Autumn walks

Best autumn walks

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Autumn is an amazing time to escape the bricks and mortar and get away from it all. The natural world turns into a kaleidoscope of colour, refreshing the landscape and creating an oasis for wildlife.

A simple walk is a great way to immerse yourself in the beauty of autumn, with scenic pathways covered under a canopy of orange and red leaves. Wrap up warm, take a flask and don’t forget your camera as you sample the stunning scenery the country has to offer at this underrated time of the year. Spread across the whole of the UK, our best autumn walks are sure to refresh your mind, body and spirit.

Nant Gwynant, North Wales

Nant Gwynant, North Wales

Ease/difficulty: Moderate

Length: 3.8 miles

Nearest park: Greenacres

We simply had to include this on our list of the best autumn walks – the primary reason being the beautiful backdrop that Snowdonia gives you. This is one of the most scenic routes you could find, not only in Wales but in the whole of the UK. And its best explored when the colder months start to set in.

The autumnal landscape is dotted with rich colours and brimming with natural beauty, and the sight of wild goats trotting across this tranquil valley is a rich reminder that the area has lay totally undisturbed throughout history. The first site of human activity comes in the form of Cwm Llan House, a 19th-century structure that once served as a near quarry manager’s house.

Little Salkeld, Lacy’s Caves and Long Meg, Cumbria

Little Salkeld, Lacy’s Caves and Long Meg, Cumbria

Ease/difficulty: A stroll

Length: 4.5 miles

Nearest park: Lakeland

Little Salkeld is a lovely area of Cumbria ideal for a refreshing autumn walk. Bursting full of enclosed woodland glades this area is the perfect showcase for autumn in the UK, striking shades of orange and yellow tumbling from the trees above.

Strolling north along the ever-flowing River Eden brings you to the intriguing Lacy’s Caves, a series of five sandstone chamber cliffs on the riverbank. They’re named after Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Lacy of Salkeld Hall who commissioned their carving in the 18th-century. Cumbria’s answer to Stonehenge is also a short distance away on foot, with Long Meg and her Daughters dating back to 1500 BC. This set of 69 stones glows in the autumn landscape.

Porlock Woodland Walk, Somerset

Porlock Woodland Walk, Somerset

Ease/difficulty: Moderate

Length: 4.1 miles

Nearest park: Doniford Bay

The town of Porlock is just a stone’s throw from the coast. Narrow roads, boutique shops and the Somerset scenery combine to make this walk one of the best during autumn. The lush landscape has inspired many poets over the years, with some of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordworth’s greatest work stemming from this route.

The walk gives you a little bit of everything. The enclosed woodland space is a reminder that you’re on the edge of one of the UK’s greatest natural spaces – Exmoor National Park. You’ll hit the coast at Porlock Bay, a site that has uncovered several archaeological finds, most notably an underwater submarine forest dating back an incredible 6,000 years. Lush, flat countryside greets you as you head back to Porlock itself.

Bignor Walk, Sussex

Bignor Walk, Sussex

Ease/difficulty: Moderate

Length: 6.5 miles

Nearest park: Church Farm

The hamlet of Bignor sits neatly within the South Downs National Park in an unspoilt part of Sussex. Autumn features in all its glory here, with towering trees shedding their leaves and completely altering the atmosphere. The waves of orange give way to Slindon, the largest traditional estate on the South Downs. An autumn walk captures its scale, depth and variety, with leafless trees unlocking the landscape.

The estate is an astonishing 1,400 hectares and overflowing with culture and heritage waiting to be explored. The history books have evidence dating back to Paleolithic times, with the site inhabited since the Bronze Age. Paths, hedges, lanes and tracks give way to over 900 acres of open-access woodland here.

Hackfall Woods, Yorkshire

Hackfall Woods, Yorkshire

Ease/difficulty: Varies

Length: As long/short as you want!

Nearest park: Blue Dolphin

Hackfall Woods comes to life in Autumn. This ancient woodland is dotted with temples and waterfalls, with the River Ure ferociously traversing through it. The sandy banks provide a perfect spot for a quick tea break on your autumn walk, with panoramic views of the surrounding scenery.

It’s hard to imagine that this area has only recently been restored to its former glory. It was previously moulded into a ‘wild romantic garden’ by the aristocratic Aislabie family in the 1700s but fell into disrepair by the mid 20th-century. The Woodland Trust have done an incredible job of making the woods a delight to visit, with walks catering to every pace and stamina.