Best Forest Holidays in the UK

Set off on your forest holidays

For the top destinations for forest holidays in the UK, keep reading!

Forest holidays are the perfect way to get out into the stunning British countryside with the whole family and to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities. Whether you’re treating someone to a getaway as a birthday present, an anniversary trip or you’re wracking your brains for things to do in half term, with some beautiful forest destinations across the UK, there are numerous opportunities to escape into some stunning woodland for unforgettable forest getaways.

The British Isles are filled with areas of natural beauty. Whether you’re exploring the wilds of the Scottish Highlands, the stunning, rugged beauty of the Snowdonia National Park, or you have your eye on the incomparable beauty of the countryside in the Republic of Ireland, you will not be disappointed by what you find. With national parks and famous forests to explore, you can lose yourself in some truly magical places.

Head to a beautiful forest for a getaway

English forest holidays: Forest of Dean

When it comes to forest holidays, Forest of Dean in the West Country is a great starting point. When looking for somewhere to stay in the Forest of Dean, cabins like this rental with a hot tub is perfect for a quiet getaway. One of the best forests in England for a getaway and set in the idyllic county of Gloucestershire, the Forest of Dean has numerous trails winding through beautiful ancient woodland. With oak trees, beech trees, larches, and chestnuts as far as the eye can see, it is hard to believe this peaceful spot was once a hub for industry, with collieries and tree-felling a central part of life in the area. Now, this forest is one of the few places in the UK with wild boar freely roaming!

Catch a glimpse of wild boar in the Forest of Dean.
Photo by Algy O’Connell

Forest holidays in the Lake District: Grizedale Forest, Cumbria

Normally when we talk about Lake District holidays, we think of Lake Windemere, hill walking, and incredible views and vistas. However, the beautiful Grizedale Forest is well worth the visit. Nestled in between Lake Windemere and Lake Coniston, there are lots of beautiful walks, and trails perfect for mountain biking with lake views. Grizedale Forest is perfect for wildlife enthusiasts with roe deer and red kites frequently spotted, as are barn owls and buzzards. Grizedale Forest is also the only place with indigenous red deer in England. For a unique Lake District camping holiday, consider this dome close to Grizedale.

Enjoy forest holidays in the lake district when you visit Grizedale Forest
Photo from geograph.org

Explore Rothiemurchus Forest in the Cairngorms, Scotland

The Scottish Highlands are undeniably one of the most stunning regions in the UK, if not the whole of the British Isles, and the Cairngorms National Park in the East Highlands are a fabulous place to enjoy the great outdoors. When staying in the Cairngorms, camping yurts and glamping pods offer a unique way to experience this secluded part of the world. Rothiemurchus Forest is one of the jewels of the Cairngorms National Park, and it has even received praise from the grandfather of nature and wildlife, Sir David Attenborough himself, who dubbed the forest as “one of the glories of wild Scotland.” The forest is an idyllic way to hike towards mountains such as Braeriach, and adjacent are other incredible wooded areas, such as Glen Feshie.

Enjoy the Cairngorms when you visit Rothiemurchus Forest
Photo by Mike McBey

Discover the beauty of Southern Scotland: Forest of Ae

The Forest of Ae is set between Nithsdale and Annandale in Dumfries and Galloway. First planted in the 1920s, Ae Forest is primarily made up of Sitka spruce, and it has a special status for the conservation of the red squirrel. There are a number of mountain bike trails as well as some beautiful walks. During the autumn, it’s the perfect place to go and take in some stunning colors and views. With pet-friendly holiday cottages just 30 minutes’ drive from the forest, it is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some forest holidays with your four-legged friends as well!

Enjoy autumnal walks through the stunning Ae Forest.
Photo courtesy of Neil Graham

Cwm Rheidol, Ceredigion: Welsh forest holidays

Cwm Rheidol in Ceredigion has a unique way of exploring its coppery trees and stunning forest-covered hills. you can take a steam train from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge, taking in stunning views and catching sight of the local wildlife. Book a stay in this cozy, dog-friendly cottage rental near Lampeter, and you can spend days exploring the rest of this stunning area of Wales during your forest holidays.

Ride the Cwm Rheidol steam train in Ceredigion
Photo from wikipedia

Enjoy a getaway in Snowdonia and visit Coed y Brenin

Snowdonia National Park is already well-known for its wonderful natural beauty. With the eponymous mountain being a part of the Three Peaks Challenge, the area receives a lot of visits, and with forests like Coed y Brenin to explore, it’s easy to see why. Coed y Brenin covers about 9,000 acres. Comprised of woodland and river valleys, there are well-marked mountain bike, running, and running trails, perfect for a forest getaway in one Britain’s most beautiful national parks.

Go mountain biking in Coed y Brenin
Photo by Andy Carter

Cross the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland and discover Banagher Glen

One of the few forested areas in the UK that remains untouched by deforestation, this stunning forest in County Derry is set back upon a steep ravine. Oak, ash, hazel, hawthorn, and holly trees feature heavily here, and they are perfect for wildlife to thrive. You can expect to see, among other species, red squirrels in the forest. For those of you looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day, a visit to the forest will get you immersed in his story; he is meant to have trapped the last snake in Ireland in this forest, and legend has it that it still lurks there today.

Explore the rugged beauty of the untouched Banagher Glen
Photo from geograph.ie

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