Forest therapy in Britain’s healing forests  March 14th, 2019

 

Photo by Gabriela Palai from Pexels

 

Do you acquire a perfect sense of calm when you’re in the heart of dense woodland or enclosed by soaring trees? Spending time among the trees is proven to deliver therapeutic effects in the mind and body. It eliminates worry and stress and helps the body unwind and refuel. Forest therapy stems from the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku which translates to ‘forest bathing’. It does not mean a literal bath but instead the immersion of mind and body in the sights, sounds and smells of the encircling environment. Research verifies that a brief 15 minutes spent among trees improves the immunes system, lowers anxiety, adiponectin, blood pressure and cortisol levels, We’ve picked the top six locations to detach from the outside world and savour the natural environment with all senses. Be sure to leave your phone and cameras behind in your campervan or motorhome hire.

 

Hampshire and Norfolk

 

Forest Holidays, Blackwood Forest. Image by chloe_mccormick95 on Instagram

 

Forest Holidays, the holiday branch of the Forestry Commission, provides qualified forest therapy guides and rangers for visitors eager to embark on gentle strolls and appreciate a clear connection with nature. Opening for reservations from early September, guests can reserve cabins in the Blackwood Forest site set in Hampshire or Thorpe Forest in Norfolk. A competent guide will lead you through a three-hour forest bathing walk which ends with a tea ceremony consisting of brew created from local plants.

 

Powys Wales

 

Image by canopyandstars on Instagram

 

Canopy and Stars are glamping specialists who’ve launched a collection of forest sites centred on the practice of Shinrin-yoku. They offer meditation, spiritual healing and reiki sessions by skilled local practitioners. Eco Retreats by Canopy and Stars, supplies a forest teepee set within a secluded valley for prolonged sessions of forest bathing.

 

Cornwall

 

Image by canopyandstars on Instagram

 

Lost Meadow in Cornwall is another venture by Canopy & Stars where visitors stay in a sphere-shaped pod crafted in cedar, balanced in the trees, overlooking a river and 20 secluded acres of forest. The pod sleeps two and provides a wooden staircase where you’ll share your room with songbirds and owls!

 

Lanarkshire

 

The Falls of Corra Linn. Image by itmpa on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

 

The Falls of Clyde reserve provides sublime forest bathing settings. The tranquil enclosing environment teems with families of badger, otters, and over a 100 species of bird. Take a peaceful walk along any of the well-marked forest trails and enjoy four impressive waterfalls that flow through the neighbourhood. Nearby, you’ll find the New Lanark World Heritage – an 18th village, resting on the banks of the river Clyde.

 

Devon

 

Horner Wood, Devon. Image by benny.photo on Instagram

 

Horner Wood is considered one of the most extensive and most picturesque oak woods in the UK. The site was once a place for foraging firewood, winter food and creating tools yet today it contains a profusion of ancient oaks that offer ideal conditions for deer, warblers and a host of forest birds.

 

Olive

 

If Devon is your destination, then Olive is your van! She is a 2015 Type 2 Bay VW Campervan and one of the final VW campervans to be made by the Volkswagen group. Powered by a modern water-cooled engine, Olive is a four-seat van.  She’s got two single seats at the front and a bench seat in the rear that folds down to make a double bed. In the pop-up roof is another double bed. She’s lovingly fitted with a fridge, cooker and cooking utensils, mood lighting, and is excellent with storage space!

 

The New Forest

 

New Forest, England. Image by tobycowellphotography on Instagram

 

Unchanged since the era of William the Conqueror, The New Forest was once the hunting grounds of for royalty. Miles and miles of ancient forest are ready for exploration via foot or cycle, and you’ll find numerous serene glades for meditation and peacefulness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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