Nature can be found in the most surprising places, inlcuding in and around some of the biggest cities in the country. Whether you're a city dweller or just visiting, you can rest-assured that you can still get your nature fix, and here we've rounded up our favourite places to escape the hustle and bustle.


Home to eight royal parks as well as multiple other parks, hundreds of public gardens and 36 nature reserves, London may be a bustling city, but there’s plenty of chance to find some quiet, including at some of these much-loved sites:


Parkland Walk, Finsbury Park


Following railway tracks which once connected Finsbury Park to Highgate, with offshoots to Alexandra Palace, the Parkland Walk is one is London’s better-known trails for a good reason. Plenty of intrigues await along the way in the form of quirky statues, divisive graffiti and abandoned station platforms.


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Hampstead Heath Circular Walk


A favourite of Londoners and visitors alike, it’s hard to get tired of Hampstead Heath. Take in far-reaching views, woodlands and ponds. Plus, if you time it right, it can be a surprisingly tranquil setting away from the noise of the capital.


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Cox’s Walk in Sydenham Hill Wood

An escape barely out of the city centre, Cox’s Walk seems a world away from London as many know it. Sydenham Hill Wood is London’s oldest nature reserve and is home to over 200 species of plants, trees and woodland fauna, making it the perfect location for a local stroll with the whole family.


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The largest city in the West Midlands, Birmingham is a major international commercial centre, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find places to step back and find a green space to relax.


Shire Country Park 


Named to honour J.R.R. Tolkien and home to a number of interesting sites, follow all or part of the waymarked 5km route around Shire Country Park to experience wetlands, grasslands, woodland and heath all in one place.


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Clent Hills 


The Clent Hills are believed to attract around a million visitors each year and offer views for miles on clear days. With numerous trails and dog walks around the hills they offer plenty of options so you can keep coming back for more.


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Woodgate Valley Country Park


Easily accessible from Birmingham city centre and featuring eight miles of path to explore, Woodgate Valley is the perfect spot for a spring walk among the wildflowers. There’s a 5km waymarked walk around the park, too, which is great for a quick run.


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Although a hub of activity in the North West, Manchester benefits from having the Peak District on its doorstep, so is one of the easiest cities to get out into nature and explore.


Padley Gorge


Whether you’ve got a couple of hours or just your lunch break, you’ll find a picture-perfect corner of woodland, to explore at Padley Gorge. Dogs will love being let off the lead (abiding by the dogs on the lead rule in the moorland of Burbage Moor) to find one of the many mossy areas and tree stumps that remind so many visitors of mythical fairy glens.


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Dovestone Reservoir


Venture out of Manchester’s centre to the borders of Oldham and the Peak District, where you’ll find a network of footpaths and open access to areas of moorland – the ideal location for a walk without another person in sight!


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A leading city in Yorkshire, Leeds has a range of green spaces to find some headspace in and is less than twenty miles from the Yorkshire Dales National Park.


Primrose Valley Park


A tranquil setting east of the city centre, Primrose Valley is ideal for a weekend visit with the dog. Follow one of the park’s walking trails or discover a new favourite walk for yourself in the vast open space and secluded wooded areas.


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Newcastle might be famed for its incredible nightlife, fascinating history and culture, but it is also home to some spectacular green spaces.


Jesmond Dene


Enjoy a walk to the famous waterfall, a run around one of many nature trails or a spot of birdwatching in this peaceful park at the heart of suburban Newcastle. 


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Beamish Woods


Make this secluded woodland your weekend outing and follow the three-mile circular route for a picturesque walk with the family.


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Home to one of England’s oldest universities there’s plenty of history on offer in Cambridge, but there is a whole host of nature too. 


Wandlebury Country Park


South of the city on the Gog Magog Hills, take a walk along Wandlebury’s eight miles of waymarked trails through woodland and wildflower meadows – and keep an eye out for the grazing Highland Cattle.


