Best autumn walks in the UK

Pull on the wellies and feel the chill on your cheeks as you head out for an autumn walk. Autumn is the most wonderful season for being presented with a riot of reds, oranges and browns as nature puts on its incredible display. As the leaves fall we’re often then treated to views unveiled from their summer cloaks and we get a sense of space once more. We’ve scoured the country and come up with our favourite autumn walks in the UK.

1. Divis, County Antrim

September and October offer the chance to see the glorious purple carpet of devil’s-bit scabious. If you can, enjoy this walk without a four-legged friend, and at a quiet time, so there’s a chance you may spot a peregrine falcon or red grouse.

2. King Alfred’s Tower Walk, Wiltshire

A five-mile route which is splendid in autumn takes you up through the vibrant colours of the woodland up towards Kin Alfred’s Tower itself. The views across the lake are usually wonderful at this time of year, and the formal landscaping of the gardens below make it all the more wonderful.

3. Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent

Take one of the numerous trails through the Forestry Commission’s Bedgebury Pinetum, and enjoy the russets and evergreens vying for attention. The trees themselves are the autumnal stars of the show here, and whilst they look incredible as a whole, you’ll find some unique individual characters, too. If you have children with you they will love the Highway Rat trail whilst you get to enjoy nature’s display.

4. Fountains Abbey, North Yorks

The crumbled ruin makes a fantastic contrast to the autumnal palette on show around you. Blow away the cobwebs and enjoy this walk, particularly listening to the music of the river as you go.

5. Teign Gorge Walk, Devon

Starting at Castle Drogo, this infamous walk taking in Fingle Bridge was once a packhorse trail in the 13th century. You’ll be spoilt with the depth and character of the autumnal foliage as you follow the path along the Teign. You’ll come back through an ancient oak woodland, perfect for kicking the fallen leaves.

6. Blickling Estate Walk (David Brady Walk), Norfolk

Now named after Blickling’s retired head ranger, this route nips in and out of a woodland making it perfect for an autumn stroll. You’ll get up close with the trees as they shed their summer cover, as well as be able to take the colours in from a distance. Here you’ll find English classics such as oaks, beech and the beautiful sweet chestnuts. Being a National Trust site you can warm up after your walk in the Blickling Hall café with a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

7. Brownsea Island, Dorset

For unspoilt nature at its finest, head to Brownsea for peace and tranquillity. Underneath the beech and hazel trees, you may spot a timid red squirrel, nestling in beautifully with the colours at this time of year. If the chance for nature spotting and autumn trees isn’t enough, this is a quiet time of the year for enjoying the Brownsea coastline and views.

8. Nant Gwynant, Gwynedd

With the tourist filled months now past, autumn is a fabulous time to head to the lower slopes of Snowden to the Nant Gwynant valley. At this time of year, you can expect some silence, spotting fungi at the edges of the path. As the route rises you can look down on the fabulous oaks of the woodland in all their glory.

9. Long Mynd, Shropshire

The brisk winds start to be bracing as we head in to the autumn on the Long Mynd, but they aren’t yet too biting as to leave your eyes streaming. Surrounding you the hills meld in to ochres and yellows, orange and chocolate. We thoroughly recommend an early wake-up call so that you can experience this area when the autumn fog dances around your feet – it’s magical.

10. Wicken Fen Boardwalk, Cambridgeshire

If it’s starting to get muddy under foot, but you’re not ready for the full “wellington boot look” just yet, then head to Wicken Fen Nature Reserve. The boardwalk here offers a unique walk with a sturdy footfall. The sedge almost glows with colour and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to spot the local wildlife.

Autumn is such a wonderful time to get out and enjoy the British countryside as it puts on a natural showcase. Make the most of it with a walk and then perhaps head to a pub with a roaring fire to warm up.

You can also discover the best walks in the UK during the summer here.