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Enjoy the Wonders of a British Autumn

Autumn is one of the most delightful seasons in Britain. Colour and natural beauty are everywhere, demanding that even the busiest person pause and take notice.

Heathered slopes take on magnificent cloaks of purple and hedgerows become nature’s pantry for birds and wildlife with scarlet berries, rosehips and seedheads galore.

Rolling hills are dressed in rust-coloured bracken and woodland walks offer a soft carpet of golden beech leaves underfoot. Extraordinary growths of misshapen fungi sprout from tree roots and are delightfully photogenic before disappearing as quickly as they came.

Ancient oaks celebrate the season with a new vibrancy of red, gold and russet leaves. As trees begin to shed their dense foliage, glimpses of new horizons and distant views reappear, previously obscured by summer greenery.

Squirrels scamper ahead, foraging for acorns to scavenge and bury for the colder, leaner days of winter. You may even spot grazing deer or a majestic stag if you are really lucky. Overhead, chattering birds gather on telephone lines preparing to sojourn south.

As bright summer mornings give way to misty dawns and the sun turns pale and wan, there is no better time than autumn to don a warm woolly jumper and sturdy walking boots and set off for a bracing outdoor adventure.

Alternatively plan a weekend break to one of Britain’s beautiful national parks when accommodation is cheap and the stunning scenery is free to enjoy.

Dartmoor National Park is magnificent in autumn. Ponies come down from their summer grazing and buzzards and skylarks can be seen scouring the moorland heath.

The Lake District is particularly wonderful in this season. Go fishing for salmon or take a boat trip and enjoy being surrounded by the stunning colours of autumn. The lakes make a perfect place for a hike and a picnic, or head to a riverside inn in the Yorkshire Dales for a well-earned bowl of steaming soup with crusty bread.

The Forest of Dean is an outdoor adventurer’s playground with horse riding, mountain biking and scenic riverside walks.

Pass beneath the branches of 600-year old oak trees in Sherwood Forest and imagine the generations of visitors who have trod that path before.

Try an exhilarating kayaking trip down the swollen River Wye or climb one of the challenging hills in the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District.

All around Britain’s coastline there are long sandy beaches, which are now deserted of brightly coloured beach chairs and flapping windbreaks. Firm flat sands are ideal for long walks beside the crashing waves and foam-dashed rocks.

When the tide is in, enjoy the short sharp ascents and corresponding descents of the South West Coastal Path in the fresh sea air.

Victorian landscapers often had an eye for autumn colour in their designs. What was a vision in their mind’s eye 150 years ago has become a glorious heritage in many National Trust estates, woodlands and arboretums.

Winkworth Arboretum in Surrey is a wonderful example. It offers a glorious blaze of fiery colour from the red maples and the well-named liquidambars which reflect on the nearby lake.

Lanhydrock in Cornwall is at its very best in autumn with scarlet acers and yellow tulip trees decorating the sloping gardens that run down to the Fowey River.

If all this fails to stir you into action, why not simply enjoy a scenic drive through our wonderful British countryside to celebrate the glorious season of autumn?

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