The Hidden Beauty of the British Woodlands

January 4, 2020

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The UK is full of rich and diverse woodlands perfect for exploring with little ones and reconnecting with nature. Woodlands are a vital part of our ecosystem where a huge variety of plants, shrubs and trees grow and provide homes and food for creatures of all shapes and sizes; they’re home to thousands of species including insects, birds, amphibians, mammals, fungi, mosses and lichens. 

There are many different types of woodland across the UK – deciduous forests, coniferous forests, and even rainforests – that you can visit. Some of the best include Sherwood Forest (the home of Robin Hood and his merry men), Whinfell Forest in Cumbria, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire. Visit Center Parcs for a chance to get outdoors and create some treasured memories of your cherished family forest holidays.

Reasons to visit the British woodlands 

There are so many reasons to visit the UK’s woodlands. We’ve listed six great reasons below to hopefully inspire you to get outdoors and visit the British woodlands.

A tree next to a body of water

Improve your mental health 

Spending time in woods and forests, or even just around trees and greenery, has been proven to boost our health and wellbeing. Studies show that a walk in the forest positively impacts your blood pressure, heart rate and immune system! Being in nature helps to improve concentration and energy among other benefits. 

Enjoy the changing of the seasons

The forests are beautiful all year long and are an amazing place to watch how the seasons change. Enjoy a crisp and refreshing walk through the leaves and golden-red trees during the autumn; delight in snow-topped landscapes, glimmering icicles and stunning sunsets in the winter; take joy in the growth of springtime, the bursts of colour, burgeoning wildflowers and the hustle-and-bustle of activity as the animals emerge from hibernation; and enjoy a picnic under the trees in summer, taking in the lush green and stunning bluebell carpets. 

Try a host of fun activities 

There are tonnes of fun and interesting things to do in the woods that will keep kids happy and engaged. 

Some options include climbing trees, going on a nature-inspired treasure hunt, foraging for plants such as mushrooms, wild herbs, crab apples and nuts, experimenting with photography, building a den or picking blackberries. 

A tree in a forest

Admire the wildlife 

The woods are home to a number of animals and birds. Kids will love going on a ‘safari’ and recording all the wildlife they see. Some of the creatures you might spot, depending on where you are, include deer, hedgehogs, raccoons, rabbits and squirrels. And is there anything more relaxing and calming then a slow stroll through nature, the leaves crunching underfoot and the choir of songbirds chirping in the trees?

To nurture creativity

Not only for the poets, singer-songwriters and authors looking for inspiration but for their children too. Whether setting off on mystical quests, discovering hideouts and hidden areas or building dams and dens, free-range woodland play encourages children to be inventive and imaginative – a wonderful contrast to the usual organised and planned activities of modern life. 

Unusual exercise

Again, this is also aimed more at the younger generations: building dams, leaping over brooks and climbing trees are all a fun way for kids to exercise, develop balance and coordination while being creative and having fun.

The gently rugged natural playground that is the British woodlands also helps them to explore their limits and assess risk in a safe environment. Can I jump to that bank? Will this branch hold my weight? Woodland playground allows them to gently push their boundaries in a safe environment.

You can experience all of this and a whole host of fun countryside and forest activities on a lodge holiday stay at Center Parcs. For example, try a guided Wildlife Walk; an Aerial Tree Trekking and Aerial Adventure rope courses in the trees; Forest Crafts (where you use natural materials to create a family of woodland creatures as well as a habitat home for them to live in); or a willow workshop to name just a few. 

Make the most of the stunning nature our country has to offer and plan your forest visit today. 

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