Whether you’re looking to cycle, surf, learn about nature, meditate or peacefully wander, the UK has a rich selection of nature-filled day trips for the whole family to enjoy.
We know that spending time in nature, no matter the season (or weather!), is linked to better health.
Time in nature is particularly crucial for children as it benefits their development, and mental and physical wellbeing. It also encourages environmental responsibility too which is vital if we want to counteract climate change...
So, where are you heading this year? :)
If you find yourself needing a little inspiration on where you can go to reconnect the whole family with nature, we’ve put together a list of diverse places across the UK where you can do just that.
Ideas for nature-filled family days out
Some of these places are putting nature at the forefront of their entire purpose, demonstrating how we can have a more harmonious relationship with nature and providing a space to learn.
Others are wild places where you can simply unwind and enjoy the scenery.
From the UK’s only outdoor jungle, to wild UNESCO biospheres. Here are 8 nature-filled day trips from across the UK that can help the entire family connect with nature…
1. The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Jungle boardwalks, rope bridges and giants… there’s no better place to get lost in the magic of nature than at the Lost Gardens of Heligan.
Once lost to a tangle of brambles, this Cornish estate was refound and restored in the 1990s. However, unlike many estate gardens, Heligan was restored to work with nature and their focus was to create a space for wildlife to thrive.
The gardens are now home to the UK’s only outdoor jungle, 200 acres of nature-rich landscapes and also a beaver reintroduction site!
The Lost Gardens of Heligan paint a perfect picture of hope and regeneration that shows us the wonderful spaces we can create if we work with nature, not against it.
It’s an enormous space and one that might need more than one day trip to explore!
2. The Broads National Park
Boating, kayaking, cycling, or walking, there are plenty of ways to explore the maze of waterways and wide open skies of the Broads National Park.
It’s definitely a place to get the bird, butterfly and wildflower ID books ready as you can tick off some of the UK’s rarest plant and animal species!
Listen out for the unusual booming call of a male bittern as you kayak through the fens. Or enjoy the tranquility of a riverside walk as you search for the blue flash of a kingfisher or the ripples of an otter swimming by.
With its enormous skies and diverse nature the Broads is a beautiful place to watch wildlife, sunsets or sunrises — anytime of the year!
3. Kew Gardens
London doesn’t just have to be about busy streets, shops and skylines...
A short tube trip away from the bustle of the city and you’ll be able to get lost in the gardens and glass houses of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
Lakes, meadows, canopy walks, rock gardens or kitchen gardens. There are endless pathways, trails and walkways to explore and relaxing places to pause and absorb the beauty of the natural world.
4. The Planted Country Festival
Created in partnership with the National Trust, the Planted Country Festival brings together a collection of people and brands who are putting sustainability and nature first.
The festival centres around a series of ‘Unearthed’ Talks where experts and panelists discuss the future of design, food, architecture and more with a focus on sustainability and nature.
There's plenty of nature-filled workshops and activities to get involved with too. From guided meditations and natural skincare sessions to children’s story time reading and outdoor skills lessons!
You can also enjoy wandering around a botanical themed market, where you’ll be able to browse products and refreshments from brands who are putting nature first. This year you’ll find our Jamu Wild Water stand here too — so make sure to say hello!
The festival arrives into Stourhead, Wiltshire from the 9th to the 11th June 2023, and you can book tickets here.
5. Eryri National Park
Formerly known as Snowdonia National Park, with its newly reclaimed Welsh title, Eryri National Park remains as breathtaking as ever.
From canoeing on lake Bala, to woodland meanders along ‘Torrent Walk’ or ‘Graigddu Woods’, it’s one of the UK’s most diverse National Parks.
Of course one of the biggest draws is the challenge of hiking to the top of Yr Wyddfa (once known as Snowdon) or Cadair Idris!
Beaches, forests, waterfalls and mountains, if you’re looking for a nature-filled escape for the whole family — Eryri National Park has it all!
6. Watergate Bay
If the weather is calling for a beach day, a trip to Watergate Bay provides a perfect coastal escape. Just north of Newquay, this vast, golden beach is a beautiful spot to spend the day, with great facilities and restaurants too.
As it’s out on the northwest coast of Cornwall, it’s also one of the best places to try a surfing lesson!
If you find yourself needing more than a days practice, the Watergate Bay Hotel is the perfect place to stay. Especially if you like the idea of watching surfers and sunsets from the pool.
7. Galloway Forest Park
Sitting within the UNESCO Biosphere of Galloway and Southern Ayrshire, Galloway Forest Park is an area rich in wildlife and diverse scenery.
Galloway Forest Park is also the UK's (and Europe's!) first official Dark Sky Park. It’s a perfect place to connect with nature on a universal scale with planet spotting and star gazing — although this counts as more of an evening trip than a day trip!
8. Eden Project
While the Lost Gardens of Heligan celebrates nature at a more local level, the Eden Project puts a spotlight on nature across continents. From how crops are grown around the world, to global projects that are working to protect and conserve nature.
Without catching a flight, you can experience the humidity of a rainforest, the dry heat of the Mediterranean, and marvel at some of the most fascinating plants in the world.
The Eden Project manages to create a perfect blend of wonder, education and fun inside their enormous biomes. It’s a day trip that will definitely provide some precious, nature-filled, core memories.