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Milton Country Park


Once a thriving hub for watersports, Milton Country Park remains open for those leaving the city to walk, run or cycle among the trees next to the water, which plays home to a whole host of wildlife all year round.


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Just like any great capital, Cardiff is home to a plethora of parks and gardens that offer the perfect escape from busy city living.


Iron Bridge Circular Walk, Newport


A short but very historical walk created to celebrate the restoration of its namesake cast-iron bridge over the River Rhymney. Take in the sights of the “romantic ruin” of Ruperra Castle, locally famous “haunted” Plas Machen and pretty St Michael and All Angels church, all in the space of 2.8 miles.


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Bute Park


The green heart of Cardiff, Bute Park is one of Cardiff’s premier Green Flag parks, a Grade 1 listed historic park and home to an arboretum full of champion trees. In short, it’s one of the best possible places to head to take a breather.


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Surrounded by dramatic Scottish scenery, if you’re lucky enough to live in or be visiting Edinburgh, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to finding places to head into nature.


Corstorphine Hill 


The most westerly of Edinburgh’s seven hills and by far the most heavily wooded, Corstorphine Hill offers the perfect escape from the city to the fresh air – without actually leaving it. A local nature reserve and one of the city’s largest public parks, it’s the perfect spot for a short walk or run.


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Dalkeith Country Park


Working farms, gentle ascents and descents and riverside forests – Dalkeith Country Park has it all and more. Choose from an array of walking trails through dense woodland, over stunning bridges and next to the water for an immersive nature walk just 20 minutes from the centre.


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Another jewel in Scotland’s crown, at just over an hour from Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, but with plenty to see and do within the city, Glasgow is the perfect base for outdoor enthusiasts. 


Pollok Country Park


The biggest park in Glasgow, and past winner or Europe’s best park, is a woodland haven just outside of Glasgow’s centre. Perfect to make your escape from city life, whether you’re there for a short stroll or have a bit more time – and be sure to keep an eye out for Highland Cattle on your way through.


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The capital of Northern Ireland is a nature lover’s paradise. From botanic gardens and country parks to arboretums and heart-pumping bike tracks, there’s somewhere for everyone to enjoy the outdoors.


Lagan Towpath


Follow the river and canal system through Lagan Valley Regional Park to find a variety of wetland, riverside meadows and mixed woodland from Belfast to Lisburn. Home to a variety of wildlife, the canal system dates back to the late 18th century.


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Belvoir Park Forest


A working forest within a city, Belvoir Park Forest is a vibrant escape to the countryside without leaving Belfast’s ring road. Choose from six waymarked walks to explore this vast 75-hectare space.


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Sir Thomas & Lady Dixon Park


Home to three award-winning walking trails of varying grades through over 128 acres of meadows, woodlands and gardens, this idyllic setting is ideal for a leisurely stroll alone or with the kids.


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The Emerald Isle is known for its lush green landscapes, so it’s hardly surprising that its capital city offers lots of spaces to get outside and back to nature. 




Aka Kathy Gallagher to locals, Carrickgollogan is a relatively hidden gem outside the city and offers some of the best views of south Dublin, if you choose to take on the moderate climb to the top. If that’s not your thing, the gentle stroll through the woodland to the historic lead mines chimney offers a less strenuous, but no less worthwhile alternative.


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A wood situated between Cruagh and Kilmashogue mountains, TIbradden gets its alternative name of Pine Forest from the ancient Scots pine it’s home to, some dating back to 1910. Venture to its highest point for spectacular views, history and a much-needed dose of fresh air.


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Phoenix Park


The largest park in any European capital city, Phoenix Park is a haven for wildlife in the middle of Dublin. On your way around, spot memorials and monuments, flowerbeds and gardens, and of course, the park’s famous deer (only to be admired from a distance!).


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Gear up for the outdoors

From stylish city packs to fashionable yet practical footwear, we've got everything you need to head outdoors and explore the green spaces in our UK cities.

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