The UK's Most Enchanting Forests
If you go down to the woods today, you're sure to be surprised at just how enchanting Britain’s forests really are! Full of magic and wonder, the UK's woodlands are among the most visited across the globe, and their hidden depths and unblemished beauty have even inspired an array of world-renowned novels. While a wander through the woods never fails to be enjoyable, certain leafy locations have an extra special charm… With that in mind, we’re here to recommend a must-visit woodland from each Home Nation, so that you can step foot on the best forest floors! So, while the season is changing and the leaves are starting to brown, embrace the season ahead by planning an unforgettable autumnal walk! Read on to discover the most enthralling tree-topped spots, and transport yourself into a fairy tale today…
Wondering what is the most enchanted forest? Full of captivating creatures, England's New Forest is one of the best!
While its name may be a little misleading, New Forest is in fact one of the oldest woodlands in the South of England, being proclaimed a royal forest by William the Conqueror way back in 1079. Popular among visitors and locals alike, this forest is only around an hour and a half from London. Its large patchwork of pastureland, heathland and woodlands covers about 300 square miles, making it one of the biggest in the UK. However, what gives this forest its charm is the creatures that abide there. From donkeys and pigs to sheep and cattle, New Forest is home to a whole host of wildlife. The most majestic of these animals however are, without a shadow of a doubt, the New Forest Ponies. You'll find over 5,000 of them roaming freely throughout the woods. Sometimes referred to as 'the architects of the Forest,' these magnificent creatures actually helped sculpt the forest, with their grazing contributing to the upkeep of the landscapes and the growth of new plants – making the forest what it is today! Perfect for a family day out, this woodland is definitely worth a visit. We suggest planning your trip for spring, when beautiful bluebells carpet the forest’s floor – as if it wasn’t already magical enough!
Live out your fairy tale fantasy in Wales' Gwydir Forest
If you really want to feel like you're in a fairy tale, we suggest taking a trip to Gwydir Forest, situated in the heart of Snowdonia National Park in Wales. From lakes, waterfalls and mountains, to tall, towering trees, this woodland may just be the most enchanting of them all! Leap through time as you walk down the old miners' paths, where you can find a whole host of rare plants growing around the ancient metal workings where lead and zinc mining once took place. And, if you love myths and legends, keep an eye out for the Llwybr y Ceirw Sculpture Trail that’s thought to be inspired by Dafydd ap Siencyn, who just so happened to be Wales' very own version of Robin Hood! For those among you who prefer fantastical creatures, be sure to head down to the Fairy Falls, believed by the Victorians to have been enchanted by fairies! Speaking of magical waters, the Conwy, Llugwy, Lledr and Machno rivers are beautiful to behold, and their dazzling depths are a great place to fish. Just be sure to check out our guide to the best clothes to wear for fishing first, to make sure you’re prepared!
Check out the mystical Tollymore Forest Park in Northern Ireland
Tollymore Forest Park, located in Northern Ireland’s County Down, is famous for its breathtaking views of rolling hills, rushing rivers, hidden glens, and mysterious caves, which all bring a sense of wonder to the area. The Tollymore Stone (a large boulder found in the forest) is a must-see, with many myths and legends surrounding its magical properties. What's more, this woodland is home to 16 ancient stone bridges that arch perfectly over the rushing river Shimna. These bridges, alongside the grottos and caves found in this area, are said to have inspired the setting of C.S Lewis' Narnia! So, let your imagination run wild as you walk through this incredible enchanted forest – its spellcasting scenery really has the power to transport you to another world! For an extra special experience, we recommend visiting Tollymore in autumn, when the leaves have turned orange. The contrast of the vivid fallen leaves with the moss-ridden roots of the old oak trees are guaranteed to accentuate the majestic feel of this truly incredible woodland.
Watch Pitlochry's Faskally Wood light up at the Enchanted Forest event
If you’re looking for a magical experience that will really leave a lasting impression, then a visit to ‘The Enchanted Forest’ event at Faskally Wood is an absolute must! This unique event takes place every autumn in the quaint town of Pitlochry in Perthshire, Scotland. The woodland is found on the banks of Loch Dunmore and is home to a vast range of flora and fauna. While visitors are free to explore its trails during the day, it’s at night that this forest really comes to life! The evening event sees the trees lit up with an array of magical colours, with lights dancing on the branches and bouncing off the magical waters. What's more, the show is accompanied by a dramatic soundtrack that both entertains and entrances! It comes as no surprise that this spectacular event draws large crowds, seeking to soak up the unique atmosphere! Perfect for people of all ages, this event is great for a family outing. Just be sure to wrap up warm though, with a cosy coat and pair of gloves, as Scotland can be pretty nippy in autumn!
Get exploring the magic forests of the UK!
So, if you want to escape the real world and embark on a fairy tale adventure, you now have plenty of options! Whether you’re visiting the majestic wild ponies of the New Forest, watching Scotland’s Faskally Wood light up in magical colours, or crossing the trails and bridges of Tollymore Forest Park and Gwydir Forest, you’re sure to be left mesmerised by what Britain’s fairy tale woodlands have to offer! Start planning your visit today. You won’t regret it!