At this time of year, our woodlands are transformed into a rich explosion of colour.
Russet-red, burnt umber and copper leaves grace the trees, turning forests into something truly spectacular.
We’ve selected the walks and trails around the UK that are especially magnificent in October and November – perfect for a half term day out.
From ancient oak trees in Sherwood Forest to stunning harvest displays at Calke Abbey, here are our favourite spots for autumn.
Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire
Autumn is spectacular at Westonbirt Arboretum, the national arboretum, with one of Britain’s best displays thanks to 2,500 different species of trees from the far corners of the globe.
There’s a treetop walkway and a Gruffalo trail, as well as the glorious display of autumn colour. Booking ahead is essential in autumn; tickets go on sale seven days in advance.
Sherwood Forest, Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire
For budding Robin Hoods, take the kids to Sherwood Forest. Summer’s dense canopy of leaves turns to fiery reds, golds, oranges and browns.
Look out for a fabulous crop of acorns, from the forest’s ancient oaks, including the legendary Major Oak, estimated to be around 1,000-years-old. There’s also berries, chestnuts and mushrooms – food for the wildlife as the nights draw in.
Chopwell Wood, Rowlands Gill, Gateshead
Ten miles south-west of Gateshead, Chopwell Wood (Rowlands Gill, Gateshead) has blazing red tones thanks to its beautiful canopy of beech trees, planted in the early 1900s.
It’s part of a mixed woodland, with a fantastic array of fungi. As well as leaf-kicking, there’s geocaching, picnic areas, horse riding, archery, walking football and fitness sessions for family fun.
Knightshayes, Tiverton, Devon
Knightshayes, a Devon estate, with its grand house built for Sir John Heathcoat Amory, is perfect for watching the seasons change.
The National Trust property has a stunning range of trees, including the tallest redwood in Devon and the biggest turkey oak in the UK. The path above the pool garden gives the finest vantage point to take in the range of fiery autumn colours.
Delamere Forest, Northwich, Cheshire
Take a trot to Delamere Forest (Northwich, Cheshire), a woodland park with English oak, common beech, sweet chestnut and silver birch. Unlike some other rural walks, it’s easy to reach on public transport.
It has trails for all abilities, views across to Liverpool’s waterfront, a bird’s eye view of the forest at Go Ape and Segways for hire.
Elan Valley, Rhayader, Powys
In the heart of mid Wales, Elan Valley (Rhayader, Powys) is 70 square miles of moorland, bog, woodland, river and reservoir.
Take a walk around the dams and reservoirs to admire the striking colours of the trees. Keep your eyes on the skies – the valley is the most important area for land birds in Wales.
Nymans, Haywards Heath
The Takeshima Korean maple gives a breathtaking display of autumn colour at Nymans garden in West Sussex.
Set around a medieval style manor and ruins, the garden has rare specimen trees, alongside spectacular seasonal planting.
Calke Abbey, Ticknall, Derbyshire
The liquid amber trees in Calke’s garden at Calke Abbey turn to shades of orange, crimson and purple at this time of year, set against the plethora of homegrown fruit and vegetables ready for harvest.
The gardeners are hard at work, stacking up pumpkins and gourds, and gathering up sun-ripened apples in the orchard. In the woods, the red deer are shedding their summer coats and turning rust-coloured. Stop off and see them getting ready for the colder weather.
The Hermitage, Dunkeld, Perthshire
Further afield, The Hermitage, the playground of the Dukes of Atholl has giant Douglas firs and broadleaf trees, which turn into a beautiful canopy of gold and red as the autumn draws on.
Walk to the roaring Black Linn waterfall, where the River Braan crashes into the dramatic pools below, and find the 18th-century folly, Ossian’s Hall.
Keep an eye out for beavers, red squirrels and salmon. This month and next, the fish leap up the falls to spawning grounds further along the river.
Kew Gardens, Richmond, London
From spectacular maple trees to grand old oaks, the woodland at Kew Gardens comes alive with fiery shades of scarlet, burnt orange and sunshine yellows.
Stroll through the arboretum to see rare trees, before a visit to the natural area where Kew meets the River Thames, a wilder landscape with native trees donated by Queen Victoria on the condition that it remains wild. Listen out for the ‘tap, tap, tap’ of great spotted woodpeckers in the trees.
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