Autumn is here. Although it’s a shame to see the end of such a momentous summer, we’re still getting some warm days and nature’s putting on the most spectacular show outside.
Although I can’t pretend to know all the great places to see the trees change, we all have our favourites – and here are some of mine:
Any drive along the A93 between Aberdeen and Braemar is a treat, with handsome stone towns and villages lining the roads, but I think it looks its best in autumn and winter. Unfortunately, a lot of Scotland is covered with pine plantations that never change colour, but along here between September and November there’s always something to see! Stop at Ballater and visit The Bothy or Rocksalt & Snails for a drink and something to eat – the town looks gorgeous with the oak woods of Craigendarroch ablaze in autumn colours behind it.
The very top pic is from Glen Affric, often called Scotland’s loveliest glen. It’s a fair windy road to get in – it takes about half an hour to drive in from Cannich. It’s a singletrack road, too, but more likely than not most of the traffic before lunch is going in, and the traffic in the afternoon heading out. Don’t forget coins, as the car park is pay and display. The UK’s remotest pay and display car park?
The Wye Valley
I drove up here once on a camping trip to southern Wales, and we were lucky to catch these colours. It felt wonderfully cosy camping up in the chill of the autumn air, with that smell of woodsmoke that always seems to be there this time of year. It was a different story at 3 in the morning when the tent was crisp with frost and our noses were cold. No-one can sleep with a cold nose. Don’t forget to visit Tintern Abbey.
This is Burrator Reservoir. It’s near Princetown, home of the notorious prison. It’s a popular spot for visitors, but moreover it’s near where I grew up. There are loads of lovely spots on Dartmoor to enjoy the colours – Lustleigh Cleave is a cracker, and the village has a number of traditional thatched roof houses, while the north-eastern corner has a great valley walk near Castle Drogo by Drewsteignton.
The Peaks boast a tea-shop-to-person ratio that’s almost on a par with the Lakes. If that alone wasn’t reason enough to visit, the colour of the bracken turning is as spectacular as any display from the trees. A carpet of rust covers the hills – here it’s near the old carved millstones left from quarrying activity.
What are your favourite places to see the colours? Whether it’s a national park, a local park or just a really lovely street near you, do let us know!