Natalie French

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You can't beat an autumn walk. Pull on your boots, throw on a big chunky scarf and escape outside to watch the sun dance across a kaleidoscope of scarlet reds, burnt orange and golden hues. Whether you want to wander beneath ancient towering trees; blow away the cobwebs on a coastal walk; or listen to the primeval sound of rutting deer – here are ten favourite haunts that show off the season in all its glory...
Calke Abbey

If you've yet to hear the ethereal sound of testosterone-fuelled stags, you need to get yourself to the ancient deer park, Calke Park, for the annual rutting season. Watch a feral herd of fallow and red deer excitedly prance and flutter their long lashes, whilst the males growl, groan and slam horns in a bid to bag the best females. It's also worth keeping an eye out for a small number of mini Muntjac deer living within the woodland.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Britain's only true coastal National Park covers a whopping 240 square miles of spectacular scenery around Wales' south-western shore. With 950km of public footpaths and bridleways, the Pembrokeshire National Coastal Park is ideal for a bracing autumn walk. Wildlife lovers will be in their element, with Atlantic grey seals pupping on Ramsey Island and other secluded coves; bats building fat reserves for winter hibernation and you may even be lucky enough to spot otters at Bosherton Lily Ponds, Carew Mill Pond and Castel Henllys.


The world-famous landscaped gardens on the 2,650 acre Stourhead Estate, make for the perfect family day out come autumn. Enjoy stunning views of North American maples and Japanese acers, reflected in the magnificent lake, the centrepiece of the garden. Explore the classical temples, magical grottos and ancient woodland, whilst the kids can have a field day kicking leaves and collecting conkers.

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

Enjoy stunning loch-side views of natural forestry on a seven mile walk from Balmaha to Rowardennan, taking in the UK's largest inland body of water at Loch Lomond. Hardcore walkers can push on to the famous Scottish long-distance route, the West Highland Way. A great place to take in the vivid autumn colours in woods and hills and perhaps even climb the most southerly Munro, Ben Lomond.


The beautiful house and gardens at Mottisfont Abbey come alive this autumn with an array of art exhibition. Whilst admiring the red and gold tinged landscape, make your way to the Beech Circle to find a stunning installation created with fallen gilded trees. Make the most of the season by taking one of the daily guided autumn walks; join a local expert for a fungi foray in the woods; or shine up your best conkers for a conker competition at midday on 3rd November.

Royal Botanic Garden

The Botanics is great place to while away a beautiful autumn day. Escape the bustle of the city and sign yourself up for one of the daily garden walks, with one of the expert Garden Guides. This way you're guaranteed to spot all the seasonal delights, as well as hear the tales of the intrepid adventures behind the plants that are grown. Daily Garden Walks run daily until 31st October, 11am & 2pm, £5.

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