  Address: Winchester (five miles northeast of Winchester, bordering the M3).

Sat Nav Postcode: SO24 9UB


Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest – Over 12,000 trees and world-leading collection of conifers.  Things to do: 3 walking trails, 3 biking trails, 4 orienteering trails and waymarked running trails, horse riding, play areas, cafe.  Address: Lady Oak Lane, Goudhurst

Sat Nav Postcode: TN17 2SJ



East Midlands

Birklands, Sherwood Forest – Explore the forest that dates back to 1251.  Things to do: walking trails, historic features, cycling, horse riding.  Address: Sherwood Forest car park, Edwinstowe, Mansfield

Sat Nav Postcode: NG21 9RN


Salcey Forest – Ancient wood banks, building remains and ancient trees some over 600 years old.  Things to do: 3 walking trails, 1 cycling trail, 1 horse riding trail, play areas, picnic areas. Address: Quinton Road, Northamptonshire

Sat Nav Postcode: NN7 2HX


Wakerley Great Wood  – Historic ancient woodland that contains archaeological remains.  Things to do: walking trails, picnic areas.  Address: Wakerley Great Wood, East Northamptonshire

Sat Nav Postcode: NN17 3BA


Thieves Wood – Long distance trail The Robin Hood Way, explores the legend of Robin Hood as it passes through the wood.  Things to do: walking trails, picnic areas.  Address: Nottinghamshire (located approximately two miles south of Mansfield).

Sat Nav Postcode: NG18 5BA




West Midlands

Dymock Woods – Ancient woodland with areas of SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).  Things to do: walking trails, horse riding, picnic area.  Address: Linton, Forest of Dean, Herefordshire

Sat Nav Postcode: HR9 7UT


Symonds Yat Rock – Ancient hill fort known as the best place in the UK to watch Peregrine Falcon’s. Things to do: 5 walking trails, 1 cycling trail, stunning views, picnic area.  Address: near Coleford, Gloucestershire

Sat Nav Postcode: GL16 7NZ



South West

Eggesford Forest – Home to the first planned tree by the Forestry Commission in 1919.  Things to do: walking trails, picnic areas.  Address: Eggesford Forest, Chulmleigh

Sat Nav Postcode: EX18 7LD


New Forest – National Park. Various sites to visit. Address: Click for link to Car Park map or click here for link to Forestry England New Forest Page.


Savernake Forest – Registered important historic park and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).  Things to do: walking trails, ancient trees, picnic areas.  Address: Postern Hill, Savernake Forest, Marlborough

Sat Nav Postcode: SN8 4ND


Nutcombe Bottom – Home to England’s Tallest Tree.  Things to do: walking trail, picnic, play equipment.  Address: Nutcombe Bottom, West Somerset

Sat Nav Postcode: TA24 6TA


Westonbirt, The National Arboretum – Home to 2,500 different species of trees from around the World. All tickets must be prebooked. Address: Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Tetbury

Sat Nav Postcode: GL8 8QS




North West

Ennerdale – One of the longest running wild land restoration projects offering a unique valley experience.  Things to do: 5 walking trails, cycling, orienteering, horse riding, picnic area.  Address: Ennerdale Valley , Cumbria

Sat Nav Postcode: CA23 3AS


Whinlatter Forest – Set within the Lake District, home to longest purpose built mountain bike trails.  Things to do: 9 walking trails, 3 cycling trails, 2 running trails, play areas, picnic areas.  Address: Whinlatter Pass, Keswick

Sat Nav Postcode: CA12 5TW



Isle of Wight

Parkhurst Forset – one of the oldest forest and consits of ancient woodland and heathland.  Things to do: walking trails, picnic areas, horse riding.  Address: Parkhurst Forest, Forest Road, Newport

Sat Nav Postcode: PO30 5UL



East Anglia

Rendlesham Forest – Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Walk the route of the famous UFO sighting in December 1980.  Things to do: 3 walking trails, 2 cycling trails, orienteering trails. horse riding, play areas.  Address: Tangham, Woodbridge

Sat Nav Postcode: IP12 3NF



North East

Simonside – Breathtaking panoramic views from the hill that lies within Northumberland National Park. Things to do: stunning viewpoint, 2 walking trails, mountain biking, horse riding.  Address: Rothbury, Northumberland

Sat Nav Postcode: NE65 7NW


Warksburn Picnic Area, Kielder Forest – Overlooked by the famous Totem Poles of Stonehaugh village.  Things to do: walking trail, picnic area.  Address: Hexham

Sat Nav Postcode: NE48 3DY


Symonds Yak Rock


For a full list of forests and woodlands managed by Forestry England click here



Where’s your favourite forest?


Important: Please check current Government guidance and the Forestry England website advice before your next forest visit.  Current Coronavirus advice from Forestry England can be found here.

Lindsey McDean

Posted by Lindsey McDean

LCC Founder & Creative Director

Hello and welcome to the LCC. I'm a rural-loving mum (of the horse, human and dog variety!) living in Cheshire in the North West of England.  For as long as I can remember I have always had a fascination with the great outdoors. Eager to understand the 'how' and the 'why' of the world around us. I created this platform where we can connect and share our love of the the countryside and rural life.

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