Successful tip: Rainham, Essex
Cuckoos, kingfishers, water voles, marsh harriers, seals and incredible views from the espresso store: contained in the M25! Take a bow, Rainham RSPB reserve. A two-mile stroll across the reserve (which is simply a 20-minute stroll from Purfleet station) yields wealthy rewards, and even spectacular views of Eurostar trains. Spring is especially noisy, with warblers of all types, and winter, with giant flocks of lapwings and a gazillion geese, is spectacular. There are additionally uncommon bearded tits, snug hides, easy strolling, children’ occasions and an amazing espresso store with a small playground. The Thames views are fantastic: the solar filling the cafeteria, which has enormous home windows over the reserve and the river with basking seals, makes one overlook the close by massive smoke. •
Peak District, close to Oldham, Higher Manchester

A mountain hare amid heather, excessive on the moors. {Photograph}: Karen Miller Images/Alamy
Dove Stone Reservoir on the sting of the Peak District is definitely accessible from Manchester together with by prepare (close by Greenfield station is on the Huddersfield-Manchester Piccadilly line). A delicate 2½-mile loop across the reservoir makes for a pleasant amble, with offshoots providing extra paths to increase your time out, similar to a 1½-mile path that leads up by the hills to Chew Reservoir. Deliver a picnic, pop your self down at one of many tables dotted across the tree-lined approach, and hold an eye fixed and an ear out for some fabulous birds at this RSPB protected reserve – look out for ravens, curlew, golden plover and peregrines. On the moors, mountain hares will be seen. It’s free to go to.. • R

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Somerset Ranges

A starling flock descends to a reedbed to roost at Shapwick Heath. {Photograph}: Wolstenholme Pictures/Getty Pictures

Six thousand years in the past, Shapwick Heath, west of Glastonbury on the Somerset Ranges, was dwelling to neolithic individuals who constructed raised walkways to traverse the Avalon marshes. Immediately you’ll be able to observe the traditional Candy Observe and hearken to booming bitterns and watch nice white egrets and marsh harriers looking (in very completely different types) and, later within the 12 months, astonishing starling murmurations. Reed warblers and bearded tits additionally characteristic, and in the event you’re fortunate, you would possibly catch a glimpse of an otter. • Free, avalonmarshes.orgRossa Donovan
Fort Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway

An osprey out looking. {Photograph}: photosbyjimn/Getty Pictures
Threave Fort on the outskirts of Fort Douglas combines the chance to see loads of wildlife with the joy of taking a ship throughout the river to a 14th-century fortress on an island within the River Dee. Ospreys, peregrines (which nest on the battlements, now closed) and plenty of different fowl species will be seen on the stroll to the boarding level for the boat. Otters repeatedly hunt within the river. The fortress was initially the house of Archibald the Grim, third Earl of Galloway, a fearsome warrior who repeatedly raided England. • Grownup £6, little one (5-16) £3.60, historicenvironment.scotBarrie Cooper
Rathlin Island, Co Antrim

Altachuile Bay considered from the craggs of Ballyconagan, Rathlin Island, a stretch of coast famend for sea birds. {Photograph}: Alamy

Head out by boat to Rathlin Island off the coast of Northern Eire, which is dwelling to each gray and customary seals that may be discovered lazing about on the island’s shores. On the island, head off on one in every of eight signposted walks to try to spot the elusive golden hare (a genetic variation probably distinctive to the island) or pay a go to to the charming upside-down lighthouse which is dwelling to an RSPB nature reserve (£5 grownup, £2.50 for little one). Indulge your inside twitcher and observe nesting guillemots, kittiwakes, and puffins. For the avid birdwatcher, Rathlin is offering a protected haven for a resurgence of uncommon choughs and corncrakes. Plus there’s all the time the prospect of recognizing dolphins and whales on the ferry journey from Ballycastle (grownup £12 return, little one £6, •
Morecambe Bay, Cumbria

