Posted 21st Sep 2017
Tomorrow (Friday 22nd September) marks the beginning of autumn, and before any post-Summer sadness kicks in, remember that autumn is arguably the most beautiful season of all. Now’s the time to enjoy swapping the barbecues and beach breaks for bursts of colour that bring the British countryside to life.
The warm hues that come with the change in season make pretty much all of Great Britain look spectacular, but there are few extra special places that are an absolute must-see in autumn. Premier Inn has revealed 10 of the best to visit… and exactly when you should go between now and November to see the best colours and vistas.
1 - The National Arboretum – Westonbirt, Gloucestershire
With over 2,000 Maple trees at the National Arboretum, a trip to Westonbirt (just outside Bath) is a must for anyone chasing the very best of autumn.
Across 600 acres and 17 miles of path, the impressive trees light up the sky in fiery reds and oranges and there’s also more than 2,500 other tree species here, making Westonbirt the ultimate autumn wonderland.
When to go: Any time between September and November, but The National Arboretum reaches its peak in October
2 - The Lake District – Cumbria
Named as ‘The Most Beautiful Place in Britain’, you’ll be rewarded for resisting a trip in the Summer and saving it for Autumn - with bursts of gold, deep forest greens and reds covering the landscape.
It’s the likes of Lake Windermere, Britain’s longest and largest natural lake, that really make the views here so incredible, so be sure to plan a good hike or bike ride to take in the best vantage points.
With so much to see and do here, some great choices include Grizedale Forest in Hawkshead, Lakes Coniston and Windermere, and be sure to visit Mock Gothic Wray Castle, which was once the holiday home of Beatrix Potter and is the perfect place to rest for anyone with tired legs.
When to go: Before the end of October to see the leaves at their best.
3 - Padley Gorge – Peak District, Derbyshire
There’s no surprise that the Peak District has made this list - any rundown of beautiful places in Britain would definitely be incomplete without this picturesque National Park.
Padley Gorge in particular, is where Autumn really shows off! The thick woodland turns a rich shade of red as the sun peaks through the leaves. Streams and waterfalls glisten beneath the canopy throughout the day, and the abundance of twisted oak trees that weave throughout the gorge make pretty much everywhere look breath taking in autumn.
When to go: Before the end of October to see the leaves at their best.
4 - Faskally Wood – Perthshire, Scotland
If you can only chose one place in Scotland to visit this autumn, make it Faskally Wood. Perthshire is known as ‘Big Tree Country’ spreading over 200,000 acres, with Faskally Woods being the jewel in its crown.
Sitting on the banks of Loch Dunmore – the woodland boasts an incredible range of Oak, Birch and Aspen trees that tower above you in beautiful oranges, reds and golds – it’s a magnificent place and on a crisp autumn afternoon, it’s definitely one of the best places to be.
It’s not just about these Instagram-perfect views either, as October brings about ‘The Enchanted Forest’. An award-winning sound and light show that makes it even more of a must.
When to go: Between September 28th and October 29th for The Enchanted Forest show.
5 - The New Forest – Hampshire
Home to a towering 500-year-old Knightwood Oak, the New Forest is steeped in history and is best visited in autumn, with colour bursting from every corner of its expansive 50 square miles of land nestled between Bournemouth and Portsmouth on the South Coast.
Due to its scale, there’s a huge variety on offer here – whether it’s species of tree, or animals – there’s a strong chance you’ll also come across ponies, pigs and a whole host of birds during your time here.
Home to the New Forest Walking Festival, you’d best get your walking boots on to discover why everyone holds the area in such high regard!
When to go: Between October 15th and 30th for the New Forest Walking Festival
6 - Stourhead Gardens – Wiltshire
Autumnal scenes are taken to a whole new level when there’s water involved, with the colours bouncing off the water in picture perfect harmony. No surprise then, that this seasonal gem in Wiltshire was called a ‘living work of art’ when it was opened all the way back in the 1740’s.
This is a truly beautiful place that comes alive in autumn - with trees ranging from oaks to sycamores framing age old temples and mansions. Famous around the world for its breath-taking views, you’ll be happy to know that as it stretches across 2,500 acres, so there’s more than enough room for an influx of autumnal visitors.
When to go: Throughout autumn as there is no ‘best’ time with Stourhead due to the sheer range of different trees. Each visit should bring a new sight and a new range of colours to marvel at.
7 - Richmond Park - London
Many visit Richmond Park to see the deer, and there’s no better time than autumn, with October marking the annual deer rut that sees stags and bucks clash antlers as they compete for females.
It isn’t all ‘Planet Earth style’ sights and sounds though, as the 2,500 acres offer up multiple ponds, woodland gardens, wildflowers and the chance to try your hands at something as peaceful as a round of golf, or as adrenaline pumping as power kiting and off-road cycling!
When to go: October, and if you can - as early in the morning as possible to see the park blanketed in a thin mist.
8 - Castell Dinas Bran – Llangollen, Clwyd, Wales
If you’re searching for a serious autumn adventure, then this needs to be on your list for the closing months of 2017 - you’ll be rewarded with one of the best views in the UK. Head for the ‘Panorama Walk’ and at its summit, you’re likely be above the clouds and looking out over Castell Dinas Bran, a medieval castle built back in the 1260’s.
One of the many beautiful sights of Wales, the autumnal colours of the trees breaking through the mist below are just stunning.
When to go: September-October, as this is when your walk will likely be at its driest.
9 - Corfe Castle – Dorset
A slightly more mysterious sight, the view of Corfe Castle emerging at sunrise from a morning mist over the Dorset landscape and over Poole harbour offers a completely unique window into autumn. Of course, a morning mist isn’t always guaranteed – but the early start to hike up the Purbeck Hills is always well worth it.
When to go: A trip planned around Halloween could add even more to the misty mystique of the area
10 - Littaford Tor – Dartmoor
While many people’s definition of an ‘autumn view’ might include a colourful woodland, Littaford Tor provides an autumnal vista like nowhere else.
Instead, the shades of autumn come alive in ferns and heather that stretch out across the horizon, and as it’s just a mile from Princetown, a visit can easily be combined with a detour to nearby Wistman’s Wood, if you’d prefer your autumn views with a few more trees!
When to go: Be sure to visit before November, as the landscape is more colourful during this period!