Have you ever thought about using your holiday to reconnect with nature? Studies show this is exactly what we’ll all be doing in 2021 and beyond.
Searches for terms such as 'nature walks near me' and 'woods near me' have increased dramatically whilst searches for 'forest weekend breaks' have also seen a huge rise.
With more and more of us seeking to incorporate wellness into our staycation time, here’s how you can swap your usual holiday for more time in the great outdoors.
Why more people are choosing forest weekend breaks
If you’re looking for a break that gets you as close to nature as possible, you’re not alone. We reviewed data that suggests more of us are seeking to tune into the natural world, and interestingly this begins at the very earliest stage of planning a holiday:
• online searches for ‘nature walks near me’ have increased by 236%
• online searches for ‘woods near me’ have increased by 174%
• online searches for ‘forest weekend breaks’ have increased by 425%
Search data used is from Google Keyword Planner and was YoY data, correct as of 27th August 2020.
There’s also lots of studies that show spending time in the forest is good for us. In fact scientists claim it has the power to improve our moods, calm our nerves, and give our health a boost. If you’re feeling inspired to escape the everyday, a genuine forest experience could be just what you’re craving - without you even realising it.
Plan a holiday that works for you
What exactly is it that makes a forest weekend break so desirable? To find this out we not only looked at where people choose to go on holiday, but why they go in the first place.
Research from Travel Weekly suggests 55% of UK adults are actively seeking ways to reduce stress and 53% of us want to actively disconnect from our devices while we’re away. At the same time, 57% of UK adults say overcrowding puts them off booking a city break.
Choosing the best location for our wellbeing has never been more important to ensure we return home feeling revived and restored. This could be why immersing ourselves in the forest world has never sounded so good.
Discover the world of slow living
The trend for forest weekend breaks also sees us seeking alternatives to hotels and holiday cottages that can’t always offer a slow living adventure. As a result, one-of-a-kind accommodation in off-the-beaten-track areas has exploded in popularity.
Top UK glampsites now offer stays everywhere from shepherds huts and repurposed vintage ambulances to treehouses in the forest. The word 'glamping' has been given its own spot in the Oxford English Dictionary too.
But staying in unusual places isn’t just suited to giving us a glimpse into a simpler life. It’s a great way to explore new places and try different things.
Travel Weekly’s research suggests 44% of us choose holiday destinations based on local food and drink options which is why an unpackaged forest break ticks all the boxes. After all, when you aren’t tied into an all inclusive deal you’re free to find your own favourites. Whether that’s an artisanal coffee house or traditional greengrocer with decades of heritage.
An out-of-the-way holiday location also makes it easy to join the wellness revolution. A cultural shift that has seen us consciously add more healthy elements to our getaways.
Just last year Google Trends revealed searches for 'wellness retreats' have increased by 182%. While the Guardian reports: "Wellness has moved out of the hotel basement and into the great outdoors… it’s all about reconnecting with nature and enjoying mindful exercise. Forest bathing, stargazing, and wood-fired hot tubs are replacing gyms and infinity pools."
But this doesn’t mean switching your summer holiday for a fitness bootcamp. For a dose of uncomplicated wellness, build your own forest weekend breaks infused with simple pleasures.
Start your day with a bracing woodland walk or try an in-cabin spa treatment for a deliciously lazy afternoon. You can even practice mindfulness by watching wildlife around an outdoor hot tub bordered by trees. Perfect for cultivating calm.
Take a little inspiration from Instagram
With so many natural spaces in the UK, it can be tricky to narrow down your options for a forest weekend break. But it helps if your destination is beautiful enough to start an Instagram trend.
In 2018, Country Life revealed the most Instagrammable forests in the UK, and they just so happen to be home to some of our best loved locations. Forest of Dean and Sherwood Forest were highlighted as the most hashtagged forests on Instagram, filling feeds across the world with breathtaking rural photography.
Our newest location in Cheshire made the hotlist too with #delamereforest used 26,744 times and counting. Nestled in clusters of trees and with views of rolling English countryside, Delamere Forest is the quintessential forest weekend break at its best.
Will you be the first to stay when we open April 2021?
Book forest weekend breaks in real forest locations across the UK and enjoy the ultimate in nature connectedness on your next holiday.