We may have packed away our shorts, sandals and sunglasses for another year, but we’re getting out the comfy jumpers, walking boots and woolly hats.
It’s time to embrace autumn. From clear night skies to woodland walks, here are seven reasons you don’t need to feel glum about saying bye to summer.
One of the most beautiful sights in the autumn is the dazzling display of russet hues as the leaves turn from green to golden and red. And where better to experience this explosion of colour than an arboretum? Wrap up warm and wander through the trees, crunching on leaves as you go, while breathing in the crisp autumnal air.
The UK has some stunning arboretums with some equally beautiful places to stay in the area. For Harcourt Arboretum in Oxfordshire, browse these rentals. Bodenham Arboretum in Kidderminster, Worcestershire isn’t far from these cosy retreats. You won’t be stuck for choice when you book an autumnal stay at one of these holiday homes in Nottinghamshire if you’re planning a trip to Nottingham Arboretum.
As the nights draw in, it’s time to make a flask of something hot and get outside. Autumn’s the perfect time for stargazing as it gets dark early but the winter chill hasn’t hit just yet. On a clear night, you needn’t go further than your own back garden but, to get the best view, make a holiday of it and head to an area with Dark Sky Discovery status (areas/sites officially recognised for their low levels of light pollution and good public access).
When exploring a castle or ruin on a misty autumn day, you’ll be forgiven for mistaking a patch of fog for a spooky apparition. For a lot of people, autumn’s a time for reflection. And what better place to think about past seasons and goings on than a place steeped in history?
A visit to Stonehenge in Wiltshire is sure to send a shiver down your spine. After a fascinating day out, why not head back to one of these holiday rentals where you can ponder how our Neolithic ancestors transported those stones. If remote castles are your bag, book a stay on the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides and take a boat trip to Kisimul Castle, known locally as the Castle on the Sea. Or maybe a stay in Whitby and a visit to Whitby Abbey, with its gothic architecture and haunting history, will leave you feeling inspired this autumn.
If you want to avoid the crowds, then autumn is one of the best times to whisk your loved one away for a romantic break. Not only are there fewer sightseers to skirt around, the parks are full of fallen leaves to kick your way through, hand in hand. The restaurants are quieter for cosy candlelit dinners and the chillier nights mean snuggling on the sofa by the fire.
Try a stay in one of these holiday homes in Durham, where you can enjoy a boat cruise through the leafy riverbanks. Take a leisurely stroll through the cobbled streets of Bath before cooking supper at one of these holiday rentals. Or for peaceful seclusion, book a place in the New Forest.
Autumn wouldn’t be autumn without the smell of bonfires in the air and the glow of pumpkins at Halloween. Organised bonfire and firework displays are the safest bet and there are plenty up and down the country. If you’re heading off at half-term, why not pack a pumpkin or two so the kids can carve a spooky creation?
If you want to be part of the biggest and most traditional Bonfire night celebrations in the UK, book a rental in Lewes, East Sussex. For a more family-focused event, find a place in Perth near the celebrations which include a fun fair and live music. Or maybe join a ghost walk in York or Edinburgh…if you dare!
As lovely as it is to spend an evening at home watching Autumnwatch, it doesn’t compare with getting up close and personal with the wildlife yourself. Squirrels, hedgehogs and dormice can be potted stashing away nuts and berries for the winter. All varieties of fungi start popping up and birds get ready for migrating to warmer climes.
Have a go at mushroom picking in Wales when you book a guided tour near one of these holiday homes in Abergavenny. Take some binoculars with you when you stay in Liverpool so you’re all set for red squirrel-spotting in Formby. To see an exhilarating deer rut, book a stay in Scotland’s beautiful Cairngorms National Park.
It’s not just animals that feel the need to stock up and curl up in preparation for the coming winter – we humans feel it too! After all, that’s what the takeaway and the box set was invented for, right? Holidays aren’t just about getting away; they can be about hiding away, recharging the batteries and doing very little.