With autumn pushing the heat of summer south across the equator, it’s time to strap on your wellies and get ready to kick through piles of fiery leaves. So to celebrate the change of season, here’s our list of places you should visit to make the most of the stunning autumn colours.
Isle of Lewis, Hebrides
Autumn arrives early in the Outer Hebrides. The trees and fauna on the Isle of Lewis take on a fiery glow into September and October. The 270 acres of woods surrounding Lews Castle becomes something to behold. There are a whole host of walks for an intrepid hiker to choose from.
Loch Lomond, West Dunbartonshire
The largest inland stretch of water in the UK by surface area, Loch Lomond is the centrepiece of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. The second bonus from journeying to the area comes from the vast wooded glens that make up Great Trossachs National Nature Reserve. The Millennium Forest Trail is not a walk that should be missed, providing brilliant views of the loch and the surrounding woodland.
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
Ancient woodlands steeped in history and cultural heritage stemming back to the Iron Ages. The forest was then used by Anglo-Saxon kings as a royal hunting ground. There’s a huge range of activities to take part in during the autumn months, ranging from exhilarating zip wires to biking and sculpture trails. You can find out more here.
New Forest, Hampshire
The treescapes of Wiltshire and Hampshire have been a place of autumnal brilliance for centuries. There are over 219 square miles of protected space, hosting oaks up to 800 years old and elderly beeches of 400 years or more. The New Forest Walking Festival takes place from the 13th of October until the 28th and is just one of the many outdoor pursuits you can get involved with during a visit.
Rydal is an area full of nostalgic ambience echoed in its literary history. The area has been the subject of many poems and stories and for almost 40 years Rydal Mount was home to the famous poet, William Wordsworth. Dora’s field is one of the bittersweet sights of the area, a field filled with hundreds of daffodils between Rydal Mount and the main road, planted by Wordsworth following the death of his daughter.
In the autumn, expect stunning misty mornings across the water that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a poem. Rydal acts as a great jumping off point for exploring the rest of the Lake District and is worth a visit any time of year, let alone in the autumn.
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
The 2000 acre park that surrounds the Baroque palace holds some of the most beautiful landscaped gardens in the country. In autumn, Blenheim hosts a series of seasonal events that you can find out more about here. There is a fantastic maze on site, buggy rides, fishing and even outdoor film screenings and concerts. The palace also plays host to art exhibitions and has hosted works by Andy Warhol alongside its own collection of historic British art.
Guernsey, Channel Islands
The second largest Channel Island is a naturist’s wonderland. Covered in leafy enclaves and coastal rock faces to die for, there’s something for every nature lover out there. The Candie Gardens in St Peter Port is a must visit if you visit the island. There’s also a walking festival from the 15th until the 30th of September for those of you who love a good wander through beautiful coastal scenery.
Stourhead is a National Trust site, known for its stunning display of autumn colours. The house itself is a splendid visit, with its majestic stately rooms full of exquisite furnishings and historic art. The range of exotic trees will surely delight any visitors, especially when the North American maples turn scarlet red over the course of the season.
There’s even a small cottage nestled amongst the trees in the garden where you can warm yourself by the fire with a nice cup of tea.