From Grimm’s Fairy Tales to the Harry Potter books, magical forests have captured the imagination of young readers. Dark, mysterious and beautiful, they conjure up images of mythical creatures, enchantments and transformation.
In “The Incredible Tales of Weirdwood Manor,” our hero, Oliver Gryffon passes through a dark, magical forest full of ancient trees and strange creatures. The wood, much like Oliver’s art, seems to conjure up powers that he can’t control… magical powers.
All of us can be inspired by forests, whether we read about them in stories — or explore them in real-life. Here are six of the most magical (and mysterious) forests from around the world that will inspire your imagination.
Sussex, England: Yew Forest
This twisted yew tree is among one of the oldest in England. Most yew trees can reach 400 to 600 years of age although some trees (such as the Fortingall Yew in Perthshire, Scotland) are said to be almost 2,000 years old. The yew is often found in churchyards in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and northern areas of Spain.
Enderby Island, New Zealand: Rata Forest
New Zealand is home to this particularly gnarly forest, which looks like it came straight out of Lord of the Rings.
Inyo County, USA: Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
Found in California’s Inyo County, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is home to Methuselah, a 4,845-year-old Great Basin bristlecone pine, one of the oldest living things on Earth.
Socotra Island, Yemen: Dragon Blood Tree Forest
Forests of Dracaena cinnabari (also known as the dragon blood tree), indigenous to Socotra Island in Yemen, are found all over the four-island archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The tree is known as the dragon blood tree due to its red sap, which is still used as both a dye and a medicine.
Heron Pond, Illinois, USA: Cypress Forest
Found in Illinois, Heron Pond is home to a cypress swamp consisting mainly of cypress trees along with a smaller number of ferns, willows, and other plant life. The trees grow in holes within the limestone bedrock, which breaks down over time and allows the trees to set roots ever deeper.
Baden-Württemberg, Germany: The Black Forest
The Black Forest (Schwarzwald in German) is a densely wooded area in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The Rhine Valley borders the forest to the south and west. The Black Forest is the setting of many a Brothers Grimm fairytale.
WEIRDWOOD MANOR is an award-winning interactive book series for children ages 6 – 12. Now available for iPad. Visit your country App Store for pricing details or to download.