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The best UK forest holidays

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Staycations are becoming increasingly popular in the UK as an alternative to international travel. At Sterling, we’ve put together a round-up of the best UK forest holidays, ensuring you won’t miss out on a great experience this summer.

Why choose a forest holiday?

According to Forest Research, there are 1.3 million hectares of woodland in the UK. This includes a diverse range of forests, from wildlife havens to riverside thickets. While some are largely untouched by humankind, there are also scenic areas with campsites, cafes and attractions. This makes forests a great getaway holiday, whether for the intrepid traveller or the social butterfly.

Whinlatter Park, Cumbria: For hikes and bike rides

Whinlatter Park is just one in hundreds of natural parks, forests and lakes in Cumbria. But according to some visitors, the views that the park offers are second to none. If you love hikes and bike rides, Whinlatter Park is a great option for you.

There are a number of campsites in the nearest town, Keswick, that can accommodate both tents and campervans, so you shouldn’t have any issues finding a place to stay. The town also offers a number of hotels if you’re so inclined!

With plenty of restaurants in Keswick, you won’t have to worry about rustling up a meal each day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you have a chance, The Puzzling Place is a great exhibition for taking pictures that will boggle the minds of family and friends!

“Second visit to Whinlatter Forest Park this year, was impressed first time round so decided to return. This time did a longer walk to the viewpoint. All walks are well marked out and well maintained. Various levels of difficulty of walks can be undertaken.” – Chris905, Trip Advisor

Galloway Forest, Scotland: For wild camping lovers

Did you know that wild camping is, for the most part, legal in Scotland? So long as you follow the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, you can go it alone and set up camp wherever you see fit. Note that if you decide to wild camp in Galloway Forest, make sure you know where you’ll park ahead of time as you can’t take you camper or car into the forest with you!

This is a stunning spot that boasts wild animal sightings, starry night skies, and over 300 square miles of outstanding natural beauty to explore. At the right time of year and with the right permits, you can even go fishing if you’d like!

“The best place to wild camp without doubt. True isolation and fantastic wild life, red and roe deer, red kite buzzards, bats and surprisingly a herd of wild goats. You can walk for miles with great views and the night sky is a spectacular added bonus.” – Wildcamper1, Trip Advisor

Beddgelert Forest, Snowdonia: For a tranquil, undiscovered haven

Whilst Beddgelert Forest is well known by people living in North Wales, you might not have heard of it if you live in any other part of the UK. With a 700-hectare forest full of deciduous and evergreen trees, Beddgelert is a stunning place for those looking to visit somewhere a little less explored than some of the other options.

Located so close to Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, you’ll see great views of the mountain while you’re walking around the forest and you’ll likely come across many streams on your walks that have begun from the mountains in the area. You can even go up Snowdon, though be sure that you choose a trail suitable for yourself and your companions, and take necessary provisions as the summit cafe is closed for the rest of 2020.

Be sure to check out Llyn Llywyelyn, a lake in the middle of the forest!

“The forest is just one of the many spectacular parts of the landscape around Beddgelert and Snowdonia. We walked through the forest up to Rhyd Ddu and back and really enjoyed the hike. The forest is enchanting with thick carpets of moss covering rocks and tree trunks. Huge old standing trees and rocky ravines.” – Travelcrow, Trip Advisor

Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire: For active explorers

For any fans of Harry Potter, the Forest of Dean will be familiar to you. But this isn’t all the area boasts. Not only can you explore ancient woodlands, but you can also go on Nocturnal Adventures with a Forest Ranger to try and see the elusive wild boar. You can also go kayaking, ziplining, or explore underground caves. And if you enjoy off-roading in your car, there’s even a nearby company that offers toured off-road courses!

Of course, if you prefer hikes and cycling, the Forest of Dean is still a great option. Despite the many activities for the intrepid traveller, you can still find quiet spots that’ll help rejuvenate you before going back home.

“The Forest has always been a favourite. You can walk for miles, cycle on old railway paths or just sit and enjoy the silence.” – Peter C, Trip Advisor

We hope you have a lovely staycation! If you’re travelling in your own vehicle, be sure to get the right insurance before you travel; we offer car insurance, campervan cover and motorhome insurance. Breakdown cover can also help prevent any costly mishaps along the way.

Get Sterling breakdown cover

Here at Sterling, we offer affordable breakdown cover. In the event that you actually break down, we can arrange roadside recovery or a home start service. With over 850 breakdown recovery specialists in the UK alone, you can rest assured that we’ll be able to help you quickly and efficiently. And from prices of just £25 a year for Car and £78 for Motorhome/Camper, Sterling breakdown cover is among the best value on the market.

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