South Walney nature reserve. {Photograph}: greenburn/Alamy
Cross Jubilee Bridge on to Walney Island and you’ve got your selection of two nice nature reserves: South Walney is dwelling to a gray seal colony that you just’ll be capable to see at excessive tide. The employees gave my grandson an explorer pack which he cherished and helped us not solely recognizing seals, but in addition the numerous species of birds. I couldn’t cease gazing on the superb views throughout to Morecambe Bay. Then North Walney’s 350 acres comprise heath, sand dunes, salt marsh and scrubland, so the wildlife is admittedly diversified, from waders and wildfowl to deer, badgers, voles and very noisy – however arduous to identify – natterjack toads.• £Three adults, £1 little one, RJ
Interior Hebrides

A golden eagle soars above cliffs on the Isle of Canna. {Photograph}: Andy Sutton/Alamy
For an amazing escape and immersion with wildlife, tenting on Canna, a Nationwide Belief-owned island off the west coast of Scotland – one of many Small Isles – must be one in every of my memorable experiences. Sea eagles, skuas, golden eagles, seals, puffins, merlins and whales … it has all of them. A 3-hour ferry from Mallaig (grownup £11.20 return, little one £5.60, runs 5 days per week (not Tuesdays or Thursdays). When you get there, it’s free aside from sampling the cafe and store, and a heat welcome is all the time prolonged. Claire
East London

Cemetries, similar to Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, usually make good habitats for wildlife. {Photograph}: Man Corbishley/Alamy
There’s wildlife proper within the coronary heart of our capital. Historic cemetery Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (subsequent to Mile Finish tube station) is a nature reserve and woodland teeming with wildlife – all wrapped up within the historical past of east London. Its 30 acres have 435 beetle species alone and add new species annually. Birds seen right here embody pink kites, buzzards, tawny owls, all three UK woodpeckers and turtle doves – simply a few miles from Shoreditch. Decide up a butterfly pamphlet and discover your individual, or be part of one of many many free walks and children’ occasions discovering the native nature led by the as soon as Come Dine with Me winner, Ken! This magical spot is free to enter. • fothcp.orgFrances Humber

Pink squirrels have been launched on Caldey Island. {Photograph}: Philip Kieran/Alamy

A 3-mile boat journey off the coast of south-west Wales lies Caldey Island. Housing 9 Cistercian monks, golden seashores and leafy woodland, the island has in recent times launched pink squirrels. It has no automobiles or gray squirrels, and invasive rats have been eradicated, so its an excellent location for the brand new arrivals. The colony has tailored and survived, and at £35 for a household ticket, guests can spot the reds climbing up timber and nibbling on hazelnuts. Native timber are being planted to assist the colony in the long run. Alongside its peacefulness and pure magnificence, Caldey Island can also be dwelling to seals, puffins and St Kilda-descended soay sheep, which will be seen alongside the varied coastal and woodland walks. • Boat from Tenby £14 grownup, little one £7, caldeyislandwales.comJemima Childs
Close to Buxton, Derbyshire

Darkish inexperienced fritillaries are amongst butterflies interested in the wildflowers of Priestcliffe Lees. {Photograph}: Westend61/Getty Pictures
For fantastic UK Wildlife I take my youngsters to Priestcliffe Lees, which is managed by Derbyshire Wildlife Belief. It’s simply off the Monsal Path. A belt of lovely, wild-flowered grassland meets a line of hazel timber and it’s excellent for recognizing brown hares, who don’t burrow however as an alternative shelter on the woodland edge. In spring they make “varieties” (scooped shallow shelters) within the lengthy grass to beginning and look after leverets. You may as well see financial institution voles and badgers, whereas among the many species of fowl to identify are inexperienced woodpeckers, redstarts and woodcocks, which you’re more likely to discover with their lengthy beaks within the grass attempting to find bugs. Butterflies interested in the flowers on these limestone hillsides embody the darkish inexperienced fritillary. • Jones
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