Best walks for autumn in the UK
The UK is home to some of the best autumn walks. There’s little better than getting out with the family on a crisp day and enjoying the views as the colours of the countryside dazzle in red and orange hues.
Discover ancient woodland, head out foraging and make a note of the wildlife you see. It’s a wonderful way to practice mindful walking.
Read on to discover our pick of the best walks for autumn in the UK.
Dimmingsdale Valley, Staffordshire
The Staffordshire Moorlands offer a variety of nature walks, with the Churnet River’s Dimmingsdale Valley being one of our favourite spots. You’ll enjoy stunning countryside views in every direction.
For an easy excursion, start and end at the Rambler’s Retreat Tea Rooms and follow the forest walk. Pass the millpond and follow the river before taking time out to venture into the oak and beech woodland. You can also climb to the top of rocky outcrops and paddle in the water, then cross the small wooden bridge to take in the panoramic views as you return along the hillside. On the way back, indulge in some Staffordshire oat cakes or the impressive lemon meringue pie back at the Tea Rooms.
For a longer walk, follow the old Churnet Railway to Alton Village and Denstone beyond.
Dinas Emrys, Gwynedd
Head out on the trail of Dinas Emrys in north-west Wales and treat yourself to a spectacle as autumn sweeps through the surrounding woodland. This site is surrounded in magic and mystique. You’ll be transported to the legends of King Arthur as you wander past rocky outcrops and waterfalls before ascending Dinas Emrys.
The rocky and wooded hillock of Dinas Emrys looks out over the Glaslyn river valley. Expect breathtaking views of the surrounding oak trees as their leaves change to sunset hues.
Beacon Fell, Lancashire
Sitting within a 271-acre country park, Beacon Fell rises to 873ft above sea level and provides breathtaking views across Morcambe Bay and the Ribble Valley. On a clear day you might even catch sight of the Welsh hills, the Lake District or even the Isle of Man.
Despite its dramatic stature above the surrounding plains, the walk to the summit through the park’s coniferous woodland isn’t overly steep. In autumn, the hillsides are thick with heather and bilberries ripe for foraging. There are a number of circular trails, with most being around two miles long. These allow you to take in the woodlands, grassland and moorlands, as well as the tarn. Don’t miss the sculpture trail that’s ideal for little ones too.
Battersea Park, London
London’s parks are a celebration of colour in the autumn, and Battersea Park is no exception. Wander down avenues of trees in all the hues of the sunset, or explore the park’s array of gardens – from sub-tropical to winter. Close to the Thames and a stone’s throw from Battersea Power Station, this park is an autumnal haven in the hub of busy south London.
With easy bus links and Battersea Park Station just a five minute stroll away, it’s easy to access from central London.
Ladybower Reservoir, Derbyshire
Ladybower Reservoir offers a peaceful walk to enjoy in the heart of the Peak District National Park. Plus, as the autumn colours roll into the surrounding woods and moorland, you’ll be treated to a fantastic spectacle as the seasons change.
There’s plenty to explore, with a number of circular walking and cycling routes that surround the water. Our favourite? The five-mile walk around the reservoir has well-made tracks for an easy afternoon stroll. It’s also just a 20-minute drive from Sheffield city centre.
Killiecrankie is home to one of the best walks for autumn in the UK. Tree-lined slopes surround a magnificent gorge and it’s the perfect place to see all of autumn’s rich colours. The trees make a stunning spectacle, with an array of amber, gold and red leaves on full display. Along with the fabulous flora, there’s plenty of opportunity for wildlife spotting too. Red squirrels, woodpeckers and pine martens all call Killiecrankie home.
Covid regulations mean the visitor centre and toilets are currently closed, but the site is open for visitors to enjoy. Just three miles north of Pitlochry in Perthshire, Killiecrankie is easily accessible by car and bus.
Cleveland Way, North Yorkshire
The Cleveland Way in Yorkshire is a 110-mile walk all the way around the North York Moors National Park. If you’re not quite ready to walk the entire route, take the path from Robin Hood’s Bay to Ravenscar.
Start out on a disused railway track, before heading along a coastal path with beautiful views across the sea. Along the way, you’ll venture across moorland. Enjoy views of rolling countryside and woodland as far as the eye can see. Enjoy lunch or an afternoon tea in Ravenscar before heading back along the route to Robin Hood’s Bay.
If classic English countryside views are your thing, be sure to head to Flatford in Suffolk. This part of the country was the inspiration for John Constable’s famous paintings and it won’t take long to understand why.
Flatford looks especially glorious in autumn. Enjoy panoramic views across glorious countryside through riverside meadows that are lined with trees turning auburn. Start at Manningtree station and head out across the undulating landscape to enjoy.