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The UK’s 5 finest forest tours and experiences

Holidays incorporating nature网上体彩投注app tend to be incredibly revitalising and fulfilling, and the UK is peppered with forests that are ideal for just that.

Here are five of the finest forest tours and experiences网上体彩投注app found across the country, from forest bathing inspired by Japanese culture to mountain biking in North Yorkshire.

Forest bathing, The Scottish Highlands

Consciously connect with nature in the Cairngorm National Park's Ancient Caledonian Forest

Consciously connect with nature in the Cairngorm National Park's Ancient Caledonian Forest

‘Forest bathing’ has been a popular form of therapy in Japan since the 1980s (shinrin-yoku in Japanese) but has only recently become a buzzword in Western medicine. The concept is simple – spend time among the trees to consciously connect with nature, a practice that’s been proven to lower cortisol levels and reduce anxiety (among other benefits). Obviously you can do this by yourself but now you can also experience the healing power of trees via a guided ‘forest bathing’ experience in the UK, thanks to the British Forestry Commission training rangers as therapy guides; from Cornwall to Scotland, you’ll find forest bathing walks available across the country, including tea ceremonies and overnight stays in log cabins. Head to the Scottish Highlands to discover one of the best, a soothing soak within the Ancient Caledonian Forest, where aged Scots Pine, Oak and Birch trees loom over a heather-coated forest floor peppered with wild berries. Base yourself at The Crianlarich Hotel.

Rewilding safaris, West Sussex

Encounter English longhorn cows on a rewilding safari in West Sussex

网上体彩投注appEncounter English longhorn cows on a rewilding safari in West Sussex

For an immersive escape into the woods, a safari or camping experience at Knepp Castle Estate is just the ticket. Since 2001, owner Charlie Burrell has been working on transforming the 3,500-acre estate and its failing arable land into a pioneering conservation project. Visitors can explore this biodiverse West Sussex wilderness with a guided tour on foot or by jeep, encountering the park’s own version of Africa’s Big Five – English longhorn cows, wild Exmoor ponies, Tamworth pigs and both red and fallow deer. Rare species like turtle doves, peregrine falcons, nightingales and purple emperor butterflies have started breeding here, too. And tours range from an exploration of the ecology of bees (led by one of the world’s leading bee experts, Dave Goulson) to workshops with tree gurus, Ted Green and Jill Butler. You can stay in one of the Estate’s treehouses, shepherd’s huts, tents or yurts but you don’t have to stay to take a safari (or vice versa). In order to ensure peaceful observation of the wildlife, children under 12 years old aren’t admitted onto the safaris or campsite. For those not spending the night on the estate, there’s also the magnificent Victorian country house hotel, South Lodge网上体彩投注app, just a 13-minute drive away.

Zombie forest survival experience, Nottinghamshire

Test your mettle on a nighttime zombie forest survival experience in Nottingham Forest

网上体彩投注appTest your mettle on a nighttime zombie forest survival experience in Nottingham Forest

Always thought you’d thrive in a zombie apocalypse situation? Well, now’s the time to test your mettle, with an immersive zombie experience in the historic Sherwood Forest (of Robin Hood fame) in Nottinghamshire. Show off your survival skills over the course of an evening, setting up camp in teams with basic equipment while fighting off the walking dead. Kick off is at 8pm and the experience lasts for a hellish six hours while the zombies close in – a basic level of fitness and camping knowledge is key for this one, as dodging zombies in a cold, dark forest and hiding in its various towers and trenches is no picnic. Stay five minutes from Nottingham city centre at Colwick Hall Hotel网上体彩投注app, a Grade II-listed building facing a lilypad-strewn lake.

Foraging with Taste the Wild, Yorkshire

Forage for wild, seasonal food on a Taste the Wild tour in Yorkshire

网上体彩投注appForage for wild, seasonal food on a Taste the Wild tour in Yorkshire

Taste the Wild runs exemplary one-day foraging courses, offering insight into the best wild, seasonal food to help you embrace a slow food lifestyle and take your culinary expertise to the next level. Courses either take you along the moody North Yorkshire coast or through woodland close to the town of Boroughbridge outside York. The latter involves a stroll through the trees teaching you to identify and gather wild and edible plants, nuts, seeds, herbs and hedgerow flowers, before returning to a rustic barn to rustle up recipes like nettle pasta ravioli filled with ricotta and wild garlic. The former entails scouring the coastline for seaweed and shellfish, and there are fungi foraging courses available, too. Stay in Boroughbridge at the delightful Homestead Hopperton.

Mountain biking in Dalby Forest, Yorkshire

Dalby Forest is one of the best destinations for mountain biking in the world

Dalby Forest is one of the best destinations for mountain biking in the world

If you’re in search of an exhilarating forest experience, mountain biking Dalby Forest’s network of varied trails will be a guaranteed success. One of the best destinations for mountain biking in the world, this Yorkshire forest has hosted the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and has a thrilling four-mile, black-graded World Cup cycle trail for daredevils. But you’ll find plenty of gentler, family-friendly routes, too – try the Adderstone Cycle Trail or the Cycle Skills Area near Low Dalby along the Ellerburn Trail, where children and less experienced bikers can test their skills and practice tricks on varied sections of green, blue and red trails. Wake up to a full English to fuel you for a day of mountain biking at Eleven Westgate, a highly rated B&B not far from Dalby Forest.

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