In Britain we benefit from a spectrum of remarkable landscapes. From mystical woodland and river banks to rolling heather lands and sweeping green fields, this fair isle has some absolutely stunning walks filled with colour. Here are just a few of my favourite British wild walks.
Keats Walk, Winchester
During his time in Winchester, Keats was so inspired by the stunning architecture and scenic surrounding area that he wrote ‘Ode to Autumn’. You can now follow his daily footsteps and enjoy a self-guided walk, starting from the Tourist Information centre to St Cross, making your way through the landscape that inspired the iconic verse.
There are many spots to stop and enjoy a picnic while overlooking the beautiful area. In autumn when the leaves turn the wooded areas look ablaze, reflecting in the gentle stream that passes through.
See the Visit Winchester site for more information.
Coed y Brenin Forest, Wales
Nestled within Snowdonia National park is Coed y Brenin. Visitors can enjoy a number of hiking routes through the trails of the Forest Park, or for the more adventurous there is a number of mountain bike routes. The trails snake up to some vantage points that offer breathtaking views over the area, keep an eye out for the mosses, ferns and lichens that pepper the trails with their range of colours.
Coed y Brenin is full of character boasting some of the most beautiful waterfalls, rivers, plants and wildlife that Wales has to offer.
For more information please visit the website.
Sheffield Park, East Sussex
Featuring acres of landscaped gardens framed by parkland and woodland, Sheffield Park and Garden is a botanical dream. Flowers such as bluebells bring colour to the area and there are plenty of secluded spots to explore and relax, sounded by shrubs and trees from across the globe. There is peace and tranquillity supplied by the four lakes that form the heart of the garden, which offer the chance to sit on the banks while the hours pass by.
The parkland dates back several centuries, which has previously been the home of a deer park and WW2 camp, is now home to a natural play trail and the River Ouse wildlife haven, with a diverse range of colour-bursting species such as kingfishers, butterflies and dragonflies.
Visit the National Trust website to find out more.
Castle Drogo, Exeter
Located on the side of the Teign Valley with outstanding view is Castle Drogo, known as ‘the last castle to be built in England’. The grounds of the castle house the Lutyens-designed terraced garden which have impressive views of Dartmoor as their backdrop. From the scent-filled rose garden to a wendy house with its own miniature garden there is plenty to see alongside the castle, which is currently under renovation.
The Teign Valley itself is an ancient gorge with a faint feeling of enchantment in the air. You can follow the winding paths, admiring the river trails, wildlife and beautiful foliage that you’ll encounter.
Visit the National Trust website for more information.
Petworth, West Sussex
Petworth is a charming market town set in the South Downs National Park, West Sussex. The town, surrounded by breath-taking natural beauty, is steeped in a rich history and even has a mention in the Doomsday Book of 1086. There’s plenty to see and do in Petworth as it is internationally recognised as an antiques hub with over 30 antique shops, Petworth House and Upperton Vineyard.
The open rolling countryside framing the town makes it ideal walking territory and the fascinating walking tours allow you to experience the history and architecture of the town as well as the vibrant hues of the surrounded fields.
Discover more about Petworth on the website.
Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent
Contained within over 300 acres of the sprawling countryside is Bedgebury Pinetum, home to at least 12,000 shrubs and trees. The collection of foliage features many rare and endangered species from across five continents, and this is what makes the area so visually stunning. The autumnal turning of the leaves is peppered with evergreens to create a beautiful landscape filled with colour. As well as being able to walk through the woods on many trails, soaking in the wash of colours, there are activities for all, including cycling, bird watching, orienteering and archery.
Please visit the website for more information.
Fountain Abbey and Studley Royal, Yorkshire
There is a striking landscape around the ruins of this magnificent abbey in Yorkshire. With 18th century landscaping, gardens and the canal sat beside the 19th century plantations and neo-Gothic castle of Studley Royal Park, this outstanding site has been a source of inspiration for many years.
The elegant water garden, still ponds, statues and follies can be attributed to John Aisladie’s inheritance of the property as he wanted to create a calm serenity for the area. The luscious green lawns are often dotted with different species of deer among the ancient trees, making them the perfect location for a picnic overlooking the banks of the river.
Visit The National Trust website for more details.
Galloway Forest Park, Southwest Scotland
For picturesque forest trails, curios wildlife and a long colourful history, Galloway Forest Park is an ideal location. With so much to see you can explore the area with different walking trails, easy family cycling and mountain biking. Filled with deer and wild goats, this beautiful park is filled with tawny earthy tones and lends itself to a stunning exploration. The glass-surfaced loch is perfect for a bite to eat, allowing you to soak in the serenity of the area.
Galloway Forest Park is also one of the best places to stargaze in Europe, so a night time visit brings even more spectacular things to discover.
To find out more, please visit the Galloway Forest Park website.