Taking a walk in the woods is the easiest way to enjoy the outdoors, get closer to nature and leave behind the hustle and bustle of modern everyday life. From wide, grassy tracks to unexplored pathways and leafy tunnels, woods are places where we can relax, unwind and have some fun outdoors.
A woodland workout
Walking is a great form of exercise, it helps to keep you fit and healthy and is a really easy way to start being more active. You can tailor a walk in the woods to suit you.
Some woods have surfaced paths which are easy to access and others have more natural rides which can create more of a workout for your legs. Woodland grows on all sorts of terrain. If you fancy a strenuous walk, head out to the hills and wander under the trees growing on the slopes. If you’re not looking for an uphill ramble, you can find plenty of woodland on level ground.
Woods are also brilliant locations to walk the dog, with plenty of space to let your pooch have a good run around. Please remember to follow our Dog Walker's Code to ensure every visitor's enjoyment of our woods.
Woods are truly magical playgrounds where children can have exciting adventures. Our Nature Detectives site is packed full of ideas and inspiration for family walks. Become a Nature Detective today and you’ll get loads of action-packed activities that the whole family can get stuck into, as well as weekly Facebook challenges, monthly emails and seasonal activity packs. Also, look out for our Nature Detectives Family Trail app, coming soon!
Bringing history to life
A slow stroll through an ancient wood could reveal plenty of clues about the lives of our ancestors and the way the woodland has been used through the years. Look out for coppice stools, where trees have been cut at ground level, creating lots of stems rather than a single trunk. As you walk think about the track you are walking on, for how many years have people been using this route?
You might be lucky and spot bluebells or wild garlic in the spring. Maybe there’ll be a gnarled ancient tree covered in lichens or surrounded by fungi.
Look out for woodland mammals, birds and beasts while you walk. In the spring and summer months, butterflies flit along sun drenched rides. As the days get longer dormice, voles and hedgehogs come out of hibernation and rustle around in the leafy undergrowth. After dusk, bats and badgers move out of hiding to search for something to eat.
In wet woodland frogs, toads and newts can often be seen at the edge of ponds. Brightly coloured dragonflies and damselflies whizz above the surface of the water. Woodland birds soar overhead calling out to one another from the tree tops. Deep in the undergrowth beetles scurry about and spiders spin elegant webs between shrubby branches.
Take a look at our nature photography tips for the best way to snap the perfect picture on your woodland walk.