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Grizedale Forest
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The 9 best places to see autumn leaves in the UK

Gutted summer’s over? Never fear – now you’ve got an excuse to discover the UK’s most beautiful autumnal landscapes

Ellie Walker-Arnott
Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Ellie Walker-Arnott
Sophie Dickinson

The arrival of autumn in the UK is no reason to despair. Sure, it makes our largely alfresco social lives a little trickier to maintain, but we can make it work. There are crisp bright mornings, cosy evenings and pubs with open fires to look forward to. Not forgetting great swathes of yellow, orange and brown leaves to admire.

Mid-to-late-October is the best time to see autumn leaves in the UK, and these parks and woodlands are about to become the most scenic spots for super-wholesome strolls. See ya on the other side, summer.

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Where to see spectacular autumn colours in the UK

Grizedale Forest becomes a patchwork of autumnal shades at this time of year. Backed by mountains and glassy lakes, the woodland in the Lake District National Park boasts an enticing array of walks that take in ancient beech trees, quiet valleys and crags with views of the ever-changing scenery.

A nature reserve in the middle of the Cairngorms might just be the perfect place to soak up the season in Scotland. It’s the largest such reserve in Britain, and contains four of the five highest mountains in the UK. It’s also an autumnal wonderland, with lochs and evergreen forests framed by miles of glorious colour.


The ancient woodlands of the New Forest National Park are spectacular all year round, but there’s something extra atmospheric about them in autumn. Take the Knightwood Oak or Bolderwood Radnor walking trails to see a dazzling panoply of orangey shades.


You can get a stellar view of the Chiltern Hills in all their autumnal glory from the crest of Coombe Hill. In fact, on a clear day you can see all the way to the Cotswolds. Once you’ve had your fill, tackle one of the many nearby walking trails taking you through a canopy of golden beech trees or the moss-covered Low Scrubs woodland at the foot of the hill.

A vast woodland that runs along the border between England and Scotland, Kielder Forest is scored with walking trails that take in the area’s dramatic and vibrant scenery. Fancy staying after dark? Head to the Kielder Observatory to cop a look at the autumn night sky, free from light pollution.


Seasonal events are off this year at Wisley but that won’t stop the trees and shrubs from showing off. Visit in October and November to crunch leaves underfoot and enjoy gaudy foliage in the garden’s Pinetum and Seven Acres sections.

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