Top 10 mindful walks to enjoy this autumn
With impressive autumnal displays predicted right through until to mid-November this year, Forestry England have put together top ten walks to help you refresh your body, mind and spirit whilst discovering breath-taking forest landscapes and incredible displays of colour.
1. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum – Autumn Trail
Experience autumn colours from all over the world as you wander along the autumn trail at Westonbirt Arboretum. Find a quiet spot under a Japanese maple in the Acer Glade and take a moment to be still among the vibrant colours that surround you during nature’s greatest show.
2. Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest – Be here now trail (1.5 miles)
Take a moment to slow down and enjoy a mindful walk at Bedgebury National Pinetum. Become more aware of the present moment and the natural world around you. Walk calmly and breathe deeply as you experience the sights, scents and sounds of nature.
This gentle route highlights the beauty of nature with panoramic views of Bedgebury’s tree collection, Dallimore valley and lakes. The trail offers simple ways to notice and be observant as an approach to wellbeing.
3. Blackwater, New Forest – Walk the Tall Trees trail (1.5 miles)
Walking the circular ‘Tall Trees Trail’ will take you through an impressive section of the drive amongst towering Douglas fir and mighty redwoods, giving you plenty of opportunities to slow down and look up! The path is a flat and fairly smooth gravelled surface with frequent resting places to enjoy the forest atmosphere.
4. Fineshade Wood – Dales Wood trail (3 miles)
Taking between one and two hours to complete, Dales Wood trail leads you through a collection of broadleaved trees, revealing many shades of red, golden, purple, orangeand brown, a real feast for your eyes! For those who fancy something a little longer and more challenging, the Mill Wood walk (6 miles) is a treat for the senses. Some parts are more enclosed giving a cosy feel in the cooler autumn temperatures; meander through to really see the trees in detail.
5. Dalby Forest – The Adderson Rigg trail (1.5 miles)
Head into Dalby forest and explore with your senses the naturally sculpted Adderstone on this gentle walk. The trail follows forest paths and roads through a variety of woodland allowing you the opportunity to ease your stress. You will be met and awakened with stunning views over the forest.
6. High Lodge – Thetford Forest (3 miles)
This trail is perfect for those wanting to get away from it all and enjoy the peace and quiet of the forest. Far away from the visitor centre this trail takes you into the heart of the forest, allowing you to soak in the atmosphere with all your senses.
7. Jeskyns – The Broomfield Loop (1.5 miles)
A gentle, undulating walk on surfaced paths that leads you through new woodlands, grazed meadows, orchards and ponds. A walk guaranteed to restore your mood and give you back your energy.
8. Moors Valley – The Look Out (1.5 miles)
This lovely meandering route takes you away from the visitor centre into the peace and quiet of the forest. The trail takes you to an amazing spot where you can let your stresses drift away, the Lookout. Once here you’ll be rewarded with stunning views across the valley.
9. Wyre Forest – The Buzzard trail (3.25 miles)
The Buzzard trail explores the depths of the forest through beautiful mixed woodlands allowing your mind, body and soul to relax and unwind. The trail takes you along forest tracks and narrow paths, past majestic old oaks, as well as the Wyre Arboretum providing lots of opportunities to slow down and rejuvenate.
10. Grizedale Forest – The Tarn Trail (3.5 miles)
Follow the relaxing sounds of the stream as you leave the busy paths into the depths of the forest along the Tarn trail. The narrow path gives way to a wider track that opens up the colours of beautiful autumn that are on display at this time of year. Look out for the many sculptures you will pass and be sure not to miss the narrow path that leads to Grizedale Forest’s only natural tarn, where the changing colours of the trees will be gloriously reflected in the waters. As you descend back to the centre you will be rewarded with views of the west side of the forest and the ancient broadleaf trees that cling to the steep slopes, their leaves of green now giving way to the beautiful golden colours of autumn.
For more information on these trails, visit www.forestryengland.uk.