Turfhill park is in Surrey, near the village of Lightwater. It's a place of scientific interest and protection of flora and fauna, so it's left pretty wild. You can wander around by bike or on foot, animals are welcome too, and along the route there is information about the plants, birds and animals that you may encounter on your walk around. I liked it as it wasn't too perfect, it looked more natural. It seems to be a private forest rather than a typical city garden. As it is between two busy roads, you can hear the noise of cars throughout most of the park. That's a shame, you never really feel like you're in nature. The good side is that Lightwater has a train stop-Woking-very close, and you can spend time in nature without much hassle.
Lickey Hills is not only a fantastic hill where you can see parts of the outskirts of Birmingham, (Tolkien was inspired by Lickey to write Lord of the Rings) and it is a great place to have a stroll, picnic, etc. It has an incredible forest that is intensified by the wet British climate, filled with lush trees and a wonderful range of vegetation. You'll see squirrels everywhere and the more you go into it, the closer one feels to nature that surrounds you. You can only hear yourself and no other sounds.
I lived in this forest for two months and it is a place of wonderful beauty and hidden treasures. I had to walk through it whenever I wanted to go into town or anywhere else, but I enjoyed spending time in it.
This hill is the southern entrance to the park of Hampstead Heath, one of the most important parks in North London. In this place stood Traitor's Hill, where battles have broken out throughout history. Queen Boadicea or Buddica is said to have been killed here, while leading an attack against the Roman settlement of Londinium. Her tomb can be found further to the south, near King's Cross Station.
The name has nothing to do with the Houses of Parliament, but rather this was the place where troops loyal to Parliament, fighting against the English king, stood during the English Civil War of the seventeenth century. Nowadays, Hampstead Heath is a popular spot for North Londoners to have picnics or play sports. Many of them fly kites on the hill, where there are lovely views of St Paul's, the Gherkin, St Pancras Station and Canary Wharf. In fact when you walk through this park of 800 acres, you feel like you're walking through the countryside, and not in the middle of one of the world's biggest cities. If we continue along the south side of the park to the west, you'll find a series of ponds where the daring sometimes swim. Just south of the park on a street called Keats Grove is the house where the poet John Keats lived between 1818 and 1820 before leaving for Rome where he died of tuberculosis at the age of 25 years.
In the northern part of the magnificent moorland of Dartmoor, the incredible Forest of the Druids appears as if by magic, full of twisted oak trees that grow on huge granite boulders covered with wild moss. The undergrowth consists mainly of ferns, and the majestic trees are covered with lichens and other plants. The atmosphere is truly magical, and you can really feel the ancient Celtic history all around you. It is said that this grove was, in the ancient path, popular with the Druids, who gathered medicinal herbs here and practised their mysterious, magical rituals. It can be reached by following the path across the moors to the little village of Twobridges, and following the path by the river. You'll find this example of thousand-year-old nature a couple of miles later.
Go Ape is the largest adventure forest in the United Kingdom. It is a climbing park, and there are 28 Go Apes around the country. Whether you go with friends or colleagues, you'll have a fun, physical day out! But be sure to go in good weather. Everything feels nice and safe. We went to the one near Leeds Castle. The rates are as follows: £ 30 for adults, £ 20 for teens 10 to 17 years.
Near the ruins of Finchdale Priory is a beautiful bridge across the River Wear. After crossing it, we found a sign telling us that we were in the Cocken Forest, where a number of sports and recreational activities take place. You can go hiking up to Sunderland or Hetton-Le-Hole, suggesting that a path once existed leading from the priory for trade (remember that monastic communities generated a lot of trade in the Middle Ages). Following the path, there are spots to stop and enjoy a picnic with spectacular views. At first the forest seems a bit sparse, but as you continue, it becomes lush with different types of trees, such as pine and chestnut. Look out for the thorns that can make the walk difficult!
Along the way, if you don't make too much noise, you can see foxes, squirrels, and even the occasional deer having a drink from the river. Combined with the ruins and the river, it's a great place to spend an enjoyable day.