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Bolderwood
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The 9 best places to see autumn leaves in the UK

Get crunching through mounds of fallen leaves in the UK’s most beautiful autumnal landscapes

By Ellie Walker-Arnott
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The arrival of autumn in the UK is no reason to despair. Sure, it makes our almost entirely 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, socially distanced strolls. See ya on the other side, summer.

RECOMMENDED: The best autumn day trips from London

Where to see spectacular autumn colours in the UK

Westonbirt Arboretum
Westonbirt Arboretum
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Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire

Autumn goes way over the top at this Cotswold garden. Westonbirt Arboretum is home to thousands of tree species from all over the globe, and they put on an incredible display of golds, pinks, glowing reds and vibrant yellows as autumn hoves into view. Don’t miss Acer Glade or Maple Loop for extra eye-popping hues.

Mar Lodge Estate
Mar Lodge Estate
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Mar Lodge Estate, Aberdeenshire

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.

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RHS Wisley
RHS Wisley
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RHS Wisley, Surrey

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.

Stourhead
Stourhead
Photograph: Nigel Jarvis / Shutterstock.com

Stourhead, Wiltshire

Burnt orange and golden brown leaves are in abundance at Stourhead, a huge, historical landscaped garden dotted with follies, temples and rare trees. Find forest floors covered in leaves ideal for kicking and cosy spots for picnics on dry days.

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Bolderwood
Bolderwood
Photograph: Shutterstock

Bolderwood, Hampshire

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.

Winkworth Arboretum
Winkworth Arboretum
Photograph: Tan Zi Han / Shutterstock.com

Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey

Winkworth Arboretum is one colourful garden. Famous for its blaze of blooms in late spring, the landscape turns technicolour in the colder months as well. The liquidambar and maple trees are the boldest, but look out for bright berries and fungi too.

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Chiltern Hills
Chiltern Hills
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Coombe Hill, Buckinghamshire

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.

Kielder Forest
Kielder Forest
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Kielder Forest, Northumberland

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.

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Grizedale Forest
Grizedale Forest
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Grizedale Forest, Cumbria

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.

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