When fall arrives in Britain, the leaves turn golden, the sky seems bluer and the air has a crisp chill making it a great time to explore outside. Here are some ideas for the best places to see the fall colors from the National Trust (who look after properties and landscapes all over England and Wales).
King Alfred’s Tower, Stourhead, Wiltshire, England
Explore south west England with a walk through the beautiful woodlands to King Alfred’s Tower, a 160 ft. high folly designed for the Stourhead estate’s owner, Henry Hoare II, in 1772. It is believed to mark the site where King Alfred the Great rallied his troops in 878. Stop and enjoy the spectacular views across the lake in the landscape garden, with the deep autumnal hues of red, russet and yellow from the surrounding trees.
Heddon Valley to Woody Bay, Heddon Valley, North Devon, England
Nestled on the West Exmoor coast, it’s easy to see why the Heddon Valley was a favorite with the Romantic poets. In the fall, the path through the valley is full of vibrant yellow gorse, which scents the air with the smell of coconuts all the way down to the sea at Heddon’s Mouth. Walking routes higher up run across some of England’s most dramatic coastal cliffs.
Winkworth to Oakhurst, Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey, England
Winkworth Arboretum comes to life this time of year with rich, blazing color from the collection of trees. A two-and-a-half-mile walk weaves its way through the woodland to the top of Hydon's Ball, where you can enjoy spectacular views. Continue on to the charming village of Hambledon and visit 16th-century Oakhurst Cottage (book tours here), which has remained largely unchanged for the past hundred years or more.
Gibside Skyline, Gibside, Tyne and Wear, England
Buzzing with wildlife, Gibside is home to red kites, roe deer and many other rare animals. During the fall months, you can see the colors changing on the trees below as you rise out of the Derwent Valley on this circular skyline walk. Leave time for a stop afterwards at the Gibside Pub, with local ales, lager, wine and made-to-order pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven.
Dinas Island Spectacular, Dinas Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales
This circular walk boasts some of the finest views anywhere on the Pembrokeshire coast. In early fall, the coastal slopes are cloaked with the yellows and browns of fading bracken, while on the headland, the pinks and purples of common heather are just coming into bloom.
Posted in Outdoors
Cover photo: Stourhead Garden, Wiltshire, England