IT’S “leaf-peeping” season – as the foliage in forests and woodlands takes on its fiery autumn colours and folk flock to capture the scene on camera or just enjoy the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot.
With National Trust help, we have picked out some of its top spots for autumnal colour walks, with info on how to stay for longer.
Blickling Estate, Norfolk
The trees here start to turn towards the end of September, in a dazzling display of colour throughout the gardens and estate.
Stroll under the oak, beech, lime and sweet- chestnut trees in their autumn finery and look out for fungi popping up across the estate.
Stay: There are several holiday cottages on the estate, including thatched Blacksmith’s Cottage.
Three nights’ self-catering is from £84.25 per person based on four sharing.
Longshaw, Peak District
On the eastern edge of the Peak District, Longshaw is walking country for those who like a bit of adventure.
Take a colourful stroll among ancient oaks in Padley Woods, meander along historic packhorse routes that are lined with heather and gorse, or head on to the rugged moors for views over the Hope Valley.
Bring binoculars, as you might catch sight of red deer in the distance.
Stay: White Edge Lodge is set on the moors, with panoramic Peak District views.
Seven nights’ self-catering is from £175.80 per person based on five sharing and two dogs.
Quarry Bank, Cheshire
The earthy tones of Quarry Bank mill’s brickwork set off the autumnal colours in the woodland and estate.
Crunch through leaves along rugged paths on the Southern Woods walk along the meandering River Bollin and through the woodland which was once the pleasure grounds of the mill owners.
Stay: West Lodge at Lyme Park offers three nights’ self-catering from £121.75 per person based on four sharing and two dogs.
Buckland Abbey, Devon
Wrap up warm and go for a stroll in the abbey’s historic woodlands.
The best colour palette can be found on two walking routes, which both start along the Beech Avenue, with its beautiful gold and orange foliage and views over the Tavy valley.
Explore among the oaks and beeches in Great North Wood — which also happens to be a brilliant spot for blackberrying, if you have a taste for them.
Stay: With its own garden, Cider Cottage is an ideal cosy retreat, with two nights’ self-catering from £75.50 per person based on four sharing and one dog.
Crom, County Fermanagh
Discover a landscape of islands, woodland and historic ruins on the shores of Upper Lough Erne. Crom, one of the UK’s most important nature reserves, is the largest area of oak woodland in Northern Ireland, perfect for wandering beneath the canopy of russet leaves.
You’ll also find hedgerows stuffed with autumnal fruits such as blackberries.
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Spot wading birds, otters and red squirrels gathering food to see them through winter.
Stay: A short stroll from the banks of the inky Lough Erne is Willow Cottage, with its large open fire.
Two nights’ self-catering is from £73 per person based on three sharing and one dog.
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