As I begin to type this thunder breaks above my house, a stark reminder that summer is sadly over and a new season is beginning. However, there is something truly special about autumn; watching the leaves change to bright hues of red, orange and yellow and the beautiful mornings with mildew on the ground and a light chill to the air to remind you winter is ever so near.
One of my favourite autumn pastimes is walking in the countryside, as the landscape dramatically changes ready for winter and the presence of wildlife becomes more apparent. So here are a few of my must visit places in autumn. Feel free to leave your favourites in the comments.
4 Amazing Autumnal Walks In The UK
Lake Shearwater, Wiltshire – I may be slightly biased with this location as it is right on my doorstep, but this is truly a place of beautiful views, wildlife and serenity at its finest. Autumn just adds that final magic touch as the woodlands are transformed from seas of green leaves to bright and beautiful autumnal colours. The lake is also a marvellous place for bird watchers; the clear waters bring a magnitude of birds from storks to kingfishers to feast on the fresh fish supply the lake can provide them. Around the lakeside, large woodland filled with tracks for walkers of all abilities and another special treat for families is the hand-crafted wooden tepees which children can explore. There is also plenty of fishing pegs for those of you who enjoy a more relaxed day by the water’s edge.
Dark Hedges, Ballymoney, Northern Ireland – This is one for the fans of Game Of Thrones who are eagerly awaiting the final season. Dark Hedges is one of the filming locations for the popular television series Game Of Thrones. This mystical place filled with entwined beech wood trees was planted back in the 18th century by the Stuart family; it was spotted by a Game Of Thrones Location spotter and was used for the King’s Road scenes. Walk along this famous road and envisage yourself as one of the characters, watching the leaves fall letting you know “Winter is coming”. If driving is more your thing, the Dark Hedges has also been ranked in the Top 12 Best Road Trips.
The New Forest, Hampshire – This is a place full of fond childhood memories for myself, the place where I went on my first residential trip with school and it has kept a place in my heart ever since. The main reason I treasure this place so much is due to the wild ponies, which can be seen through the forest and even in pastures near villages. These ponies are allowed to wander freely throughout the forest and approximately 3000 inhabit the New Forest today. If you prefer to venture deeper into the forest you could also have the pleasure of spotting various deer as well as the open heaths which are home to a variety of snakes and reptiles.
Richmond to Easby Abbey, North Yorkshire – Starting off at the waterfalls in the River Swale you venture around the outskirts of the historical market town of Richmond this walk ends at Easby Abbey which is steeped in history as well as local tales of ghost sightings. This area is well known for the tale of the lost drummer boy, a tale in which during the 18th Century a group of soldiers discovered a tunnel which they could use to gain access from Richmond castle to Easby. The soldiers were too big to fit in the tunnel so they sent the little drummer boy down and he was instructed to beat his drum so the soldiers could followed the beat and be lead above ground to the Abbey. When they reached Easby Wood the drumming stopped and the little drummer boy was never seen again, still to this day there is a Drummer Boy Stone which lies at the point of the last beat. This is an ideal walk for an autumn night, perhaps on Halloween if you’re brave, as legend goes on a night the boy can still be heard drumming.
Where are your favourite places to take the best autumnal walks? Let us know….
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