The seasons are changing, and so are the colours on our trees. Discover some of the most beautiful places around the UK to see the bright, bold autumn colours that will rival even New England's display in America.
New Forest National Park
Explore Hampshire and Witlshire's treasured New Forest National Park this autumn, one of England's oldest and most loved forests. From idyllic pastures and bushy heathland, to wild and ancient woodland and cliff top walks, the New Forest's 219 square miles of protected green space has plenty of stunning landscapes for you to discover in autumn time. Walk for miles among magnificent oak trees that are over 800 years old and eldery beeches reaching an impressive 400 years or take an autumnal stroll along the park's ?secret' coastline. You make even spot one of the forest's most popular residents - the New Forest pony - grazing contently between the trees along the way. Deer, polecats, cattle and donkeys also live in the park and roam free in the grasslands so make sure you keep an eye out! To have the best chance of seeing some beautiful wildlife, head to Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary that hosts a purpose-built, public platform for spotting deer that overlooks a large, open meadow. Most of the New Forest also allows the access of dogs so you won't have to leave your four-legged friend behind!
Popular attractions for all the family are also nearby if you're wanting to take a detour - Paulton's Park and the internationally renowned National Motor Museum at Beaulieu are both fun-filled day outs for all ages!
The Lake District
The Lake District is the largest national park in England and one of the best places to witness the changing of the seasons. Boasting 16 marvellous lakes in total and many beautiful forests and picturesque villages, the Cumbrian park has most definitely earned its title of a World Heritage Site. Journey through its many mountain passes and driving routes to fully appreciate the grandeur of the landscape and take advantage of all of the stops you can take along the way to really make a fabulous weekend out of your trip.The 30 mile stretch of road between Kendal and Keswick in particular is perfect if you want to see some breath-taking views of Lakeland fells, Lake Windermere and Lake Thirlmere. Just be aware of the hoards of sheep that like to wander onto the roads!
You could also choose to shelter from the crisp autumn air by taking a stroll down one of Grizedale Forest's endless and sheltered woodland trails in the Lake District. With magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and stunning sculptures scattered throughout the forest, there is plenty for you to discover here. For the adrenaline-junkies among us, take to the skies and swing through the treetops on one of the forest's dedicated GoApe courses. There are also many challenging cycling and mountain bike trails for you to zoom down.
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
Thanks to its fabulous host of Western Atlantic oaks that grow in clusters, Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve in Scotland is a riot of vibrant orange and yellow in autumn. The Trossachs National Park is also the centre point of the magnificent Loch Lomond, the largest inland stretch of water in the UK by surface area. Hike along the The Millennium Forest Trail on the western shore through the groves of ancient oaks to reach a glorious viewing-point of the loch. Driving towards the glens of the Trossachs from the south will also reward you with stunning views of the glistening loch and the sloping burnt-orange hillsides without leaving the comfort of your car.
For a more close-up and personal encounter with the loch, bundle up in some warm clothing and hop on one of the dedicated loch cruises that will sail you around its peaceful waters. This is also the perfect opportunity for you to spot some local wildlife in the waters or along the beautiful coastline. If you'd like to stay longer exploring all the wonderful scenery that is on offer, you can also pitch your own tent at one of the campsites along the shoreline and sleep under the stars.
Thetford Forest, straddling the border between Norfolk and Suffolk, is the largest man-made lowland forest in Britain and covers over 19,000 hectares of land. It has an interesting history and was created after the First World War to alleviate timber shortages. The sheer density of evergreen pine trees, oak, maple and walnut means that this forest truly comes alive in autumn in bold swathes of orange and gold. The Lynford Arboretum in particular is a hive of birds, sweet-smelling flowers and autumn funghi - its magnificent display of autumn colours is not to be missed! A dog agility course is also available here if you wish to bring your furry friend and put them to the test!
High Lodge at Thetford Forest is also kitted out with its own tree-top adventure courses, mountain bike routes and even segway tours for you to enjoy. For those gloriously sunny autumn days, pack a picnic bag and head to St Helen's picnic site for a delicious lunch by the river.
Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean
Wye Valley on the borders of both England and Wales is beautiful all year round, but make sure you pay a visit in the autumn as the landscape really comes alive in vibrant hues of orange and red. The riverside ruins of the 12th century Cistercian abbey of Tintern is particularly stunning set against the golden landscape. The surrounding historic Forest of Dean is one of the last surviving ancient woodlands in England and also offers numerous river and hill walks for all abilities to enjoy. You can even try something new and go kayaking, caving, archery or even try your hand at handling some magnificent birds of prey - you will never run out of fun-packed activities to do here that includes all of the family! At the end of the day, you can make a stop at the picturesque village of Symonds Yat near the Welsh border - the village boasts a fantastic birds-eye view of the entire valley and the River Wye winding through it.
A must visit while you're here is also Puzzlewood, a location in the heart of The Forest of Dean famed for its reputed connection to JRR Tolkien's mythical forests in Middle Earth. You will feel transported to another world entirely exploring these ancient woods where anything feels possible - even magic! This magical and distinctly unique atmosphere is probably why it's such a popular filming location, featuring in Doctor Who and Star Wars among other big hits.