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Into the Woods: Scotland’s Best Forests image header

20th October 2017 | Regional News

Into the Woods: Scotland’s Best Forests

Now autumn is here, it’s time to grab your woolly hats and snuggly scarves and head out for a cosy family woodland walk. Home to seven of the ten largest forests in the UK, Scotland is the perfect destination to go if you’re looking for a beautiful, tranquil and fascinating place to visit.

From walking and cycling routes to lakes and waterfalls, there’s so much to see and do on an adventure into the woods. Here at Parkdean Holidays, we’ve unearthed some of the best woodland areas in Scotland, where you can take part in exciting activities, see fantastic attractions and enjoy an array of breathtaking views.

Glenmore Forest Park, Aviemore

At the foot of the Cairngorm Mountains you’ll find the beautiful Glenmore Forest Park, the perfect place for a family day out. About an hour from Nairn Lochloy Holiday Park, you can walk or cycle through these amazing woodlands, exploring plenty of hidden gems along the way.

Glenmore has it all, including one thing that you wouldn’t expect to see in a forest; the tranquil Loch Morlich Beach! Whether you want to play games on the sand, try your hand at a variety of watersports – including windsurfing, canoeing and sailing – or simply take a stroll along the shoreline, there’s something for everyone. This beautiful forest park is also part of the largest area of native woodland in Britain, and it’s extremely well-known for its Caledonian pinewoods. Hiding in the towering trees you might even get to spot some of the rare local wildlife, including Scottish crossbills and European crested tits.

For unforgettable views like no other, head to the top of Cairngorm Mountain, which you can reach via a hike or by catching a ride on the mountain railway. At over 3,500 feet, you’ll be greeted by panoramic views over some of the most amazing sights in Scotland, so don’t forget your camera. When you reach the top there’s also an exhibition, a gift shop and even the highest post box in the British Isles!

Video sourced from L3mi3

Faskally Wood, Perthshire

From trails and pathways to wildlife and a variety of impressive trees, Faskally Forest is a real example of nature at its finest. Located in the heart of Perthshire, just under 30 minutes from Tummel Valley Holiday Park, it’s the ideal place for an autumn stroll.

Although the forest is a beautiful place to visit all year round, it’s even more special in autumn, which is when it hosts the annual Enchanted Forest Festival. The event, which runs from the 28th September to 29th October, is the current winner of the UK’s Best Cultural Event and it’s easy to see why. This spectacular sound and light show attracts over 70,000 visitors each year, who come to enjoy dazzling shows, hear magical stories told in the Enchanted Storytelling Yurt and cosy up with a mulled wine or hot chocolate.

If you’re not visiting during this time then don’t worry, as there’s still so much to see and do in this wonderful woodland. Nestled on the banks of Loch Dunmore, the forest offers a number of walking routes that you can explore, with picturesque views at every turn. Look out for an array of local wildlife that can be found hiding amongst the trees, including kingfishers, herons and goldeneye ducks.

Video sourced from Braemar Media

Galloway Forest Park, Dumfries and Galloway

No holiday to Scotland would be complete without a trip to Galloway Forest Park, under an hour from both Southerness Holiday Park and Sundrum Castle Holiday Park. Come rain or shine, a visit to Britain’s largest forest park won’t disappoint.

From peaceful lochs to adventurous cycle routes, there’s something for everyone at Galloway Forest Park. One of the most unique experiences you can enjoy on a visit is stargazing. Surrounded by over 800km of forest under inky black skies, Galloway is one of the best places in Scotland to stargaze, and it was the first place in the UK to receive a Dark Sky Park status.

When you’re not admiring the twinkling stars above, you can visit the Red Deer Range, where the whole family can come face to face with these beautiful animals. Alternatively, pack your bikes and bring them to some of the best mountain bike tracks in Scotland. Take a ride along some of the trails that form a part of the famous 7stanes project, a range of world-class mountain biking centres that span southern Scotland.

Video sourced from Lilac Howell Films

Abriachan Wood, Inverness

If you’re looking for a family adventure, then Abriachan Wood is the place to be. As well as an ancient woodland with dramatic views over Loch Ness, you’ll also find Abriachan Forest Trust, an extensive network of mountain bike trails just waiting to be explored.

Under an hour from Nairn Lochloy Holiday Park, there are a range of routes available, suitable for all abilities. Mountain bike enthusiasts will get the chance to practice their skills on steep and narrow terrains, whilst beginners can enjoy the flat and easier trails. If you’re a keen walker, then there are lots of walking tracks where you can stretch your legs too. With rocky crags and cliffs as well as children’s play forts and picnic areas, you’ll find a walking route to suit all ages.

Abriachan Wood is also extremely popular when it comes to foraging for juniper berries. Don’t forget to pack some thick gloves so you can search the beautiful woodland for these tasty treats.

Video sourced from Shared Assets

Where’s your favourite forest in Scotland? We’d love to hear all about it on our Twitter or Facebook pages.

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