Over in the states, greeting the arrival of fall is a long-held tradition, and the turning of the seasons often means a mass exodus to some of the nations ‘leafer’ hotspots.
Unlike the US, there’s nothing quite as close to celebrating the changing natural landscape, and as such – the UK’s praises remain largely unsung.
But autumn is such a rewarding time to get out walking in the UK, and being in the right place at the right time can really help you get the most out of the season.
Think long walks in that very particular, crisp autumn air – offset by the fireside of a country pub after a long, active day…it really doesn’t get any better than that.
Here, we give our top picks on the best places to catch the new season…
Wye Valley: Best for Woodland Walks
Being based right in the heart of the Wye Valley, it may seem like the obvious answer!
But truthfully I can’t think of a better place to be for a woodland walk this autumn.
There are a few quite challenging, steeper sections through the forest – but the climb up is rewarded with some amazing vantage points, ideal for experiencing the transformative effect the new season can have on The Wye Valley.
It’s a popular walking route, yet the trail itself retains a lot of its wild character. As you walk through the forest tracks (Chepstow to Monmouth in particular) you’ll cross paths with the remains of the areas industrious past. Old mills, railway lines and other signs of Victorian manufacturing industries are among the rivers tributaries.
Rob Roy Way: Best for Vibrant Colours
The Rob Roy Way is an ideal UK spot to catch the arrival of autumn, and Faskally loch, skirted by woodland, is a firm favourite for autumn walks in Scotland.
The trees reflected across the surface of the loch, they almost seem to have the quality of a watercolour painting. It’s a dramatic landscape to witness and with the warm, soft qualities of light that autumn brings, it’s hard not to be reaching for your camera when the new season comes around.
Blair Castle (pictured) was a favourite of Queen Victoria’s, and her love affair with the highland landscape is in evidence from the Victorian town of Pitlochry to the ‘Queens View’ over the River Tay.
Cotswold Round: Best for Picturesque Towns and Cottages…
…as well as cosy pubs, sprawling gardens, grand estates – The Cotswolds landscape is perennially picture perfect, and Autumn is no exception.
No matter the season, The Cotswolds always seem to be well turned-out. But autumn in particular is one to watch, where the Japanese Maples and cherries of the Arboretum light up in shades of soft pink and the deepest red.
When I think of ‘autumn landscapes’ the view from Broadway Hill springs to mind. From the tower sat atop the slope you can see right over the neighboring towns. You may be struck by how the quaintness of the village streets on foot is magnified into something altogether impressive when seen from above – ideal conditions for a panoramic shot over the landscape.
La Palma: Best for Putting an Extension on those Summer Months
Not a classic choice for Autumn (strictly speaking)…and in no way a UK destination either!
However, walks that are simply too blisteringly hot to undertake in July and August benefit greatly from the new season, and with autumn walks in Europe, you’ll also find a discernible drop in tourist numbers.
With that in mind, La Palma seems like the ideal choice for an autumn getaway. The smaller, and less crowded of the canaries has made great strides over the years in terms of its volcanic trails exploring sunken craters, cavernous lakes and subtropical forests.
Walking La Palma is a fantastic active holiday, but its also a chance to get away from it all. After a days walk, come back to the Colonial towns that seem preserved in time, as well as experiencing the islands clear night skies – La Palma has a reputation for being one of the worlds foremost spots for stargazing.