A Quick & Easy Guide to Forest Holidays in England

Getting out into nature does wonders for physical and mental health. So, it’s no surprise a forest holiday is becoming a top pick for families looking to reap the benefits. 

We’re spoilt for choice in England on beautiful forest landscapes and vibrant woodland spots. What’s more, you can stay in stunning retreats in the heart of these natural spaces for a holiday packed with adventure and relaxation. 

So, what makes a forest holiday the perfect choice for your next getaway? Let’s dive in and see…

Why choose a forest holiday in England?

Forest holidays give you the best of both worlds. First, there’s the utter tranquillity this space brings. The sights, sounds and smells are more than enough to delight the senses. Being among the wilderness offers an abundance of calming and sensory experiences. The slower pace is also a real treat for people who have busy schedules and want to get away from it all. 

Secondly, a forest holiday is the ultimate place to experience adventure. There’s something about this environment that brings out your imagination. Not only does it conjure childhood memories – the forest helps you create new ones with your family. Kids love the fun and energy of this type of holiday, as there’s plenty to get stuck into on your stay. 

What activities are available on forest holidays?

You won’t be short of things to do on a forest holiday. There are activities suitable for adults and children, with many that get the whole family involved. 

Some of the top activities to try on a forest holiday in England include:

Mountain biking 

Mountain biker speeding downhill.

Woodlands around the country have trails suitable for mountain biking. A popular spot is Dalby Forest in Scarborough. This forest hosted the UCI MTB World Cup in 2011. However, you don’t need to be a pro to ride these tracks. There’s something for all abilities, and you’ll find an adventure playground too. 

Wildlife and natural trails 

Nature walks are a great way to immerse children in the beauty of the forest. Dedicated walks can be found all over England, including trails within National Trust properties. A top choice is Danes Wood walk at Killerton in Devon. This enchanting spot is a haven for creepy crawlies, birds and small mammals. 

Swing through the trees 

Boy on the zip line.

And yes, in the real sense of the phrase – you can, in fact, enjoy a hair-raising adventure in the thick of the treetops. Go Ape is an adventure park that encompasses the fun and excitement of nature, all from a great height. Walk high ropes through the leaves or zip line for fantastic views. Sound fun? You’ll find parks scattered throughout England.

What you need to take on a forest holiday

Next up are the must-haves. If you’re holidaying in a forest holiday cottage, you’ll have all your home-from-home comforts catered for. But for those days out exploring, you’ll need a few essentials for a fun and safe adventure. 

Some things to pack include:

  • Picnic rug and coolbox
  • Layers – it can get chilly as the sun starts to go down
  • Walking boots – for those long walks and muddy trails 
  • Sunscreen – for those moments relaxing in a glade
  • Insect repellent – protect yourself from bites, especially from April to October
  • Swimwear – wild swimming is rising in popularity so if you’re feeling brave, check out the nearest forest wild swimming spots

Best destinations in England for a forest holiday 

England is home to some of the most magical forest locations perfect for a cottage holiday. So, if you’re looking for a unique escape, check out these top destinations:

Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire 

This ancient woodland in Gloucestershire is a picture-perfect spot for a day of exploring. Its scenery inspired author JRR Tolkien, and from its mix of majestic trees and colourful fauna, it’s not hard to see why. 

A must-see on your visit is the Sculpture Trail. With a mix of wood, stone and glass exhibits, you can enjoy a unique range of artist creations against the backdrop of the forest. 

Grizedale Forest, The Lake District 

Nestled between Windermere and Coniston Water in the Lake District is the captivating spot of Grizedale Forest. Trees swathe the 8,000-acre landscape and complement viewpoints such as Carron Crag. It’s also a top spot for wildlife watching, and you might spot England’s only indigenous herd of fallow deer hiding in the trees. 

Cardinham Woods, Cornwall 

This woodland area is the largest in Cornwall and covers around 650 acres. If you love walking and soaking up the greenery, four marked trails of different lengths take you through the trees. It’s a popular location for deer spotting. Plus, a visit in spring showcases a beautiful display of bluebells blanketing the fauna. 

Bellever Forest, Devon

Bellever Forest is in the heart of Dartmoor National Park in Devon. There’s a range of walking routes to enjoy. You’ll also see several archaeological sites scattered throughout the trees. Wildlife is abundant, so it’s an ideal place to take the kids on a nature trail. Another draw to the area is Dartmoor’s infamous ponies. These animals graze in the forest, so you’ll likely see a few on your visit. 

Book a forest holiday with kate & tom’s 

Getting back to nature and enjoying a forest holiday has never been easier with kate & tom’s. Our hand-picked forest holiday cottages offer the perfect base to explore these beautiful destinations. Best of all, they’re packed with luxury extras to make your stay even more special. So why not pop open the fizz in your own private hot tub or take a dip in a refreshing outdoor pool – there’s something for everyone. 

Forest holidays are the perfect family getaway. Want to find out more? Search our luxury cottages in woodland destinations and book your next break with kate & tom’s.