Fabulous forests by train

25 September 2023

If you go down to the wood today, you're likely to find stories to tell, stunning trees, and winding paths to explore and enjoy. The forests and woodlands of Britain are a real thing of beauty, and are better explored when you go by train.

To celebrate FSC's Forest Week (23 to 29 September) we're highlighting how you can reach some of Britain's most beloved forests by train. Taking the train is one of the greenest ways to travel, and is getting greener, so by choosing to reach these beautiful, wooded areas by rail (and sometimes bus) you're helping the environment combat the harmful effects of the climate emergency.

We'd love to see your forests by train adventures, share them with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram #FSCForestWeek.

New Forest

Nearest railway stations: Ashurst, Beaulieu Road, Brockenhurst, Hinton Admiral, Lymington, New Milton, Sway, Totton

Despite it's name the New Forest isn't that new at all. Its 300 square miles of woodland is home to some of the oldest trees in Britain and is also one of the largest areas of pasture land in the UK. Follow the walking trails where you'll get closer to nature and stumble upon charming villages that look straight out of a fairy tale.

Ashdown Forest

Nearest railway stations: Tunbridge Wells, Eridge, Groombridge, Uckfield Station and East Grinstead with direct access to London Stations

Celebrated as the home of Winnie-the-Pooh, Ashdown Forest is a treasure of the English countryside. Covering over 10 square miles, Ashdown Forest is situated within the High Eald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is home to many rare and threatened species of heathland and deciduous woodland habitats.

Forest of Dean

Nearest Railway Stations: Abergavenny, Chepstow, Gloucester, Ledbury and Lydney.

The Forest of Dean's rustic woodland is said to have inspired JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy and it's easy to see why. Home to an impressive 20 million trees, you can expect to see a variety of wildlife among idyllic open spaces spread across 203 square miles.

View of Forest of Dean, from above
Forest of Dean

Gwydir Forest

Nearest railway station: Betws-y-Coed

Gwydir Forest is known as the forest of lakes and mountains and is in the heart of Snowdonia. This majestic woodland with moss-covered tree roots and crystal-clear streams offers panoramic views of the Glyderau, Carneddau and Snowdon Mountain ranges.

Forest of Bowland

Nearest railway stations: Giggleswick, Clapham, Bentham, Wennington and Clitheroe

The Forest of Bowland AONB provides some of the most peaceful and remote walking, cycling, wildlife-watching and star-gazing in the country. Explore some of the many unique villages steeped in history, while away your time observing some of the rare birds and wildlife or treat yourself and indulge in afternoon tea in some fantastic cafes, tearooms and inns.

Delamere Forest

Nearest railway station: Delamere

Located south of the vibrant city of Manchester, Delamere Forest is a serene woodland with ancient heritage. Admire the view across to Liverpool's famous skyline, watch the wildlife by the lake or extend your stay in one of the stunning forest cabins. Let off some steam, escape the crowds and find peace in the heart of the forest.

Queen Elizabeth Forest Park

Nearest Railway Station: Stirling – take the bus direct to the village of Aberfoyle

Discover breathtaking landscapes of mountains and moorland, rivers and lochs spread across 78 square miles. Enjoy the peace and quiet, marvel at the magnificent views of Scottish scenery and join in with a wide range of outdoor activities. The park is also home to Britain's largest off-road cycle network, ideal for families and mixed abilities to explore.

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