Take a stroll in the woods to see the magnificent autumn leaf colours.

Firery yellow, orange and reds of woodland trees

The Japanese have a word for this: Momijigari - meaning leaf-hunting or forest bathing.

As we head into autumn the amount of daylight reduces and the outside temperature starts to fall, the shrubs and trees prepare to shed their leaves. The green pigment in leaves is called chlorophyll, it’s what a plant uses to convert sunlight into food. It takes quite a bit of energy to create chlorophyll, so before casting the leaves off the plant breaks down the chlorophyll molecules and reabsorbs them from the leaves, leaving behind the yellow, orange and red pigments (carotenoids and anthocyanins) in the leaf structure.

In the UK we are fortunate to never be too far from a lovely show of autumn colour, whilst there will be plenty of beautiful walks locally. I’ve listed below a few outstanding examples of autumn leaf colour display.

Before travelling to one of these destinations, please check their website for closing times. In autumn and winter they often close at dusk also check availability as some sites may restrict numbers, because they are carrying out forest maintenance, have an overwhelming number of visitors wanting to see the autumn colours, particularly at the weekend and some of the smaller sites don't have the capacity for large groups.

North East

Allen Banks and Staward Gorge   Twitter    Facebook  
Birch, larch and sessile oak.

Northern Ireland

Crom   Facebook  
Ash, oak and yew trees

Midlands

Biddulph Grange Gardens   Twitter    Facebook   
Dunham Massey   Twitter    Facebook    Instagram   
Old Court Nurseries & The Picton Garden
Closed from 20th October 2021
Wenlock Edge   Facebook  
Seven miles of ancient woodland, walks and views

East

Fellbrigg Hall, Gardens & Estate   Twitter    Facebook    Instagram  
Specimen trees and open woodland

South

Claremont Landscape Garden   Twitter    Facebook    Instagram   
Winkworth Arboretum   Twitter    Facebook    Instagram   
Painshill Park   Twitter    Facebook    Instagram   

South East

Sheffield Park and Garden  
Hatfield Forest   Twitter    Facebook  
Dating from the middle ages. Used as a royal hunting forest.
Scotney Castle   Twitter    Facebook  
Sweet chestnuts that are coppiced to harvest the timber.
Ashridge Estate   Twitter    Facebook    Instagram  
Beech trees

South West

Horner Wood   Facebook  
Largest unenclosed oak woodland. Home to 15 of Britain's 16 native bat species.
Crackington Haven & Dizzard Forest
Sesile oak trees have been beaten small by strong winds and winter storms.