Try the ancient art of forest bathing in these British woodlands

Known in Japan as shinrin-yoku, the feelgood therapy aims to connect people to nature through the senses of sight, hearing, taste and touch.

And it doesn't have to take long. The Forestry Commission has come up with some short walks that will allow you to refresh mind, body and spirit in the woods this autumn …

Alice Holt Forest, Farnham, Surrey Family Trail (3 miles)

The wide forest track is an open space that can be used comfortably with a buggy.

The trail passes through a variety of woodland habitats, from conifer plantation to mature broadleaf scattered with woodland clearings.

Enjoy a stop and take in your surroundings in one of the meadows along the route.

Blackwater, New Forest, Hampshire Walk The Tall Trees Trail (1.5 miles)

The circular route takes you through an impressive section of towering Douglas firs 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.

Cannock Chase, Staffordshire The Fairoak Trail (2.5 miles)

An easy circular trail, the walk meanders through the forest and opens out into the Fairoak Valley. Here you'll find the magnificent Fairoak Pools, a rich and important habitat that is home to lots of wildlife. Take a rest and try to spot swans, ducks and deer while clearing your mind.

Dalby Forest, North York Moors The Adderstone Rigg Trail (1.5 miles)

Head into Dalby Forest and explore the naturally sculpted adder stone on this gentle walk. The trail follows forest paths and roads through a variety of woodlands.

And wherever you go, you will be met with stunning views over the forest.

Bedgebury National Pinetum, Kent Forest Trail (3.5 miles)

Bedgebury Forest once rang to the sounds of iron manufacture. Today it's more likely you'll hear birdsong, the patter of paws from dog walkers and the neigh of a horse in the distance.

This circular route takes you along hardsurfaced paths, passing ancient trees and ponds that are home to wild flowers, bats, birds and insects.

Jeskyns, near Cobham, Kent The Broomfield Loop (1.5 miles)

A gentle, undulating walk on surfaced paths that leads through new woodlands, grazed meadows, orchards and ponds.

Moors Valley, Ashley Heath, Dorset – The Look Out (1.5 miles)

This meandering route takes you away from the visitor centre into the peace and quiet of the forest.

The trail leads to the Look Out, an amazing spot where you can let your stresses drift away. Once there, you'll be rewarded with stunning views across the valley.

Wareham Forest, Lower Woodbury, Dorset The Woodlark Trail (2 miles)

Wareham forest is a delight to discover on foot. The trail is generally flat, with a couple of slight inclines, ideal for bathing in the glory of the forest. As you walk along the path, keep your eye out for the secretive sika and roe deer.

West Woods, Wiltshire The Purple Easy Access Trail (1 mile)

This peaceful trail is perfect for those wishing to get away from it all. Take a seat under the magnificent beech trees and let your everyday stresses drift away.

Look out and listen for the red kites and other birds that call these woods home.

Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire The Seasonal Trail (1.5 miles)

The trail is the perfect place to escape the outside world and dive into the tranquil beauty of the arboretum.

Why not stop for a spot of forest bathing in Acer Glade – one of the most vibrant and breathtaking areas in the autumn – where you can soak in the dazzling varieties of colour that the maple leaves provide.

See for tips on how to get started.

Source: Read Full Article