Summer may be losing its bloom and as it does so Autumn brings its own natural palette to Britain’s forests, arboretums, parks, and gardens.
From late September and throughout October it’s all about leaves turning from greens into fiery reds, golden yellows, and rich burgundies.
Faskally Wood, Perthshire, Scotland
Perthshire is known as a big tree country, with around 25 species of tree including Scots pine, silver birch, hazel, ash and oak. While it’s a beautiful place to visit year-round, Faskally Wood really delivers the goods when it comes to autumnal displays.
Created as a “model forest” in the 19th century, it’s full of beautiful specimens which are pointed out on the guided trail-blaze walk in October. As night falls, the wood transforms into the Enchanted Forest with a shimmering light and music show.
Lime Avenue at Marbury Country Park, Cheshire, north-west England
Capture the blonde autumn tints of magnificently symmetrical Lime Avenue – a legacy of Marbury Country Park‘s former grand estate days. The park is in the heart of Northwich Community Woodlands, which is part of the Mersey Forest.
New Forest, Hampshire, southern England
New Forest’s ancient woodlands cover more than 50 square miles. Discover mighty redwoods planted, beech, sweet chestnut, and other varieties. Take the tall trees trail under majestic conifers on Rhinefield Ornamental Drive – it’s one of the best places to experience the vivid array of autumnal hues, which arrive in time for the New Forest Walking Festival in October.
Don’t miss the huge 500-year-old Knightwood Oak on the Bolderwood Ornamental Drive near Lyndhurst, and look out for the park’s famous wild ponies, as well as pigs roaming the forest floor on the hunt for green acorns.
Richmond Park, London, England
Escape the city and soak up the rich colors of autumn with a walk or cycle around Richmond Park, when the leaves of the park’s ancient oak trees are tinted a deep orange. It’s a national nature reserve, the largest of London’s royal parks, and three times the size of New York’s Central Park. You’ll most likely enjoy some wildlife spotting among the autumn leaves – Richmond Park has been a deer park, and is populated with 630 freely roaming red and fallow deer.
Bodnant Gardens, Colwyn Bay, Wales
Set in a stunning location overlooking Snowdonia’s Carneddau mountains, highlights of Bodnant’s woodland garden include striking sweet chestnut trees, a waterfall, and a deep valley framed by towering trees. October is the peak time to enjoy the season’s shades, celebrated on an autumn color walk with Bodnant Garden’s resident expert.
Mount Stewart House, County Down, Northern Ireland
This stately home is framed by one of the National Trust’s most unusual gardens. The warm climate of the surrounding Strangford Lough (a large sea lake) supports exotic plants, which has led to parts of the landscaped gardens taking inspiration from the Mediterranean. In October, Mount Stewart’s guides take visitors on an autumn walk around the garden’s rusty hues.