Winning tip: Rainham, Essex
Cuckoos, kingfishers, water voles, marsh harriers, seals, and excellent perspectives from the espresso shop: inside the M25! Take a bow, Rainham RSPB reserve. A-mile stroll around the reserve (that is only a 20-minute walk from Purfleet station) yields rich rewards or even amazing perspectives of Eurostar trains. Spring is specifically noisy, with warblers of all types, and iciness, with large flocks of lapwings and a gazillion geese, is awesome. There also are rare bearded knockers, comfortable hides, easy on foot, children’s occasions, and a tremendous coffee save with a small playground. The Thames views are superb: the solar filling the cafeteria, which has large home windows over the reserve and the river with basking seals, makes one forget about the nearby large smoke.
Peak District, close to Oldham, Greater Manchester
Dove Stone Reservoir on the edge of the Peak District is easily available from Manchester, which includes educating (nearby Greenfield station is on the Huddersfield-Manchester Piccadilly line). A mild 2½-mile loop around the reservoir makes for a pleasing amble, with offshoots supplying extra paths to extend your time out, together with a 1½-mile path leading up through the hills Chew Reservoir. Bring a picnic, pop yourself down at one of the tables dotted across the tree-coated manner, and maintain an eye and an ear out for a few splendid birds at this RSPB covered reserve – appearance out for ravens, curlew, golden plover, and peregrines. On the moors, mountain hares may be seen. It’s unfastened to visit.
Six thousand years ago, Shapwick Heath, west of Glastonbury on the Somerset Levels, turned into a home to Neolithic people who constructed raised walkways to traverse the Avalon Marshes. Today you could observe the historical Sweet Track and concentrate on booming bitterns and watch excellent white egrets and marsh harriers looking (in very exceptional patterns) and, later in the 12 months, dazzling starling murmurations. Reed warblers and bearded titties additionally characteristic, and if you’re lucky, you might capture a glimpse of an otter.
Castle Douglas, Dumfries, and Galloway
Threave Castle on the outskirts of Castle Douglas combines the opportunity to see lots of natural world with the excitement of taking a ship throughout the river to the 14th-century citadel on an island within the River Dee. Ospreys, peregrines (which nest on the battlements, now closed), and lots of other chook species can be seen on the walk to the boarding factor for the boat. Otters frequently hunt within the river. The fort became originally the home of Archibald the Grim, 1/3 Earl of Galloway, a fearsome warrior who frequently raided England.
Head out by boat to Rathlin Island off the coast of Northern Ireland that is home to each grey and common seals that may be located lazing approximately on the island’s beaches. On the island, head off on considered one of eight signposted walks to attempt to spot the elusive golden hare (a genetic version likely particular to the island) or pay a go to to the fascinating upside-down lighthouse that’s home to an RSPB nature reserve (£5 grownup, £2.50 for toddler). Indulge your inner twitcher and have a look at nesting guillemots, kittiwakes, and puffins. For the avid birdwatcher, Rathlin is supplying a haven for a resurgence of rare choughs and corncrakes. Plus, there is usually the danger of spotting dolphins and whales on the ferry ride from Ballycastle (person £12 go back, child £6,