10 Awesome autumn walks
Hot chocolate by the gallon, cosy woollen scarves and scrunchy leaves beneath your wellies ... well hello autumn! Little compares with an autumnal walk. Read on for the best places to go for a colour-popping stroll.
Forest of Dean, The Sculpture Trail, Coleford
The fabulous Forest of Dean is a delightful place for some autumn leaf-crunching. This ancient woodland stretches for miles. Set off from Beechenhurst Lodge, head to Symonds Yat for spectacular read and yellow views across the River Wye or hot foot it up to the Blaize Bailey viewpoint for some truly breathtaking autumnal scenes. Then enjoy the wow-factor Sculpture Trail – an arty autumn experience we love.
Batsford Arboretum, Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos
Dog friendly, this 56 acre site is brimming with brightly coloured gardens, trees and shrubs from around the world. With one of the largest private tree and plant collections in the country you’ll find maple and cherry trees and the multi-coloured leaves of the Liquidambar tree.Make sure to book tickets online in advance, also now open again is a plant centre and cafe to warm those cockles post-stroll.
Westonbirt Arboretum, Westonbirt, Glos
Shake up the way you see autumn with a walk through the red and gold canopies. This 300 metre long, 13 metre tall new skywalk at Westonbirt is a stunning way to see the seasons change – from tree top height. With a world-renowned collection of 15,000 trees the Arboretum is incredible at this time of year – we love it for dog walks. With more than 15,000 specimens of trees spread across 200 acres, including thousands of Japanese maples, Persian ironwoods and American hickories. Ensure to book tickets before visiting.
Highgrove Estate, Tetbury, Glos
Autumn ambles don’t get more majestic than at HRH Prince Charles’ hand-curated estate. Take a visit to the gardens of Highgrove House to see a carpet of trees in the arboretum in full HD colour – with an abundance of Japanese maples. Take in the impressive kitchen garden, with the apple tunnel particularly fragrant at this time of year. Individual garden tours can be booked online in advance too.
The Wyre Forest, Bewdley, Worcs
The historic Wyre Forest is a stunnig place to head for a variety of woodland walks and trails amongst beautiful ancient oaks woods and statuesque fir trees. Set across 6,000 acres it’s one of England’s oldest remaining forests (so max forest-bathing vibes here) See the colours on one of the three marked walking trails, the family cycle route, bike hire, horse trails or strap on the trainers for a techni-coloured jog.
Blackhouse Wood, Malvern, Worcs
Take an eight miles walk through a trail at the wild Blackhouse Wood Nature Reserve. Dogs are welcome and this place is bursting with untamed autumn colour during September and October. You can even download an audio tour and map here. Cloaking part of the Suckley Hills in the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s a fantastically rich ancient semi-natural woodland.
Broadway Tower Country Park, Broadway, Worcs
There are fewer more picturesque walks in the Cotswolds than scaling Fish Hill from the village of Broadway, and going up to Broadway Tower. Make it to the top and take in a stunning 360 degree vista of autumn colours in the Broadway Country Park. Nip into Morris & Brown Cafe for some amazing coffee and cake to refuel. Find a tailor-made walking map at the Lygon Arms, just nip in to reception to ask for one. You can even book a guided walking tour.
Cranham, Coopers and Buckholt Wood, Gloucester, Glos
This beautiful, easy-going walk whisks you around one of England’s most treasured habitats and beech woodlands. Follow four miles of dappled sunlight and colour-popping trees to discover the cathedral-like calm of Buckholt Wood, and wonder at the dizzy heights of Cooper’s hill where for hundreds of years the foolhardy have risked their necks for cheese and glory. Autumn awesomeness with a touch of the wild and crazy.
And if autumn ambles are all about the conkers for you – try these beauties …
Head to Pittville Park in the centre of Cheltenham. Lined with huge horse chestnut trees, giant oaks and ancient yew trees, Pittville Park is a prime place for conker hunters.
Or, take a trip to a Muddy fave – the Bathurst Estate in Cirencester. This beautiful, stately park which has horses trotting by, is a dream-scape in autumn and is filled with ancient horse chestnut trees, just remember to bring a large bag.