Visitors are being encouraged to take part in Forest Bathing to enjoy the Autumn Colour at Hever Castle.
Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku is simply spending time outdoors under the canopy of trees. In Japanese, “shinrin” means forest and “yoku” means bath, so ‘forest bathing’ is the art of immersing oneself in the forest and soaking in the atmosphere through the senses.
The autumn trail at Hever Castle (from 1 October) has been designed to provide maximum colour and opportunity for visitors to experience this natural therapy.
The trail encourages visitors to pass under the oak trees on Anne Boleyn’s Walk, through the evergreen Scots Pines, red pin oaks and delicate buttery yellows of the larch trees on Lake Walk.
Visitors can submerge themselves in the forest glades at the top of the lake in ‘Smugglers Walk’ before moving past the Japanese Tea House folly, returning to the more formal gardens where the autumn colour on Diana’s Walk is stunning.
Take a detour into the quiet glades known as Anne of Cleves Bower House and the 25 acres of Park Wood that will also be open. Visitors who choose to, can immerse themselves further in the forest bathing woodland experience.
Hever Castle’s gardening team will be sharing six weeks of colour during the autumn season this year and encouraging visitors to find out more about colour therapy and how time outdoors can improve their health and wellbeing.
Duncan Leslie, CEO at Hever Castle, says: “The Gardens have always been a huge benefit to visitors – providing a wonderful space in which to lose oneself for a while. 2020 has been a challenging time for many and it’s wonderful to be able to share our space with visitors and to encourage them to get the full benefits of time spent outside in nature. We know that daily doses of exposure to nature can really benefit our health and well-being, and we look forward to seeing visitors walking among the trees and soaking up the amazing autumn colour in the grounds.”
The autumn trail will be self-guided and visitors will be encouraged to download the maps at home, and to learn more about the benefits of forest bathing and colour therapy via their dedicated autumn webpage.