6 magical forest walks in Devon to relieve stress

Take a pretty woodland walk in Devon with these strolls which combine outdoor-based therapy workshops with art

The beautiful Hembury Woods are perfect for a forest bathing session - Credit: levettday, Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

Take a walk on the wild side in Devon with these strolls which combine outdoor-based therapy workshops with art, says KATE WILLIAMS 

Connecting with nature is something Emma Capper uses to de-stress and source creativity - and she introduces others to the concept through her forest therapy workshops.   

Founded in 2013, Creative Journeys in Nature introduces people to a relationship with the natural world, firing their imagination and promoting creativity for mental, spiritual and physical benefit. 

A group of women sat in a circle in a woodland in autumn.

One of Emma's groups takes time out to rest and reflect in the woods. - Credit: Hudson Swan

Totnes-based Emma explains: “I founded Creative Journeys in Nature, weaving my love of art and nature together to curate workshops and forest therapy walks to connect adults and children with their innate creativity and our natural world.  

“Spending regular time in nature really benefits my mental health. I can wake of a morning feeling rather anxious or just flat and tired. After a few minutes walking along the riverside path or in the woods I start to feel lifted.” 

View of the South Front of Killerton House in Devon.

Try the grounds of Killerton House for one of the best spots for a woodland walk and forest bathing in Devon. - Credit: National Trust Images

And six of Emma’s favourite places to guide walks in Devon are these spots: 

In 2018, Emma trained as a nature and forest therapy guide with the Association of Nature and Forest therapy guides and programmes.  

Creative Journeys in Nature are aimed at everyone, according to Emma. “I make sure they’re accessible to all generations and abilities,” she says. “We are all creative in so many different and unique ways, we often just don’t realise it.” 

A man walking up a long flight of stone steps in woodland.

The Dartington Estate is a great Devon spot to go forest bathing. - Credit: Kim Aldis

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By introducing people to local woods and green spaces, Emma says her walks bring people together, counteracting social isolation, help them authentically develop a deep connection to their natural home, which they can then share with family, friends, and people they meet.  

She adds: “I especially like to work with adults and help bring back a sense of freedom and play. 

“Research has proven that the walks are very soothing to the nervous system, and provide time to step away from the pressures and responsibilities of modern life.” 

Two women pausing whilst on a walk in woodland.

Creative Journeys in Nature introduces people to a relationship with the natural world. - Credit: Creative Journeys in Nature