As the leaves turn crisp and a chill begins to fill the air, there’s no better time to wrap up warm and see some of nature’s finest moments on scenic autumn walks. We’ve picked a handful of some of the UK’s best to get you started.
The Enchanted Forest Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland
With its rolling hills ablaze with colour, Perthshire is great for autumn walks. The Enchanted Forest event (3-26 October) takes place every year and sees the woodland transformed into a fantastical world of light and sound. As you walk, trees glow and wonders announce themselves. To get you in the mood for the turn of the season, there’s mulled wine and chocolate.
Lyme Park, Peak District
Once a great sporting estate, Lyme Park sits on the edge of the Peak District and offers stunning views and picturesque walks. The medieval estate hosts red and fallow deer, which are easier to spot as the leaves drop.
Quantock Hills, Somerset
The Quantock Hills are a utopia for walking, biking and horse riding. Once home to the great poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the Hills are full of the beauty which has inspired great poetry (Coleridge completed Kubla Khan and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner while residing there). You can visit his cottage and follow his footsteps along the Coleridge Way walk, which passes through the hills.
Lizard Point, Cornwall
A favourite location for watching the autumn bird migration, Lizard Point is the place to catch some of the most diverse examples of birdlife. You may also catch a glimpse of the bird kingdom’s more exotic guests for a splash of welcome colour.
Brecon Canal, Brecon Beacons, Wales
Experience the Brecon Canal towpath, complete with its community of painted boats, bridges and an aqueduct. A mild terrain walk, the towpath is 35 metres long and can be broken up into sections as you travel through the villages of the Usk Valley. Be sure to sample a local pub along the way.
Top tips for walking
Whether you’re a veteran hiker or are just starting out, it’s important to wear appropriate walking clothing and invest in some kit. The essentials you need to pack are listed below:
- Walking boots or shoes with adequate grip and waterproof lining. Make sure you wear them around the house, to the supermarket, when walking the dog – anywhere – to break them in before you embark on your first hike.
- Invest in a few quality pairs of socks to safeguard against blisters. A merino wool composition is ideal because it is breathable and has wicking properties
- Lots of thin layers is better than chunky jumpers and coats, which can weigh you down and give you more to carry. Layers are great for peeling off and piling on as the weather changes.
- Make sure your hands and head stay warm with hats, gloves and buffs
- Consider investing in telescopic walking poles for extra stability when terrain is wet and slippery
- Most importantly, ensure you pack an emergency kit – just in case! This should contain a first aid kit, map, compass, whistle for attracting attention, wind-up torch and an emergency shelter (such as tarpaulin), if you’re planning a long walk.
Cameron Walls is a keen nature explorer and blogger. He blogs regularly about wildlife in the UK and abroad and his experiences exploring fascinating places.