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16 Largest Woodland Forests in UK

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Most people would take woodland forests as just havens for wildlife or beautiful backdrops but forest tourism offers way more than that. Woodland Forests are the life force of our planet and not only have they maintained a balance across the UK but also throughout the world.

In fact, they play a significant role in addressing our climate change and fostering stable ecosystems. Therefore, it’s time we preserve and celebrate short-break woodland forests holiday across our country. So, here’s a list of the best ones we have that must be looked after and a must-visit for sure.

1) New Forest Hampshire

As much it sounds this forest is from recent times as the name suggests but it’s not. The New Forest was once a hunting ground for William the conqueror who claimed it is his own in 1079.

The forest, which covers 300 square miles of land, is one of the greatest surviving pockets of green land in Southern England. In any case, nowadays the woodland is shrouded in goliath sequoias and a lot of bluebells springing up. The New Forest is a natural conservation and heritage site that has been protected for years now. With a range of trails and unique outdoor adventures at bay, its beauty will not surprise you.

A trip to this forest would mean experiencing a landscape of wonders and beauty. Moreover, you will find a range of lodges, cottages, and cabins to plan your trip around and enjoy the forest to the fullest.


2) Gwydir Forest Snowdonia

A forest full of lakes and mountains in the heart of Snowdonia is something that will be a delight to explore.  At Gwydir, it’s easy to get lost in its captivating woodland landscapes, lichen-encrusted rocks, and beautiful forest canopies.

Home to some of the most exotic landscapes the forest ranges across the hills in Snowdonia. You’ll find a high wooded embankment of the Conwy valley, enfolding Betws-y-Coed and towns of Llanrwst nearby. Therefore, the more you explore the forest the more you’ll fall in love with the myths and legends.

3) Glen Affric Forest Scotland

Glen Affric Forest Scotland is a place of retreat and majestic woodland forests that is known for its excellence of trout fishing and beyond. The Forest is an old-style mix of delightful lochs and rough mountains that stretch from 30 miles from Kintail toward the West to Cannich. Glen Affric Forest is one of the most breathtaking places in Scotland to visit. It’s a stunning landscape with mountains, oak trees, and perfectly placed lochs.

Many people each year come to explore the Glen Affric and enjoy its beauty. While you’re there you might find otters basking in the lakes, species of red squirrels leaping across trees. In short, we could say this forest is an absolute treat for nature lovers and experience the magic of it.

A visit to Glen Affric Forest will revive your senses of what the Scottish highlands feel like and experience the rare beauty of it. Moreover, you will find a myriad of wild plants, rare ferns, and flowers that you may not find anywhere else. With this, you can have a first-hand experience with nature like the sound of waterfalls and chirping birds.

So, if you’re seeking to spend a weekend exploring Glen Affric, be ready to be refreshed and feel alive.

4) Sherwood Forest Nottinghamshire

Set in the deep historic countryside of Nottinghamshire, Sherwood Forest is an absolute delight. This magical ancient forest is known to be home to Robin Hood and his legend. With more than 1000 giant oak trees and woodpecker spots perched on branches, this forest is much more than you’d expect.

Notably, the forest is 400 acres of land with a range of activities to indulge in while you’re there. You’ll have plenty to experience at Sherwood and can make the most of your time at this lovely nature reserve.

5) Hatfield Forest Essex

Hatfield Forest is Britain’s most favorite hunting forest for a long time was owned by King Harold in early 1066. The history of this woodland forest spans about 2,000 years ago from the Iron Age.

However, today you can see plenty of ancient trees, large lakes where admire some ducks and swans. Additionally, you will find a range of long trails to explore the different forests. For instance, the Capability brown walk allows you to explore the development sites from the forest like the Victorian era. The Golden Boots Walk will take you to beautiful summer sites and walkways to nature.

6) Eaves Wood Forest Lancashire

Eaves wood is an absolutely magical place to enjoy ancient woodlands, beech trees, and strolls. When it comes to visiting the forest you will find trails and walks that take you landscapes you may have not experienced.

The forest is filled with plenty of walks that include Silverdale Circular walk that will take you through coastal paths and Silverdale Green. Moreover, if you want to admire the views of Yorkshire Dales make sure you climb to the top of King William’s Hill.

7) Kielder Forest Northumberland

Mostly referred to as a man-made forest covering 250 square miles, this forest is packed with things to do. If you’re a wildlife enthusiast and enjoy mountain hiking and biking, this is a great woodland forest place.

While there are many reasons to visit this park-like its distinctive scenery and man-made lake, one of the main motivations to visit this park would be its great value. This park’s remoteness and quality of environment will be something you can’t ignore.

Nature lovers, water enthusiasts, explorers, artists, and families, anyone looking to find some fun and solitude can find it here. In fact, if you’re looking to rejuvenate yourself or experience something new must visit this park.

At Kielder, you can enjoy its stunning night skies and access trails through the forest. These trails pass five ancient fortified farmhouses from the 16th and 17th centuries. Moreover, the forest is also home to England’s remaining population of red squirrels and osprey populations. So, if you visit in the right season, you might just get lucky.

8) Wistman’s Wood Devon

This forest takes the name from small oak wood and druid’s stone Woodland mossy in Wisemans. If you visit the forest you will instantly feel like you’ve entered a fairytale.

Moreover, Wistman’s woods offers panoramic views over the Dartmoor and trails that lead to large rock outcrops of Littaford Tor and Crockern Tor. Therefore, mostly covered in boulders and twisted lichen you will find this forest an enchanting place to be at.

