After a long summer, this past week we have seen a change in the temperature and it’s finally starting to feel a whole lot more like autumn. Now that it’s time to wrap up warm, we thought it would be useful to share some of our favourite walking destinations so you can enjoy the beauty of the season to the full.
Visit the Palladian mansion and world-famous landscape garden at Stourhead to see the cool October sun shine resting on trees that are in full autumn bloom surrounding the Palladian bridge and the lakeside Pantheon.
When Stourhead was first opened in the 1740s, it was described as ‘a living work of art’ by a local magazine. The famous landscape garden features a magnificent lake in the centre that reflects classical temples, mystical grottoes, and rare and exotic trees. Stourhead offers a day of fresh air and discovery and is perfect for exploring everything autumn has to offer.
A forest park immersed in history, Tollymore is a rare treat. With stone cones atop gate piers and glorious gothic-style gate arches, that highly individualistic character of the designer, Thomas Wright of Durham (1711-1786), (who was a friend of Lord Clanbrassil, owner of Tollymore at that time) is ever-present.
There are so many interesting features to be seen walking along the Shimna River. Rocky outcrops, bridges, grottos and caves are just a few of the unique structures. Exotic trees such as monkey puzzle and eucalyptus can be found in the park as well as tall giant redwoods and Monterey pines. The Oak wood found in Tollymore was the material used to create the interiors of the White Star liners including the 'Titanic' which was built in Belfast. A splendid avenue of Deodar cedars makes for a striking entrance to this romantic forest park in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains. Visit this park in autumn to see it in all its red and gold glory.
If you keep an eye out, you might even recognise a few spots in this park from our brochures!
This large area of woodland and river scenery has miles of way marked walks through ornamental and ancient woods. Allen Banks is a fantastic home for nature such as flora, fauna and fungi- if you’re lucky, you can view over 70 species of birds at Allen Banks and a number of mammals such as roe deer, dormice, otters and bats.
Keep your eyes peeled for the remains of a medieval Pele tower and a reconstructed Victorian summerhouse and ornamental pond during the wonderful woodland walks. You can also cross a chain bridge surrounded by a wall of copper beech trees in autumn.
These beautiful gardens come from humble beginnings. The magnificent abbey was established by monks who were seeking a simpler existence. The grounds are very atmospheric and the ruins that remain are a peaceful reminder of a simpler time. When the socially ambitious John Aislabie inherited Studley Royal, he set about creating an elegant water garden of mirror-like ponds, statues and follies, incorporating the pretty ruins into his design.
The green lawns stretch down to the riverside, a perfect spot for an autumn picnic. Paths along the riverside lead to the deer park, home to Red, Fallow and Sika deer and ancient trees; limes, oaks, and chestnuts. This special place is one of a kind and is now recognised as a World Heritage Site.
Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, is one of the finest collections of temperate trees and shrubs in the world. The 600 acre arboretum is home to 2,500 different species of trees and over 15,000 individual specimens- perfect if you are planning an autumn nature trail. This beautiful forest park offers an unforgettable day out, with the autumnal colour explosion of the world famous Japanese maples well worth a visit in October.