Some of the most beautiful spots for an autumn outing

Date Posted: 14/08/2018

The National Trust has revealed some of the best locations in the UK for walking during the autumn this year. 

Here are some of our favourites: 

1) Stourhead, Wiltshire - King Alfred’s Tower walk: Stourhead is one of the South West’s most celebrated sites for autumnal colours and its five mile walk takes you up through beautiful mixed woodlands to King Alfred’s Tower, a 160ft tall folly designed for Stourhead’s owner Henry Hoare II in 1772. If you need a refresher after all that walking, head for a warm drink or snack at Gothic Cottage, nestled among the trees.

2) Petworth Park, West Sussex - Ancient tree walk: With over 700 acres of parkland to explore, Petworth Park is dotted with ancient features, including an oak tree that has survived since the 12th century and still puts on a spectacular show of colour every year. If you visit in October or November you might also get to see the annual deer rut, where the males compete for a mate.

Petworth Park

Pictured: Petworth Park (Photo credit: National Trust & Christ Lacey).

3) Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk - Church and Ice House walk: With its autumn foliage and fungi, the Great Wood at Felbrigg is said to be one of Norfolk’s best kept secrets. Take a stroll down the ‘Victory V’ avenues, where the towering branches create tunnels of colour over your head. 

4) Croft Castle, Herefordshire - Ancient woodland walk: As you set off across the parkland of the Spanish Chestnut Avenue, you’ll be interested to know that the seeds of sweet chestnut trees were supposedly plundered from captured Spanish ships, and planted in a crescent at Croft to represent the battle formation of the Spanish Armada fleet. By the end of the walk you’ll have earned a warming drink in the nearby tea-room and maybe a piece of cake too?        

5) Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire - Boots, Gaiters and Vistas walk: Fountains Abbey was founded in 1132 by 13 disillusioned Benedictine monks from York. Now a crumbling ruin, the remains make an impressive sight when they’re surrounded by bright reds, oranges and golds from the autumnal foliage. You might even spot some of the 500 wild deer grazing in the deer park. 

6) Stackpole, Pembrokeshire: If you’re looking for something different to do with your group, why not try the coastline of Stackpole. With the clear waters and sandy dunes of Barafundle Bay, take a bracing stroll along the wind-swept clifftops, or meander your way among the woods at the edge of the Bosherston Lily Pond. If you’re really lucky you might even spot an otter.             

7) Mount Stewart, County Down - Red Trail: Voted one of the top ten gardens in the world, Mount Stewart was designed by Lady Londonderry to be full of colour. During autumn you’ll find bursts of red and gold foliage everywhere, whether you’re taking a short stroll around the gardens or exploring the wider area. You’ll also get to take in some beautiful views over Strangford Lough. 

The National Trust looks after more than 250 places to visit in the UK and offers groups inspiration and information needed to plan trips. 

For more information on any of these walks and about group bookings visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk.

Lead image: Fountains Abbey (photo credi: National Trust & Chris Lacey).

facebook twitter