9) Loch Ard Forest Aberfoyle

The beautiful Loch Ard Forest is a place full of extensive roads and footpaths with spectacular backdrops of Ben Lomond. In fact, Loch Ard provides a perfect destination for a fun family adventure.

As the forest is home to an abundance of wildlife and plant life such as capercaillie and red squirrels, you’d be amazed by what the forest has to offer. Besides its exotic beauty, you will also find a family-friendly Sculpture Park that will let you learn about the ecology of the forest through interactive games and activities.

10) Thetford Forest Norfolk

Thetford Forest Park is the largest pine forest in Great Britain and stretches from the South of Norfolk to North Suffolk. Covering more than 19,000 hectares of land, you’ll find the forest to be home to many wildlife species recreational activities. The forest covers a huge area with a rich variety of species of animals and plants life.

Moreover, at the heart of the Thetford forest, you will find High Lodge Forest Centre. Here you will find trails to enjoy on foot, bicycle, or horseback riding across the county. Furthermore, you can find many beautiful picnic spots and places that are available for rent at any time of the year.

The park also offers a range of nearby attractions that include the history and heritage of Mildenhall and walks around St Helen’s. You can also enjoy a forest adventure at the High Lodge and maybe you can extend your stay with an overnight stay at the Harling Woods.

The UK Best Forest Parks and Area

No. Forest Name Forest Region Covers Area Miles2
 01    Galloway Forest Park        Scotland    770 Km2        297
 02    New Forest Hampshire        England    566 km²        219
 03    Gwydir Forest        Snowdonia, Wales    72.5 km²        28.0
 04    Sherwood Forest        Nottinghamshire    566 km²       4.232
 05    Dornoch Forest        Scotland    260 km²        100
 06    Argyll Forest Park        Scotland    210 km²        81
 07    Queen Elizabeth Forest        Scotland    200 km²        77
 08    Thetford Forest Park        England    190 km²        73
 09    Glen Affric Forest       Scotland    145 km²        56
 10    Tay Forest Park       Scotland    194 km²        299
 11    Glengarry Woodland Forest       Scotland    165 km²        63
 12    Kielder Forest       Northumberland     647.4 km²       250
 13    Wistman’s Wood Devon       England     0.0134 km²       0.034
 13    Loch Ard Forest Aberfoyle        Aberfoyle, Scotland     2.137 km²       0.825

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Scotland Largest Forests

Scotland is a country fortunate to have a variety of stunning forests and woodland. These forests are full of amazing wildlife and plant species that are vital for the ecosystem and provide many benefits.

Moreover, these forests are a great way to calm your nerves and take a break from everyday life. The mossy banks, beautiful pine trees, and the fresh pine-scented air. In fact, these forests are known for their mysterious beauty but are an ideal way to rejuvenate you while exploring nature.

So, if you’re wondering what forests in Scotland you should be visiting this year, we’ve picked out a list of the largest forests that exist, and exploring them will change your world. So, let’s dive right in!

11) Galloway Forest Park

The Galloway Forest Park is our absolute favorite with spectacular views of hills, wildlife, and forest trails. Here you can enjoy friendly visitor centers and rich history that will leave you stunned.

Moreover, you can always engage in exciting mountain biking, following forest trails, or simply find time to soak up the stunning mountain views. Whatever, the time of the year this park offers everything you need for a great day in classic scenery like this.

12) Dornoch Forest

The Sutherland has been known to have a gentler landscape and sees more visitors throughout the year than any other forest. All within easy reach of Dornoch, Canmore Wood has forest trails that will lead you to places, you’d fall in love with.

However, you will also find yourself orienteering, exploring sculpture trails, and fitness trails. There’s so much you can do to explore this open woodland and is suitable for walks, cycling, and horse riding.

13) Argyll Forest Park

The Argyll Forest Park is a landscape covered with craggy peaks and hidden glens. Moreover, you will also find peaceful sea lochs beautiful stunning rivers. The park is a short distance from Glasgow; it’s easy to find places to explore around the forest.

Also, the park has some fantastic cross-country biking routes including a circuit around the peninsula that make for a thrilling day out. So, while you’re visiting the forest, you will be able to get away from it all.

14) Tay Forest Park

Tay Forest Park is a beautiful park with a varied patchwork of forests across the most scenic parts of highland in Perthshire. Here you can discover legends about demons and dragons, saints and queens along with exceptional woodland trails.

Moreover, you will find unforgettable loch and mountain views with plenty of wildlife-rich history. Not only these dramatic landscapes are steeped with history, but also make for a great picnic site on a short weekend break.

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15) Glengarry Forest

Old granny pines, beautiful rivers, and broad leaves make Glengarry Woodland Forest an ideal place to spend your weekend break. Much of the woodland here is native Scots pine and tall conifers full of plenty of wildlife.

Moreover, The Glengarry forest is also known for Scotland’s most beautiful river that runs powerfully through the woodland. While you’re in the forest you can always take a walk through it and enjoy the stunning views of this stunning forest.

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16) Queen Elizabeth Forest Park    

If you want to enjoy the iconic views of sparkling lochs, rugged mountains, and amazing wildlife, this is another great park to be at. Moreover, with magnificent views, the park also offers a wide range of activities and facilities to engage in. Some of them include pony treks, waymarked paths to explore the surrounding. You will also find Britain’s largest cycle network that is ideal for families and people of mixed abilities.

Home to rich wildlife, magnificent views, and the park is everything a peaceful break should be. So, if you’re somebody who enjoys being close to nature, this forest is a gem for you.

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