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The top ten largest forests in the UK

February 21, 2011

Gabriel Hemery

The UK is Europe’s second-least wooded country: only Ireland has less trees (read more).  This does not mean that the UK is without large forests.  I’ve compiled a top ten of the UK’s largest forests:

Name Region km2 miles2
1. Galloway Forest Park Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland 770 297
2. Kielder Forest Park Northumberland, England 610 235
3. New Forest Hampshire, England 270 104
4. Dornoch Forest Sutherland, Scotland 260 100
5. Argyll Forest Park Argyll, Scotland 210 81
6. Queen Elizabeth Forest Park Stirling, Scotland 200 77
7. Thetford Forest Park Norfolk / Suffolk, England 190 73
8. Affric Forest Invernesshire, Scotland 180 69
9. Tay Forest Park Perthshire, Scotland 170 65
10. Glengarry Forest Invernesshire, Scotland 165 63

Seven out of the 10 are forests in Scotland, including the largest Galloway Forest Park. Three of the top 10 are in England, including the second largest in the UK; Kielder Forest.  Welsh forests do not feature in the top 10 although a close contender is Clocaenog Forest in West Denbighshire/Conwy Wales, which is 100 km² (40 miles²) in area.

Top 10 largest forests UK

I’ve created a Google map showing the top ten forest locations in the UK (click on the image to view).

Gabriel Hemery


Post a comment
  1. February 21, 2011

    For a forest lover your blog is brilliant! Lot of interesting stuff being mentioned.

    • February 21, 2011

      Thank you so much. Being relatively new to blogging I really appreciate positive encouragement. Gabriel

  2. Qutaibah marafi #
    April 28, 2011

    thank you nice info

  3. mike #
    September 11, 2013

    A pathetic state of affairs. England was covered in oak forest once.Years ago when i was young I came to the conclusion you can hardly walk a mile without encountering someones property, fence; road or boundry, Pathetic.I gave up. You’ve got to go to Canada or the US.

    • Adam Porwol #
      January 5, 2015

      Much closer than Canada or US from UK is east Europe which is full of beautiful massive forests. I’m from Poland and there for sure you can find lovely natural untouched by human hands lands. Is becoming to be worse now but still is good, there are places where you can walk miles and miles away naked and don’t worry that anybody will see you:)

      • Dean #
        February 5, 2016

        Is that really true? I’ll have to look into that, i love the idea of being in the middle of natural landscapes with nothing for miles but the wild.

  4. Ash #
    October 2, 2013

    The forests that are left are precious. Although this post dates from 2011, I do hope that you will continue to write about them. Maybe you’ve taken up Mike’s suggestion & moved to the USA or Canada! Mind you, it won’t be long till those forests are gone too!

  5. Vlasta #
    November 27, 2013

    What about the Royal Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire????

  6. December 18, 2013

    Unbelievable we were once surrounded by trees hence a book depicting the history of ferryhill in county durham it mentions one rodger d ferry who conquered a wild boar on the hill in ferryhill hence ferryhill. I do apologise for my gramer.

    • Vlasta #
      December 18, 2013

      You must have sent me the wrong reply. My question was why have you omitted The Royal Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. Very ancient and important forest.

  7. Liz Murray #
    January 19, 2014

    is there anywhere in the UK you can do a walking holiday that includes quite a lot of forest? Would b nice to know about the trees

    • Vlasta #
      January 28, 2014

      Forest of Dean. It is a beautiful forest full of wildlife.

  8. Jack #
    October 21, 2014

    I think you’ll find the largest forest in Wales is Brechfa forest. Below are links to information (from about both Clocaenog (Clocaenog forest is actually a part of the larger Hiraethog forest) and Brechfa forest. As you will see, whilst Hiraethog forest is a large 6070 hectares (15,000 acres), Brechfa forest is even larger at 6500 hectares (16,061 acres):

    Information about Hiraethog Forest (Clocaenog forest is a smaller forest within the larger Hiraethog forest):

    Information about Brechfa forest:

    • Liz #
      October 22, 2014

      wow thanks. Will keep the info filed. We ended up deciding to go to Amalfi Coast this time as we are visiting Europe in March so forests (which I really want to do) likely to be a little damp

  9. Gabor #
    June 22, 2016

    I found this blog after spending hours trying to find a REAL forest for camping in Northern Ireland, but apparently there is none. Now I can see that they have a massive 8% percent forest cover. Too bad I already bought the tent and the sleeping bags…

  10. susan #
    December 8, 2016

    Gabor you couldn’t be too hgood at finding forests.
    There is a forest in co fermanagh in N ire, that is 8500 hectares, also binevenagh forest is quite free of humans, there’s a Huge amount of forests here and many have No one living near them.
    You musnt. Have a car or else you would have seen that. Within our 5200 square miles of road… We have forests that are very beautiful.

  11. lee #
    December 8, 2016

    What planet does gabor live on?
    We have MANY forests here N I
    Try fermanagh at 8500 hectares or glenarriff 1000 hectares.
    Enough for anyone And unlike many uk forests you could find fotests with no human houses there just nature.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Trespassing On The Roots « The Finnish Line
  2. European countries and their forest cover | Gabriel Hemery
  3. La France et ses forêts | Gabriel Hemery
  4. Forest, woodland, copse or spinney | Gabriel Hemery
  5. Top ten list of – well, lots of woody things « Wood Elf Weekly
  6. Trees at night | Gabriel Hemery
  7. Forest Holidays - Forest of Dean Lodges

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