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Romantic days out in the forest

Our forests have been long intertwined with romance and folklore, and with some of the most romantic woodland spots on your doorstep, there’s plenty to inspire you to create a love story of your own.

Romantic woodland walks

Woodlands are the ideal place for you to walk hand in hand with your loved one and with a number of fantastic sites for love to blossom, we've named our top ten places to visit this Valentine’s Day for the perfect romantic stroll.

  1. Symonds Yat Rock to Biblins loop walk, The Wye Valley in the Forest of Dean
  2. Millyford Bridge, New Forest, Hampshire
  3. Winter Seasonal Trail, Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent
  4. Jerry Noddle Walk, Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire
  5. Bogle Cragg Trail, Grizedale Forest, Cumbria
  6. Words in the Woods Trail, Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria
  7. Birch Hill Trail, Gisburn Forest, Lancashire
  8. Seasonal Trail, Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
  9. Red Walk, Great Wood, Somerset
  10. Church Path Trail, Salcey Forest, Northamptonshire

Forest Love stories

Have you ever been on a first date in a forest? Been proposed to under a tree or gotten married in the woods? Share your stories with us on our Facebook using #ForestLoveStories and you could win a £30 Amazon voucher. T&Cs apply.

1. Symonds Yat, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

Symonds Yat Woodland WalkSymonds Yat Rock to Biblins Loop Walk  
Distance: 2.8 miles

Begin your romantic walk at Symonds Yat car park. Head up past the ramparts of the Iron Age Hillfort to Symonds Yat Rock Viewpoint to take in the breathtaking view together. Then head back over the bridge and take the yellow trail down steep steps.

When you reach the river, take a pleasant ride to the opposite side of bank from the friendly ferryman. Follow signs to Biblins campsite and cross the Biblins suspension bridge, then turn left and walk along the Peregrine Path back towards the Saracens Head before making the ascent back to Symonds Yat Rock where you began. Enjoy a warming hot chocolate on the seating of the cosy timber café cabin!

2. New Forest, Hampshire

New Forest Woodland WalkMillyford Bridge
Distance: 4.1 miles

Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to take in the New Forest's breathtaking sights. Millyford Bridge is an easy walking route (2 hours) with just a few gentle inclines. Some of the woodland tracks can get muddy in February – so wellies and a map are recommended! It begins at Millyford Car Park, beside Highland Water and follows the circular loop of the cycle trail through Holmhill Inclosure and back again.

At the start of this walk, you’ll see stunning old beech trees with their elegant over-hanging boughs, whilst the sound of water flowing over gravel beds can be heard as the river winds its way to the sea. The woodland views are spectacular, especially on a clear day and Highland Water provides a romantic backdrop so you can both take a moment to relax. After your walk, you can treat each other to a cosy cup of tea at the cafés or pubs in the nearby village of Lyndhurst.

3. Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent

Bedgebury Pinetum Woodland WalkWinter seasonal trail
Distance: 1.5 miles

The National Pinetum at Bedgebury provides a beautiful setting for romantic walks. Follow our winter seasonal trail (1- 1.5 hours), starting at the Pinetum Visitor Centre, where you will see some of the wonderful trees in the collection, set against the stunning back drop of the lakes and sky.

Alternatively, take yourselves off the trail paths to find romantic secluded locations, hidden corners and streams, and benches for a secret Valentine’s cuddle! On your return to the Visitor Centre, the Bedgebury Cafe, will provide a welcoming place to enjoy a comforting coffee, an indulgent cake or lunch, all whilst enjoying lovely views across the pinetum.

4. Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire

Dalby Woodland WalkJerry Noddle Walk
Distance: 2.8 miles

If you’re feeling romantic at Dalby, we recommend the ‘Jerry Noddle’ walk. It’s a circular trail starting and ending at the Bickley Gate car park.
This picturesque route will lead you away from the crowds, along the forest paths to some amazing views. There is a magnificent lookout at the halfway point, which is the perfect place for a romantic stop. From this point you can see the beautiful grassy scenery of Upper Langdale Valley and out towards the town of Scarborough.

As you head back to the car park enjoy the peace and quiet, and take in the romantic scenery our trees provide, the perfect couple’s stomp!

