Forest Bathing … because for the great many of us, we simply can’t at the moment

Reprising a spring walk in Surrey last year, around Ranmore Common, through some glorious woodland.

Forest bathing – simply being calm and quiet amongst the trees, breathing deeply, moving slowly. De-stressing. There was such a beautiful light filtering through the emerging foilage, the structure of the trees not yet obscured. Birdsong and unaccountably very few other walkers about. I can still remember the feeling of walking through these woodlands. Plus, there was a pint at the end of it.


Enjoying the natural beauty of Surrey today, with a 12 mile walk and picnic – beautiful scenery – Beech and Oak woodland, chalk downland, a stretch along the North Downs Way, Denbies Wine Estate, lunch with a view right over to The Shard and Canary Wharf – 30 miles away maybe?

Some beautiful houses in Mickleham and Westhumble, churches, bird song. Just lovely. Fitbit tells me I’ve done 26,836 steps, burned 3982 calories, climbed the equivalent of 110 flights of stairs (it was a steep ascent from river level to the heights above the Denbies Wine Estate), but worth it for the view.

Ranmore Common, Fetcham Downs, Norbury Park, River Mole, Mickleham, Westhumble, Denbies and back.

Must look up St Barnabas’ Church by Ranmore Common (phone had died by then so no picture), nor of the bluebell woods just by there which were beautiful. Reserved in my memory then. And the story behind ‘leladine’, that big arch way.

Three lovely days over the Bank Holiday weekend, with RHS Wisley, Nymans and a Surrey walk today. I have another day off tomorrow so will have to decide what to do. Might just have to be the Dale Chihuly at Kew, if I can summon the energy to get there for 8pm for early opening  – got to beat those crowds. We’ll see.


From the Forestry England website –


Beginner Tips for Forest Bathing

  • Turn off your devices to give yourself the best chance of relaxing, being mindful and enjoying a sensory forest-based experience.
  • Slow down. Move through the forest slowly so you can see and feel more.
  • Take long breaths deep into the abdomen. Extending the exhalation of air to twice the length of the inhalation sends a message to the body that it can relax.
  • Stop, stand or sit, smell what’s around you, what can you smell?
  • Take in your surroundings using all of your senses. How does the forest environment make you feel? Be observant, look at nature’s small details.
  • Sit quietly using mindful observation; try to avoid thinking about your to-do list or issues related to daily life. You might be surprised by the number of wild forest inhabitants you see using this process.
  • Keep your eyes open. The colours of nature are soothing and studies have shown that people relax best while seeing greens and blues.
  • Stay as long as you can, start with a comfortable time limit and build up to the recommended two hours for a complete forest bathing experience.


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