Say hello to Autumn and quintessential England
Summer has gone and winter is looming. It’s time to wrap up warm, get your boots on and enjoy the most beautiful landscapes of the year. Autumn is upon us.
It’s fair to say that Autumn and the landscapes it produces exactly suit the faintly reflective nature of walking itself. Suddenly you long for the squeeze of sturdy boots and the smell of your old Barbour; all delightful preludes to the perfect Autumn walk.
This is the season that makes you want to seize those crisp mornings when the air is brisk and the shade of burnt amber moves from summer skin to fallen leaves. And what could be more invigorating than a bracing walk?
Great writers say that walking is the best possible generator of thought. Follow in the footsteps of Keats and head outside to make the most of Autumn. Take a stroll, let your senses come alive and celebrate fresh air and the empty path ahead.
For Keats, autumn was famously a “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”, and it’s easy to see why. It’s not just about those gorgeously coloured chemicals that take over in the leaves when photosynthesis finally stumbles to a halt at summer’s end. There’s just something in the air.
So which walks make the best of the season? Some are for romantics, some for the adventurous, some for artists – and some for poets, of course. It’s just a question of picking your route whether it’s the moors of Scotland, the cliffs of Wales or somewhere in between.
hoosing autumn walks is as much fun as deciding which shows to attend; there are tree colours to consider, bird life, history – not to mention the challenge of the terrain itself. Here’s our pick of the best (no reservations necessary).
Keats’s walk, Winchester – Strolling along the pathway it’s easy to see how Keats was inspired by this landscape to write his famous ode ‘To Autumn’.
St. Cutherberts Way, Northumberland – This costal walk is incredible when the tide is out, finishing inland. For a varied landscape and compelling views it’s a must.
Winchesters Water meadows, Winchester – These meadows are at their best at this time of year and nothing will disturb your sense of tranquillity here.
Box Hill, Surrey – For more strenuous walking head to Surrey. It’s steep but once you’re at the top, the view of the Surrey landscape is spectacular.
New Forest, Hampshire – The New Forest is particularly beautiful at this time of year; it’s without a doubt the best time to visit.
Cotswolds, West Central England – For a slice of quintessential England the Costwolds offers numerous leafy walks to be enjoyed.
Lake Derwent, Keswick – The Lake District boasts so many picturesque walks, but a winner every time is Lake Derwent. The most popular way to enjoy the beauty of the lake is simply walking the paths around its shores