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6 great reasons to head for the forest in May

We know you don't need to find reasons to go on holiday, whatever the time of year. But just in case you are wavering, here are 6 great reasons to take a break in May.

1. Stick Man adventures

Picnics, trails, fun and games are all part of the action across Forestry Commission locations this spring, celebrating one of our most-loved children’s books, Stick Man. If you want to build a Stick Man adventure into your Forest Holiday, here are your closest trails: 

• Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire – Forest of Dean

• Dalby Forest, Yorkshire – Keldy and Cropton

• High Lodge, Thetford Forest, Norfolk – Thorpe Forest

• Cardinham Woods, Cornwall – Deerpark

2. Birdsong, butterflies, and bluebells

Spring is all around you in the forest during May, one of the best months of the year for enjoying Britain’s glorious wildlife. The woodpeckers are tap-tap-tapping at Deerpark and the nightjars are ground-nesting at Cropton. Brimstone and peacock butterflies have already been spotted at Thorpe Forest and the carpet of bluebells at Blackwood Forest is a joy to behold.

3. Festival Fever

Festival season kicks off in May and up and down the UK there are celebrations of everything from wildlife to whisky. 

Take for instance, the Broads Outdoors Festival from 7 to 22 May, a fortnight of outdoor activities in the Norfolk's Broads, one of Britain’s 15 National Parks. Or, from 13 -29 May, the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, the flagship arts festival for the East of England and a celebration of music, theatre, outdoor arts and more. Choose the right weekend in May and you can stay at Thorpe Forest and enjoy both these festivals.

Scottish festivals in May include the Spirit of Stirling Whisky Festival on 7 May, a firm diary date for anyone who appreciates a wee dram or two. Later in the month, the Strathyre Music Festival takes place in Callander, over 27 - 29 May, and for only £5 per day it is possibly the best value music festival this year. Strathyre is the ideal place to stay for both festivals.

4. Beat the summer crowds

Statistics tell us that May is, on average, the second sunniest month of the year. With plenty of sunshine and fewer holidaymakers it’s a great time for a short break. Bring the dog for long walks along deserted beaches in Cornwall, staying at Deerpark, or explore the Forest of Dean and feel as if you have it all to yourself.

5. Bank holidays galore!

The abundance of Bank Holidays in May (all two of them) gives you the opportunity to extend the weekend or take a midweek break without using up too many precious holiday days. If you didn't get away for Easter, May is a must – you have earned it. And if you did get away for Easter – who says you can’t spend a few days in the forest in May, planning your next holiday?  

Our May Bank Holiday suggestions centre on Blackwood Forest. The Winchester Chamber Music Festival, from 29 April - 2 May, offers elegant entertainment for the first May Bank Holiday and Truckmania at Beaulieu on 28 and 29 May offers something slightly less highbrow for the late May Bank Holiday.

Spring fairs, galas, and contests

The truly British spirit of fairs and fetes brings us such delights as the Loch Fyne Food Fair (14 - 15 May), near Inverary and just a short drive from Ardgartan Argyll. Described as ‘A feast of West Coast food, drink and entertainment for all ages’, it is an opportunity to sample some of Scotland’s finest produce.

Further south, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway is holding two Spring Steam Galas on 6 - 8 May and 13 - 15 May. The galas are, this year, celebrating the joys of the Scottish Branch Lines of days gone by.  Also in Yorkshire, is the Duncombe Park Country Fair at Helmsley on 30 May. Stay at Cropton or Keldy for all these events.

For something completely different, the European Archery Championships come to Robin Hood country on 24 - 29 May. The best archers from more than 40 countries will converge on Nottingham city centre to shoot for the titles. Stay at Sherwood Forest and, to complete the experience, book a woodland archery lesson under the watchful eye of our instructor.

Ready for your May break?

Whether you are a nature lover or a fun seeker, a culture vulture or festival fan, a short break in May has something for you and a Forest Holiday is the perfect way to take a May break to remember. Choose your cabin now and make the most of May in and around Britain’s Forests.