Yearning for a short break with a beautiful autumn walk? To toast autumn’s arrival, our team have put together 15 of our favourite autumn walks for drinking in the season’s most beautiful sights.
Sure to ‘colour you happy’, all our walks are within easy reach of our holiday cottages. So pack those boots, dig out your hat and scarf and get ready to crunch some crispy leaves!
1 Lady Vale Walk, Cardinham Woods, Cornwall
There are four laid-out autumn walks in Cardinham Woods, but one of the best to see autumnal colours is the easy-going Lady Vale Walk, which follows the river upstream to Lady Vale Bridge. The all ability 2-mile trail takes you through a forested valley where you can see the oak, alder, rowan and willow trees showing off their beautiful, warm colours. This is also the perfect time to spot deer and birds.
Explore Cardinham Woods.
Stay at: Our farm cottages near Liskeard, 20 minutes’ drive away.
2 The Pipe Walk, Carding Mill Valley, Shropshire
At this time of year, if you take the Pipe Walk at Carding Mill Valley you’ll be amazed by the gleaming blues, golds and greens. This moderate 1.5 mile autumn walk takes about an hour and has a strong focus on water, following the stream up to the sapphire-blue reservoir and finishing at Lightspout waterfall.
Explore Carding Mill Valley and The Long Mynd.
Stay at: The Oaks, 8 minutes’ drive away.
3 Thetford Forest Trails, Norfolk
Thetford Forest is well known for being the UK’s largest lowland pine forest, but there are vast numbers of deciduous trees here too and this autumn you’ll see a fabulous canopy of oranges, golds and browns everywhere you look! There are 26 autumn walks around the forest to enjoy and mountain biking is also a popular way to explore the golden landscape.
Explore Thetford Forest.
Stay at: Vicarage House / Vicarage House & Pool House, sleeps 9 – 15, just a few minutes’ walk from the forest. Head out on foot or use the plethora of adult and children’s bikes provided for guests to make it a special day out.
4 Silk Wood trail, Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
You’ll be blown away at Westonbirt as over 15,000 trees put on one of the world’s most spectacular autumn shows - perfect for autumn walks! Take a 1.6 mile easy stroll along the Silk Wood trail where you can admire the canopy of colour up close on the Treetop Walkway and then through Silk Wood itself to witness the magnificent collection of Japanese maples ablaze in reds, oranges and yellows.
Explore Westonbirt, The National Arboretum.
Stay at: Our Cotswold Lake Lodges or Henfield Barn, all 30 minutes’ drive.
5 Batsford Arboretum, Cotswolds
Gloucestershire’s second arboretum is ablaze with autumn colour, with centre stage taken by the maples and cherries in every hue from flame reds to salmon pinks and sunshine yellows and the liquidambars with their multi-coloured leaves from deep purple to pale gold. Lose yourself in 56 acres of wild garden on a series of good footpaths and explore hidden glades, paths and streams.
Explore Batsford Arboretum.
Stay at: Our holiday cottages in Kingham, 25 minutes’ drive away.
6 The Pewsey Vale Trail, Wiltshire
The Pewsey Vale is a glorious area for autumn walks. This fabulous route runs between Pewsey village and Wilton Windmill, via the Pewsey Heritage Centre and Crofton Beam Engines, using the Kennet & Avon Canal towpath in the main. It contains some circular walks along the way. Enjoy Bedwyn Brail, also beautiful in the autumn, located east of Wilton Windmill.
Explore Pewsey Vale.
Stay at: Stable Cottage, 5 minutes’ drive from Pewsey village.
7 Tarr Steps, Exmoor, Somerset
Nestling in the deeply wooded Barle valley, full of autumn colour, is Tarr Steps, one of the oldest bridges in the world. Enjoy a 5-mile moderate circular walk following the meandering river and through ancient woodland. A National Nature Reserve, you may spot red deer, dormice, bats and even otters along the way. Reward yourself afterwards with an amazing cream tea at the Tarr Steps Farm, just by the steps.
