Just recently, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced that London is to become a National Park City this summer, celebrated with the upcoming National Park City Festival where organisers will create events all over the city to help Londoners (and its visitors) discover the amazing outdoors and the benefits of exploring it.
If the news has given you the nature bug as it has us, why not visit one of the most beautiful nature reserves in the UK and spend some restful time in nature? The perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon, bring the kids, a picnic and some champagne, and toast to the future of London as a National Park City.
The Most Beautiful Nature Reserves in the UK
Once owned by various Queens of England, Knights of the Realm and known as Henvy VIII’s private hunting ground, Banstead Woods is a lush nature reserve in Surrey. Particularly worth a visit in spring when the bluebells flourish, a visit here also makes a great day out for the kids who can explore Ancient Woodland which has been around since Medieval times. woodlandtrust.org.uk
Head to this woodland haven in the Scottish Highlands and spot fascinating wildlife such as Lapwing, Snipe and Curlew. Regarded as one of the most important wetland areas in Europe, the Insh Marshes is spread over 10 kilometres. rspb.org.uk
Pensthorpe Natural Park
After being made a European Special Area Of Conservation, this 700-acre nature reserve in Norfolk continues to protect its wildlife that inhabits it – Eurasian Cranes, Corncrakes and Red Squirrels. pensthorpe.com
Spot adorable seals at this nature reserve in Lincolnshire. Donna Nook stretches over 10 kilometers between the north and south. Visit in the winter, between November and December, to see the wondrous sight of seals who come to the coastline to give birth on the sand dunes. lincstrust.org.uk
Bystock Nature Reserve
If you’re searching for somewhere natural and tranquil to escape to for a day, head straight to Devon and into the Bystock Nature Reserve. Sit by the pools full of delicate lily ponds and spot the Gold-ringed and Emporor Dragonflies that call it home. devonwildlifetrust.org
Another Scottish gem, Loch Garten nature reserve in Abernethy benefits from the backdrop of mountains and features a pineforest and moorland. Admire the wildlife from a viewing point or take part in a guided walk to learn all about the nature reserve’s environment. rspb.org.uk
This nature reserve in Cambridgeshire is one of importance, providing habitat for thousands of species of fen animals, many of which are now only found in the UK. Stroll through the woodland and reedbeds and you’ll pass cows lazily grazing and hear birds chattering away above your head. greatfen.org.uk