The Best Destinations To Experience Autumn In The UK
Now that summer is drawing to a close, UK holiday hotspots such as Cornwall and Pembrokeshire are seeing a decline in tourists as visitors head elsewhere for autumn getaways. October and November may herald the arrival of colder temperatures and the threat of winter just around the corner, but they also thrust Britain into a vibrant colour palette of red, orange and yellow that tempts tourists into unspoilt countryside. So, where are the best places to visit in the UK to witness autumn in its full glory?
Faskally Wood, Perthshire
Scotland is filled with dramatic landscapes and stunning scenery, and its many wooded areas make it the perfect destination for an autumn getaway. Faskally Wood, in Perthshire, is one of the country’s best locations for admiring the colours of autumn. Sitting on the banks of Loch Dunmore, this mad-made forest is home to a wide variety of species of tree, most of which boast vibrantly hued leaves in the autumn months. Stroll around the many trails that loop through the trees, with a choice of flat and easy walks or more challenging hilltop climbs. During autumn evenings, the forest comes to life as The Enchanted Forest, with light and music show attracting crowds of visitors.
Lake District National Park, Cumbria
One of England’s most beloved National Parks, the Lake District is home to around twenty large bodies of water that attract visitors throughout the year. The surrounding mountains and forests are picturesque all year long, but in autumn the leaves on the trees erupt in a riot of colour that, when reflected upon the water creates a dramatic scene. Head to Grizedale Forest, easily accessible in between Windermere and Coniston Water to walk around the sixty outdoor sculptures that nestle in amongst the trees, or take to the water on one of the lakes to admire the autumn colours from a different perspective.
New Forest, Hampshire
Located in the south-east of England, the New Forest is part of the National Park that bears the same name. The area boasts vast natural woodland, but also includes large regions of unenclosed pasture land and heathland where ponies, deer and other wildlife roam freely. In autumn, the landscapes are quintessentially autumnal, with red, orange and yellow leaves adorning the trees. Ensure that you visit nearby Exbury Gardens to witness one of the most dramatic autumn colour displays in the area. If you fancy trying something a little different, a large array of mushrooms grow on the forest floor, and foraging tours such as Fungi Foray aim to help visitors identify those which are safe to eat.
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
One of the very rare surviving ancient woodlands in Britain, the Forest of Dean has miles of rough tracks and footpaths to follow through canopies of autumn-hued trees. Predominantly containing oak trees, alongside other species which transform into colour in the autumn months, the forest is one of the best places in the UK to enjoy an autumn retreat. Alongside the ample opportunities to admire the natural landscape, the forest is perfectly located to tie in a visit to the River Severn in time for the autumn equinox bore, when a huge tidal wave cascades along the river.
The foodie capital of Wales comes to life in September with one of the country’s most visited food festivals. Stalls selling local produce pack the streets of the market town, and the days and evenings are filled with chef demonstrations, workshops and gourmet dinners in the town’s finest restaurants. Perfectly located on the edge of the Brecon Beacons, Abergavenny is also the perfect base for admiring the fall foliage and dramatic mountain scenery of the sprawling National Park.
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Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.