There’s a lot of breathtaking nature and scenery in Worcestershire, not far from our University campuses. Famous names like J.R.R. Tolkien, Edward Elgar and C.S. Lewis found inspiration here when creating their masterpieces. Why not spend some quality time in nature and get inspired too? If you’re in Worcester and have a free afternoon or weekend, head out of the city centre and see all that our beautiful county has to offer.
Places to visit
We’re so lucky that Worcester is surrounded by nature and forests. There are amazing countryside areas in the city worth visiting that are easy to travel to. Check out Worcester Woods, Gheluvelt Park, Fort Royal Park, Diglis Marina, Pitchcroft Racecourse and Chapter Meadows Nature Reserve. One of the highlights is nearby town: Malvern. The Malvern Hills are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and are a must-visit for Worcester students.
Doing something good for your health
Spending time in nature at least few times a month can result in great health benefits. Our bodies naturally crave the great outdoors, for a few reasons:
Firstly, the fresh air! Take deep breaths to clean your lungs with fresh oxygen, boost your energy, improve your concentration and lift your mood. Fresh air is the best head cleanser in the world (which can be especially useful during stressful times like assignment period).
Secondly, exercise! You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get a good workout. Why not switch one gym session with a half-day hike? Not only does this spice up your exercise routine, hikes are amazing for strength and cardio so your body will thank you for it too!
Thirdly, sunshine! We love the feeling of the warm sunshine against our skin and a daily dose of vitamin D. Just be sure to slather yourself in sunscreen and stay safe if you’re out in the sun for a few hours.
Nature is full of surprises
You can never get bored with nature. Whether you visit a wood, lake or the hills, you’ll always find beauty and variety in the countryside. If you go for a run in the forest, you’ll always notice new things, compared to a predictable routine at the gym. You can choose a completely different route to keep things interesting and explore new paths. Since we live in the UK, you have to do what the weather will allow you to, but sometimes a run in the rain can be really refreshing!
I’m not sure about you, but when I’m hiking I try to pick some fruits or herbs to bring home. Sometimes I eat them immediately (trust me, there is nothing better than blueberries or strawberries straight from the forest). However, you have to be careful because not all the fruits are edible or can even be poisonous!
In my home country (the Czech Republic), mushroom picking is a very popular weekend activity for many. Families go out into the forest with a wooden basket and start picking the mushrooms. You can make a tasty soup or hearty meal from them and the flavour is amazing. You do have to be extremely careful though – there are many poisonous mushrooms and a lot of expertise is needed when it comes to distinguishing these!
A hidden gem in Worcester
Did you know you can get back to nature here at the Uni? Our Lakeside Campus is only a 10 minute drive from St John’s and is well worth a visit. Considering Lakeside is one of our best kept secrets, it’s surprisingly huge, with 50 acres of countryside and woodland. You can visit here as part of an SU society or through your course, for sport activities and outdoor adventures. The big watersports lake is a highlight – give canoeing, windsurfing or kayaking a go! Also, make sure you keep an eye out for the wildlife on this campus (including our Lakeside pigs)…
So if you can, go outside and enjoy some nature today, while summer’s still here. Enjoy your breakfast outside first thing in the morning, enjoy a coffee on a park bench or go for a walk in the sunshine. You can feel the benefits of nature even after just a few minutes! Where do you like to enjoy nature in Worcester? Where are your favourite countryside spots near the Uni? Let me know in the comments!