Team Forestipedia | Sharing all the best tips and secrets of the forest
Along the winding forest trails, with leaves and twigs crunching underfoot; up hills and down valleys, leaping logs and crossing burbling brooks; winding through trees and over rocky outcrops - the undulating landscape of the forest provides a naturally stimulating arena for trail runners in the UK.
Statistics* show thatÂ over 2.2 million adults are running regularly for exercise, with more and more heading off-road andÂ into the countryside for the calming effects of beautiful sceneryÂ and smog-free air.
Trail runningÂ offers plenty of health benefitsÂ and a different experience to running on the roads through towns. Besides the chance toÂ run free from pollution and traffic noise, the softer ground isÂ gentler on the body, giving joints a rest from hard pavements. TheÂ constantly changing terrainÂ is great forÂ improving body conditionÂ as well, providing a more comprehensive workout as you shift position andÂ use different musclesÂ to compensate for uneven ground.
The less obvious health benefits are arguably the most important -Â nature has been shown to have profound effects on mental health.Â Trail running provides aÂ sense of serenityÂ and aÂ release from stress and inner tension. According to running expertsÂ SportsShoes,Â 88% of runners find that running through nature improves their sense of wellbeing.
Book a cabinÂ with Forest Holidays, and exploreÂ new experiences and a different challengeÂ in each of our nine locations throughout the UK, with plenty ofÂ changing environmentsÂ to run andÂ awe-inspiring viewsÂ to discover.
Whether you are new to trail running or looking for some new tracks to explore, there areÂ plenty to choose from. Head down toÂ beautiful Cornwall, and you'll find a selection of trails winding through theÂ tranquil valleysÂ ofÂ DeerparkÂ or theÂ sandy beachesÂ of the nearby coast. Running on sand can be a more taxing workout, due to the shifting nature of the surface.Â Research has suggested it takes almost twice as much energy as running on pavements.
TheÂ rugged landscapes of ScotlandÂ offer a choice of wilder terrains. AÂ tougher challengeÂ for the more experienced runners,Â try the mountain trailsÂ aroundÂ Ardgartan Argyll. Hilly and mountain runs are great forÂ building strength and stamina, but make sure you are fully prepared. SportsShoes recommend you takeÂ waterproof coats, wear breathable base layersÂ and, of the utmost importance,Â a good pair ofÂ running shoes.
Enjoy aÂ more open trail alongsideÂ Loch LubnaigÂ atÂ Strathyre, withÂ pebbled shoresÂ andÂ pine-clad hills. Or delve deeper into the National Parks toÂ discover stunning scenery, rushing burns andÂ cascading waterfallsÂ - the ideal places toÂ stop for a restÂ and some calming breathing.
Forest trail with direction sign
TheÂ open moors of North Yorkshire are beautiful, but challenging. There areÂ well-defined trailsÂ both off-road over uneven ground, or on the roads thatÂ weave through the moorland. Near to the luxurious cabins atÂ KeldyÂ areÂ gentler routes with panoramic views, and winding through the forest atÂ CroptonÂ areÂ plenty of trails, giving runners bothÂ tranquil and secluded runsÂ or wild and exhilarating runs.
Each of our locations is set withinÂ beautiful countrysideÂ withÂ various woodland trails, suitable forÂ all levels of experienced trail runners.Â Try theÂ forest trailsÂ atÂ Forest of DeanÂ or run beneath the beech trees atÂ Blackwood Forest. TheÂ connection with nature,Â feeling the wind in your face andÂ enjoying the sounds and scents of the forestÂ â€“ every part of forest life builds a sense ofÂ mindfulnessÂ thatÂ restores your spirit and boosts your health.
Stretching in the forest
It's important toÂ be fully prepared,Â particularly if you're running a new route. SportsShoes have plenty ofÂ tips for beginners, such asÂ checking the weatherÂ before you set off, ensuringÂ someone knows where you will be and taking plenty of hydration.Â You can get advice about the local trails from ourÂ Forest RangersÂ or at theÂ Forest Retreat.
Warming up is equally important.Â Stretching your muscles helps keep them supple andÂ prevents a torn ligament or tender tendon.Â Thorpe ForestÂ andÂ Blackwood ForestÂ both offer an alternative and fun way to get loosened up, with aÂ trim trailÂ consisting of an assortment ofÂ monkey bars, sit up benches, shoulder press and other outdoor equipmentÂ on offer.
It'sÂ equally important to stretch out and re-hydrate after a run. SportsShoes recommend you take time toÂ relieve sore muscles with a massage, which you can do in style with ourÂ in-cabin spa treatmentsÂ - and of course, many of our cabins come equipped with aÂ hot tubÂ for aÂ well-earned time outÂ after your exercise.
Book your cabin todayÂ and discover the benefits of natural trail running!Â Do you have any top tips or favourite routes? Share them in the comments below!
*Statistics from www.sportengland.org