5. Grizedale Forestry, Cumbria

Grizedale Woodland WalkBogle Cragg Trail
Distance: 2.5 to 3 miles

Situated between the picturesque lakes of Coniston and Windermere, Grizedale Forest is an ideal place to go walking on Valentine’s Day. With views of the lakes and mountains, the shelter of the trees and sculptures in the forest, Grizedale offers all love-birds a walk they will enjoy and remember forever.

As you stroll through the charming paths of Bogle Crag, look out for the ancient beech trees along the way. Stop for a cuddle as you view some of the most famous sculptures, such as Andy Goldsworthy's 'Taking a wall for a walk'. After your walk, treat your partner to a delicious hot chocolate and home-made cake in the Grizedale cafe.

6. Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria

Whinlatter Woodland WalkWords in the Woods Trail
Distance: 1.5 miles

Whinlatter is a great place for walking with unrivalled views across Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwentwater and Keswick. This is the ideal forest for romance to bloom! For Valentine’s Day our Words in the Woods Trail has been chosen as the perfect romantic walk.

Meander through beautiful mature woodland and into newly planted native woodland areas. Take time to pause with your loved one to read thoughtful, poetic quotes about trees carved on the waymarked posts. There is a seating area where moments of romance can be carved on visitors’ hearts. A guide leaflet is available from the Visitor Centre.

7. Gisburn Forest, Lancashire

Gisburn Dusk Woodland WalkBirch Hill Trail
Distance: 1.25 miles

Stretch your legs with your loved one, and feast your eyes on the heart of the beautiful Forest of Bowland on our Birch Hill Trail. Follow the original farm track of Miry Lane through young woodland with the occasional stunning view over Stocks reservoir. Wildlife watchers can stop and linger at two viewing hides on the way. A gentle climb through mixed woodland passes a single old oak tree before a mellow descent back to School Lane.

8. Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire

Westonbirt Woodland WalkSeasonal trail - Silk Wood
Distance: 2 miles

Enjoy a romantic stroll around Westonbirt Arboretum on the seasonal trail and take in the winter highlights of this magical tree collection as you go. Experience views, vistas and glades and warm up in the Westonbirt restaurant afterwards with delicious range of hot and cold refreshments.

9. Great Wood, Somerset

Great Wood Woodland WalkRed Walk
Distance: 2.5miles

Spend Valentine’s afternoon exploring the nooks and crannies of Ramscombe with your loved ones along the Red Walk trail. This trail is perfect for those looking for a gentle romantic stroll. This trail will lead you past pretty streams and along some impressive combes and you will see some majestic Douglas fir and Sitka spruce.

Ramscombe is the best place to start your day’s activity, whether it is a day of walking, cycling or horse riding. Please note the Ramscombe car parks are pay and display. The car park opens at 7am and will be locked at 6pm.

10. Salcey Forest, Northamptonshire

Salcey Forest Woodland WalkChurch Path Trail
Distance: 1.5 miles

This is a fantastic Valentine’s walk, which takes you to the fallen Church Path Oak, Salcey’s famous “druid” oak, which was thought to be over 400 years old when it finally fell in 1995.

Weave through the tress with your loved one and venture on to the tree top walk way, a magnificent wooden boardwalk rising to 15m above ground level, with a viewing platform at 20 metres. Enjoy views over the forest and the surrounding countryside. The walk then loops back to where you started ending the perfect romantic jaunt!

Competition terms and conditions:

  1. The prize is a £30 Amazon Voucher.
  2.  The prizes cannot be exchanged for a cash alternative.
  3. The closing date for the prize draw is 9 February 2015.
  4. To enter the competition, you need to post your Forest Love Story on to the Forestry Commission Woods and Forests Facebook page using the hashtag #ForestLoveStories.
  5. We will pick our favourite Forest Love Story from all valid entries after the closing date.
  6. The winner will be notified within 7 days of the closing date.
  7. The name of the winner will be posted on the web page linked to the specified campaign. The winner's name and county can also be obtained by sending a stamped addressed envelope to: Forestry Commission Marketing, 620 Bristol Business Park, BS16 1EJ.
  8. The Forestry Commission’s decision is final.
  9. Entries made through agents, third parties, organised groups or any entry duplication method will not be accepted.
  10. The prize draw is open to UK residents aged 18 and over, except employees of any party connected with the promotion.
Last updated: 2nd August 2016

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