4 British Destinations to Book for Autumn
It’s easy to argue that autumn is the most picturesque season. Crisp, bright days with just the right amount of chill in the air, the beginning of cosier evenings as the days shorten and, of course, a warm-hued rainbow of colours and fallen leaves - just as beautiful as it is inviting.
As nature seems to wind down from the colour and buzz of summer, autumn feels like an appropriate time to give ourselves a break too, unplugging from the rush of everyday life and putting our personal wellness first.
But what area delivers the most enchanting seasonal escape? We’ve narrowed down four British destinations to book for autumn, where there’s the promise of gorgeous landscapes and the chance to relax in peaceful surroundings.
Westonbirt National Arboretum, Gloucestershire
The UK’s national arboretum might be an obvious choice for an autumn break but that’s for good reason. With over 2500 species of tree as well as the golds, ambers and reds that colour the gardens and forests every year it’s nothing short of spectacular.
October is hailed as the best month on the entire calendar to visit when the autumnal palette has washed over the arboretum. The world-famous collection of Japanese maples is always one of the highlights - the leaves on these graceful trees transform into a fiery spectrum of intense reds and oranges.
There are several recommended seasonal trails to wander on, that allow you to take in the very best of the trees at this time of year as well as the Cotswold countryside in all its glory. There are also many typically charming accommodations like B&Bs, self-catering cottages and small guesthouses available in the nearby towns and villages where you can stay.
The Lake District, Cumbria
For somewhere more remote, the Lake District is a great pick for your autumn getaway, especially as it tends to be one of the quieter times of the year to visit. Beauty is pretty much guaranteed wherever you stay and whatever walks you do, but there are a few spots that are particularly stunning in autumn.
On a still day, Lake Buttermere gives you a double dose of striking autumn colours to imbibe, thanks to the reflections of the array of trees close to the water’s edge. A walk around the lake only takes a few hours, depending on how often you stop to admire the views. More breath-taking autumnal shades are found is Langdale, where a vivid orange sweeps the valley. Here you can amble over fields and bridges, with the most picturesque backdrop.
If you’re faced with some rain, there’s always a welcoming selection of traditional pubs where you can wait out the wet weather. They’re also perfect for whiling away the evenings after a long day of walking, refuelling with some good local food by an open fire.
Wye Valley, England & Wales Border
The Wye Valley is a picturesque seam of natural beauty that joins England and Wales. Thick forests cover much of the area and these turn magnificent shades in the autumn, resulting in a patchwork of oranges and browns.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just want a leisurely stretch of the legs, you can find walking routes to please in the Wye Valley. The 136-mile long Wye Valley Walk is on offer if you really fancy a challenge, taking you over meadows, orchards, uplands and through the wooded gorge. Similarly, you can choose from back-to-basics camping to luxury cottages and everything else in between.
Richmond Park, West London
Not every autumn break has to be an off-the-grid rural escape. In West London, the scenic Richmond Park is the perfect place to base yourself near if you want to combine snapshots of nature in autumn with some of the country’s finest cultural and historic attractions. Hampton Court, Kew Gardens and Marble Hill House are all nearby places that can fill your relaxing break on the edge of the city.
As well as seeing the leafy park dressed up in autumnal colours, time your visit right and you might catch sight of the deer rutting. It’s a formidable thing to see, though make sure you follow the advice on giving them space - you definitely wouldn’t want to get too close!
Feeling inspired to getaway more permanently? We’ve got tips on where to go in our article on amazing retirement destinations.