Explore Tarr Steps.
Stay at: Our Exmoor holiday cottages near Dulverton, less than 2 miles distant.
8 Autumn wildlife walks at the Cotswold Water Park
The Cotswold Water Park is a great choice for autumn walks, being home to a wide variety of resident and wintering birds as well as a range of other wildlife. The fantastic colours of the autumn trees are well worth the trip alone! With more than 150 lakes, there is plenty of choice for walkers, along with great wildlife. The Cotswold Water Park provide walking and cycling maps, available free from the Gateway Visitor Centre.
Explore Cotswold Water Park.
Stay at: Our stunning Lake Lodges at the Cotswold Water Park.
9 Tall Trees Trail, Blackwater Arboretum, New Forest
The New Forest’s ancient and ornamental woodlands are some of the best places in the country to see autumn colour. The Tall Trees trail, an easy 1.5 miles stroll, is one of the best places to experience the vivid display of autumn colour in the New Forest. One of several autumn walks, this trail lives up to its name with giant redwoods and ancient douglas firs towering above.
Explore Blackwater Arboretum.
Stay at: Phoebe’s Cottage, 26 minutes’ drive away.
10 Winkworth to Oakhurst wonder walk, Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey
In autumn, the steep hillside of Winkworth Arboretum turns gold, brown, red and bronze, and is beautifully reflected in the ripples of its lake. This moderate 2.5-mile autumn walk weaves its way through woodland to spectacular views from the top of Hydon’s Ball and connects three unique National Trust properties.
Explore Winkworth Arboretum.
Stay at: Woodmancote Lodge, 30 minutes’ drive away.
11 Bedgebury Autumn Trail, Bedgebury Arboretum, Kent
Bedgebury is a stunning place to visit in autumn; the fiery leaves and brilliant berries are in sharp contrast to the background of rich evergreen conifers. This 1.25-mile autumn walk follows surfaced paths and is mainly flat. Particularly striking are the views over Marshall’s lake, the larch which turn bright yellow, and the dawn redwood and swamp cypress in shades of red, chestnut, ochre and copper.
Explore Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest.
Stay at: 1 School House Cottages, 15 minutes’ drive away.
12 Keats Walk, Winchester, Hampshire
John Keats’ famous poem Ode To Autumn was inspired by this autumn walk, so it’s a route with some potency. Set out from Winchester’s centre, past the cathedral grounds and out into the water meadows, beside the River Itchen. This is where “seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness” abound. The round trip covers approximately two miles on pavements, gravel paths and grass.
Stay at: Phoebe’s Cottage, 25 minutes’ drive away.
13 Alice Holt Habitat Trail, Alice Holt Forest, Hampshire
This easy going 0.6 mile autumn walk takes you along a path filled with an array of autumn colour. It’s particularly beautiful at this time of year owing to its collection of native trees including oak, beech and rowan which turn stunning shades of rich orange, red and yellow.
Explore Alice Holt Forest.
Stay at: Woodmancote Lodge, 25 minutes’ drive away.
14 Symonds Yat Rock Trail, Forest of Dean
With spectacular views across the River Wye and the forest beyond, Symonds Yat Rock is a fabulous place for autumn walks as the forest turns to gold. This moderate 2.8 mile loop autumn walk not only takes in fantastic views, but also hidden waterfalls, a trip on a hand ferry and other perfect spots to enjoy the autumn colour.
Explore Symonds Yat Rock.
Stay at: Bryngarth or Abbey Dore Court, 17 and 30 minutes’ drive respectively.
15 Brede High Woods, East Sussex
Thanks to its enormous variety of trees, the autumn colours at Brede are particularly magnificent, with displays of burning gold, crimson, brown and purple well into November. This magnificent 3.5 mile circular woodland autumn walk takes approximately 2 hours.
Explore Brede High Woods.
Stay at: Our East Sussex cottages in Rye and Cowbeech, 20 and 30 minutes’ drive respectively.