The kids are going back to school, the mornings have got a bit chillier, and we’re no longer hanging on for a barbeque summer. Autumn is here and it’s the ideal time for a getaway.

Holiday cottages are ideal for an autumn break in the UK, offering you freedom, flexibility and a great choice of locations and activities connected with them.

Here are our suggestions for things to do in the UK in autumn, whether it’s a short break or something more substantial.


Romantic Autumn in the Lakes and Cumbria

The Lake District looks glorious this time of year, with forests and woodland turning multiple shades of gold, orange and brown.

At Brockhole, the landscaped garden takes on a whole different quality with their many autumn colours. The garden is designed as a series of south and west facing terraces, sloping down towards Lake Windermere.

Much of the garden’s look and content still retains the original designs of its founder, Thomas Mawson.

The romantic poet, William Wordsworth is closely associated with the Lake District and you can visit both his Georgian Townhouse in Cockermouth, Cumbria, and his rural home, Dove Cottage, in Grasmere.

Grizedale Forest is a treasure trove of autumnal beauty in the Lakes. Between Windermere and Coniston, at Hawkshead, the forest has larch, elder, beech and oak trees in abundance, with the addition of woodland sculptures by notable artists such as David Nash and Andy Goldsworthy.

If the weather turns colder, there are many superb pubs to choose from in the Lake District, where you can warm yourself up while tasting some fine food and drink.

The Masons Arms at Cartmel Fell has a traditional, low-beamed downstairs and a more spacious restaurant upstairs, serving excellent local produce. You’ll also find exquisite meals at the Drunken Duck in Ambelside. In the same area, the Golden Rule is also warm and welcoming, and less likely to draw the crowds.

Dating from 1689, the Mortal Man, is in an idyllic setting, in the tiny village of Troutbeck in the beautiful Troutbeck Valley. If it’s mild enough, you can sit in its lovely beer garden and admire the scenic vistas, stretching as far as Windermere itself.


A National Arboretum

If you visit the Heart of England area in autumn, then you should take some time to explore the Westonbirt National Arboretum in Gloucestershire. This was created in the mid-19th century, to feed the Victorian appetite for exotic botanics.

Here, you’ll find around 2,500 different species of tree, and in autumn you’ll see in all their golden, fiery glory.

The maple trees are especially glorious in autumn. If you time your visit for October, you can see them at their very best.

There’s plenty of space for you to explore here, covering some 600 acres, divided between the three areas of the arboretum, Silk Wood – an ancient woodland – and the grassland of the Downs, which is grade I listed.


The Abbey and the Wood

In Yorkshire, you’ll find Fountains Abbey and Hackfall Wood close together, while offering contrasting views of England in the autumn.

Surrounding the abbey, the Studely Royal Water Garden is a masterpiece of landscape art, from its sculpted vistas to its follies and garden buildings.

Here you can see Japanese maple, birch and swamp cypress in a rusty rush of autumn shades.

Hackfall Wood is feels like wilder terrain, though in fact William Aislabie originally landscaped it, presenting a dramatic contrast to the more formal concept his father came up with at Studely.

Punctuated by follies and temples, the wood is a joy to explore, especially in autumn, when the sycamore, ash, elm, beech and oak trees lend it a rusty, golden hue.

Of course, the ruins of the abbey itself remain stunningly beautiful whatever time of year you visit.


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