Take a stroll in the woods to see the magnificent autumn leaf colours.
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.
ScotlandDawyck Botanic Gardens
North EastAllen Banks and Staward Gorge Twitter Facebook
Birch, larch and sessile oak.
North WestTatton Park
Northern IrelandCrom Facebook
Ash, oak and yew trees.
MidlandsBiddulph Grange Gardens Twitter Facebook
Dunham Massey Hall 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.
Arley Arboretum & Gardens Twitter Facebook Instagram
In 2017 BBC Countryfile voted it as "one of the best placed in Britain to see the autumn colours".
EastFelbrigg Hall, Gardens & Estate Facebook Instagram
Specimen trees and open woodland.
SouthClaremont Landscape Garden Twitter Facebook Instagram
Winkworth Arboretum Twitter Facebook Instagram
Painshill Park Twitter Facebook Instagram
South EastSheffield 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
South WestHorner Wood Facebook
Largest unenclosed oak woodland. Home to 15 of Britain's 16 native bat species.
Crackington Haven & Dizzard Forest
The sessile oak trees don't grow very tall as over many years they have been lashed by strong winds and winter storms.
Westonbirt Arboretum Twitter