The UK's best autumn walks

Caroline Cassidy

The weather might be turning a little bit chillier and the evenings drawing in but the countryside can be spectacular at this time of year - the autumn leaves, ranging from bright yellow to deep red, hedges laden with berries and early morning mists make for a glorious country walk.

autumn walks uk
autumn walks uk

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Make the most of Britain's mellow autumnal beauty at one of these stunning spots.

Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
Boasting more than 17,000 trees from across the globe, Westonbirt is the perfect place for an autumn family walk. The colours are simply astonishing - everything from bright yellow and orange to deep red and purple - the trees are exotic (the katsura tree smells like candyfloss), and for those that aren't seasoned walkers, there is a restaurant, cafe and plant store on site. It will cost you though - adults are charged £9 and children £4 each but under-five's go free. Be aware some areas are a 'dog-free' zone.

Hackfall Wood, North Yorkshire
Located just south of the town of Masham, Hackfall Wood covers a stunning 120 acres of wild oaks, beech trees, sycamores, ash and lime, and many come from far and wide to admire the autumn colours. Old follies and ruins rise from the ancient trees... see it for yourself and you'll understand why Wordsworth and Turner loved it so much.

Pitlochry, Perthshire
More for the determined walker (you will come across the odd steep incline!), the 10 mile walk from Pitlochry to the Linn of Tummel has everything - a deep gorge, craggy rocks, monuments woodlands and a loch. Famed for its autumn colours, it's a must for keen walkers and, while you may be weary at the end of it, you'll certainly agree it was worth the trip.

Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent
Set within 350 acres of rolling Wealden countryside, Bedgebury boasts the most complete collection of conifers in the world and these stunning evergreens are mixed with broadleaved trees and open vistas. This wide range of habitats means the Pinetum is also home to birds, insets, small animals, flora and fungi so it's a great place for wildlife enthusiasts. There is also an adventure playground and Go Ape treetop experience for those who bore easily!

Lydford Gorge, Devon
Near Okehampton in Devon, Lydford Gorge is a National Trust-run area featuring rugged landscapes, woodland, whirlpools and a waterfall that's well worth walking for. The three-mile circular walk takes you from colourful autumn trees to a ravine alongside the River Lyd (the path can be slippery) but the views are spectacular and the 90-foot White Lady Waterfall (complete with kingfishers) is simply stunning.

There are so many wonderful autumn walks around Britain - let us know where your favourites are and what makes them so special...