Top 10 autumn walks: the best gardens, parks and forests to see the colours change around the UK

Wherever you are around the country, there is the most spectacular autumn foliage to enjoy in parks and forests at this time of year. We round up our top 10 autumn walks, plus where to stay if you fancy an overnight escape.

Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
Sherwood Forest, 620
Britain’s best loved heritage forest

Head to Robin Hood’s old haunt and enjoy over 20 miles of golden colour. The pines create a beautiful contrast as you walk or cycle through the forest.

Where to stay

Embrace nature and stay in a log cabin within the forest itself.

Grizedale, Lake District
Grizdale Forest 620
Changing colours in Grizedale Forest

The glorious lakes often steal the show in the Lake District, but Grizedale Forest during the autumn is something that has to be seen. The burnt oranges and yellows are the perfect backdrop for the number of sculptures scattered throughout the forest.

Where to stay

For a cosy pub with rooms, the Drunken Duck Inn is a short drive away. Or for those wanting a romantic and luxurious hideaway, Gilpin Hotel and Lakehouse is a spa-lover’s delight.

See for yourself! Our top autumn walks on social media:

The Chatsworth Estate
Chatsworth Autumn 620
Autumnal colours on the 1000 acre estate designed by Capability Brown

Not only does the estate have acres of woodland and manicured gardens to explore, the Peak District National Park has endless hills and dales for you and the dogs to enjoy with trails ranging from challenging hikes to relaxing strolls.

Where to stay

Set on the Chatsworth Estate, The Devonshire Arms at Beeley provides a fabulously cosy base for a walking holiday in Derbyshire. Well-behaved dogs can stay in any of the four luxurious Brookside House rooms. The Devonshire Arms is celebrated for its excellent British dishes – the perfect refuelling stop after a long day of roaming. For more walks with dog-friendly hostelries nearby try PetsPyjamas.

Faskally Wood, Perthshire
Faskally Wood, Nr Pitlochry 620
Reflecting colours at Faskally Wood in Perthshire

Perthshire is one of the best counties in Scotland for a stunning glow of seasonal colours, with Faskally Wood a top location. After a day of admiring the reflection of the colours in Loch Dunmore, stick around for the lights, music and illuminations of The Enchanted Forest.

Where to stay

Live like royalty in an authentic Scottish castle nearby.

Exmoor National Park, Devon
Exmoor, Devon, 620
Burnt orange on Exmoor

The wild and rugged beauty of Exmoor comes alive in autumn. With acres of forest and a huge variety of activities nearby it’s a perfect family holiday.

Autumn is also rutting season for the resident deer so listen out for the bellows of amorous stags!

Where to stay

Spend your evenings in a luxurious tree house just a short drive from the forest. If you want a more traditional stay, Holnicote House at Selworthy is a lovely National Trust property near the village of Selworthy at the heart of a 12,500-acre estate in the Exmoor National Park.

For those wanting to explore the beach and the forests, Oak View (sleeps 2) log cabin sits on the edge of Exmoor and in easy striking distance of the wonderful sandy beaches of Croyde, Woolacombe and Westward Ho and has breathtaking views over a private three acre carp fishing lake.

Sheffield Park, East Sussex
Sheffield Park, East Sussex 620
An East Sussex gem

In autumn Sheffield Park transforms into a kaleidoscope of rich oranges and reds. An easy jaunt from London and the south, the stunning array of trees, flowers and fauna is well worth a visit.

Where to stay

You can camp in stylish yurts just a 10-minute walk away from the park at Wowo Campsite or head for the luxury of Ashdown Park Hotel just down the road.

Thetford Forest, Norfolk
Thetford Forest, Norfolk, 620
Varying shades in Thetford Forest

Although Thetford is well known for being the UK’s largest lowland pine forest, there is still a medley of colours to be seen there this autumn.

Where to stay

Spend the night at Thorpe Forest Holiday cabins and you’ll never need to leave the forest!

Forest of Dean
Forest Of Dean 620
Spend a night in the Forest of Dean

The Forest of Dean really comes into its own in the autumn months, with oak, beech and sweet chestnut trees all combining to create the most stunning mix of rusty reds and glorious golds.

Where to stay

Unwind in the forest itself in a luxury cabin, complete with hot tub.

Kew Gardens, Richmond
Kew Gardens, Richmond, 620
Shades of red and gold at Kew Gardens

Just a stone’s throw from central London, Kew Gardens is the perfect place for city-dwellers to take in the wonder of autumn unfolding.  Head to the Woodland Gardens for the best mix of colours.

Where to stay

London can be an expensive place for a weekend break. The London Richmond Hotel has rooms from £69 per night and is well located for Richmond Park and Kew Gardens.

Bedgebury, Kent
Bedgebury Forest 620
Bedgebury Forest ablaze with colour

It’s not called the Garden of England for nothing, sit back and enjoy the show of colours at Bedgebury Forest just outside Tunbridge Wells.

Where to stay

Combine coast and country and stay at The Gallivant. This casual, beach-chic boutique hotel is across the road from the shore and has fantastic food and wine offerings. An easy half an hour away, lies the turning colours of Bedgebury’s gardens.

Pictures from Alamy