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Walkin’ on (Autumn) Sunshine – the Best Places in the UK to Watch the Leaves Fall

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Pop on your wellies, find your favourite scarf and get ready for some serious leaf kicking – autumn’s here and it’s time to go for a walk! Nothing says British beauty like crisp cold air and changing colours. We’ve put some hiking miles under our collective boots to bring you the best autumn walks in the UK.

The Woods of Faskally, Pitlochry

When it comes to autumn walks, the Scots have got it nailed. Lace up your hiking boots and get up to Pitlochry in Perthshire in time for the seasonal change. You’ll be treated to everything good Mother Nature has to offer: ancient trees cloaked in red and gold, the hills alive with colour, and of course the legendary Highland stags in full throated voice.

Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire

Where do you head when you want to revel in some real autumnal glory? Somewhere full of trees. Westonbirt Arboretum is one of the biggest and most beautiful tree plantings in the country, and it’s stuffed with species from all over the world. Great for family walks, the whole place can be circumnavigated in around three hours. There’s a lovely little café too.

Ashdown Forest, East Sussex

The model for Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood, and one of the most beautiful places in England, Ashdown Forest is the quintessential English walk – only bigger. Think rolling hills, splendid downs and clumps of forest (the original thick tree cover hasn’t been seen in these parts for hundreds of years). Then magnify the lot over 6,500 acres. Drop in anywhere off the A22 to see if you can find the hundred of them A.A. Milne was so fascinated by. And don’t miss the opportunity to play Pooh sticks with the kids!

Hackfall Wood, near Masham, North Yorkshire

This Site of Special Scientific Interest is a lot more manageable than Ashdown – at 120 acres, it’s much easier to get around! If you’ve got a day to spare and a decent camera, spend your time getting to know the streams, waterfalls and old ruins that dot the landscape. You’ll be treading the same pathways, and seeing the same vistas that inspired some of the greatest writers and artists in history. J.M.W Turner was a fan: and so was Wordsworth. Pack a flask of hot chocolate and step back in time.

Marwood, North Devon

North Devon’s got a secret: it isn’t all moorland and coastlines. Between Ilfracombe and Barnstaple, in the heart of surf-and-pasty country, there’s a small private botanical garden called Marwood. Planted to take the visitor on an enchanted wander down the slopes of a valley, and into the forest floor, Marwood comes alive in autumn with the vivid reds and golds of Japanese maple. Follow the trail to a grove of silver birch, and do some green-fingered learning with the family in the water garden. When you’re done, there’s a tea shop whose veranda gives unparalleled views of the places you’ve just been.

You can book your train ticketshotels and car hire from redspottedhanky.com – and if you book in advance, you’ll get the best prices. So wrap up warm, grab the family and head for the hills. We’ll see you there!

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