Autumn is the perfect time to escape the strain of the city and head deep into the countryside for a walk. When the leaves are turning gold, the air is crisp and the falling sun bathes the countryside in an amber glow, it’s time to strap on a pair of boots and take to the wilds for a few hours and then pile into a cosy country pub afterwards. Here’s our pick of the best autumn walks in the UK.
Snowdonia National Park
The vast and sprawling Snowdonia National Park is one of the most beautiful natural habitats in the UK. Not only encompassing the mountain, which gives it its name, but also around 36,400 hectares of woodland. There are also a number of pathways and mapped routes such as the slate valleys route, which wanders through the slate quarries and the Mary Jones walk that meanders around the lakes, mountains and rugged Welsh countryside.
The Forest of Dean
The Forest of Dean is an area of Gloucestershire with around 110 square kilometres of woodland. It was once the preserve of royalty maintained for their hunting sports, but now is a wonderful slice of nature for everyone to enjoy. If you climb to the viewpoint of Symonds Yat you can see the changing shades of autumn in the forests below.
Set in the rugged Peak District, Ladybower Reservoir offers spectacular walking routes around the waters, which are even more breath taking in the autumn months. The hills and woodland that surround the vast reservoir provide perfect climbing and walking terrain, while the occasional man-made waterfalls are intriguing rest spots to stop and marvel at.
Hinton Ampner Autumn Colour Walk
This walk in Hampshire takes in the full spectrum of autumn’s red and gold plumage. The two-hour walk around the grounds of Hinton Ampner, a country house in Hampshire, takes in stunning views of the South Downs. The home’s orchards provide a particularly autumnal scene with trees heavy with fruit shedding their browned leaves.
A hillside collection of trees, this arboretum is full of acers, cherry trees, a lake and even a boathouse. Explore the pathways and take in the changing colours of the foliage. Autumn is one of the best times to explore this wooded oasis and if you enter into the boathouse you can watch the autumn colours reflected in the still waters of the lake – a photo op not to miss.
Craigievar Castle Trail
The chateau-style castle in Aberdeenshire looks as though it’s been plucked from the screen of a Disney film and the surrounding swathe of conifer forestry provides a neat and easy walking route for all the family. The rolling green and dramatic landscape of Aberdeenshire couldn’t be a finer backdrop to a leisurely weekend stomp among the crisp underfoot leaves.
For more information on walks in the UK go to visitbritain.com