The best places to visit in the UK in the autumn

Top 20 Amazing Places To Visit In The UK In The Autumn

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Like many places in the Northern Hemisphere, the United Kingdom has a lot to offer when it comes to stunning unspoilt countryside, beautiful landscapes, and scenic views of the change of leaves during the autumn months.

From atmospheric coastal paths to extraordinary lakes and countryside, here are our collective favourite best and most beautiful places to visit in the UK this coming autumn…

1. Coniston, Lake District 

Coniston Lake District Autumn

Coniston UK

  •  Visitor’s Centre Address: Lake District National Park, Visitor Centre, The, Windermere LA23 1FF
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 10 to 15 degrees Celsius 

Coniston Water is an iconic holiday location in the North of England. While it is extremely busy during the summer months, it’s also a great place for all the family during September, October and November.

Whether you want to waterski on the lake or head into the hills, spend the day at Branston Museum or have a relaxing trip on the local steam yacht, there’s more than enough to keep you busy for a week away.

The cottages, hotels and bed and breakfasts are generally well-priced during the Autumn and the crowds are not as big, though it’s still likely to be busy.

There are plenty of places to eat, and pubs where you can sit outside and enjoy a glass of lager or wine while you contemplate climbing the Old Man of Coniston in the distance.

My favourite things to do in Coniston…

2. Stourhead, Mere, Wiltshire

Stourhead Wiltshire Fall

Best places to visit in Autumn in UK

  • Address: Stourton, Warminster BA12 6QF
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 8 to 17 degrees Celsius 

Like many stately homes in the UK, Stourhead offers stunning architecture combined with brilliant man-made landscapes.

One of the oldest estates, it was sold to the National Trust at the end of the Second World War. For visitors to the main building, the key attraction is Henry Hoare’s art collection with works by Italian masters.

A beautiful place to visit in the autumn/fall, Stourhead makes a big thing of its ‘Autumn Display’ which is when the gardens come into their own.

The rust-coloured leaves and North American maples that turn red during September and October create a truly amazing landscape that attracts artists from all over the world.

Teams of volunteers help organise walks around the estate. Along the way, you may see the gothic cottage which offers refreshments and has a roaring fire in the hearth – perfect for a chilly Autumn morning or evening.

My must-do highlights when visiting Stourhead 

  • Go for a cosy meal nearby at the old and characterful half-timbered pub The George Inn.
  • Visit nearby Nunney Castle which was built in the late 14th century. 
  • Go on the popular circular Alfred’s Tower walk which takes you through some of the most spectacular scenery and points of interest in the area. 

3. Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path

Norfolk Coast November

Norfolk Coast November

  • Visitor’s Centre Address: North Norfolk Visitor Centre, Loudon Road, Cromer
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 8 to 13 degrees Celsius 

If you’re looking for somewhere magical to spend some time in England this September, October, or November, Peddars Way has a mix of picturesque villages and towns, a rich array of wildlife and landscapes, traditional pubs, ancient ruins, stunning sandy beaches, Nature Preserves and the odd golden sunset or two.

The Norfolk coastal path covers 135km and has developed a lot over the last couple of decades and it remains a popular tourist attraction. You have the option of booking on to three or four-day treks or organising your own time.

Expect a lot of different amenities along the route including cafes, bars and cheap hotel accommodation. Sites to look out for in the autumn months are the seals off Blakeney Point, Holkham Hall, and Hunstanton Cliffs.

My favourite things to do in Peddars Way…

  • Go bird and grey seal spotting along the coastline
  • Look out for the very atmospheric Castle Acre Priory ruins which are located along this popular route.
  • Stop for a drink and snacks at The Gin Trap Inn (6 High Street, Ringstead) which is a 17th-century coaching inn on the Peddars Way.

4. Bampton, Oxfordshire – a pretty English village which has been used as a TV and film location

Oxford in the autumn

Oxford Village Autumn

  • Address: Oxfordshire OX18, England
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 5 – 13 degrees Celsius

The small and pretty village of Bampton (also called Bampton-in-the-Bush) in Oxfordshire makes a quintessential beautiful autumn break due to its traditional architecture and wonderful atmosphere.

Also, some of the village’s historic buildings first appeared on the hit show Downton Abbey and hundreds of visitors have flocked to the location to see it for themselves.

If you love film and TV, Oxford is also just a short train ride if you want to walk in the footsteps of Inspector Morse.

This is an old village with plenty of interesting history behind it and there was a settlement here as far back as 1086. If you’re visiting in the Autumn around September or October, there’s plenty to see and do including a visit to the local West Ox Art Gallery.

My must-do highlights when visiting Bampton 

  • I love to take a bicycle and ride around just taking in the stunning English scenery and architecture! 
  • Taste fabulous and creative gins at the Wood Brothers Distillery
  • Visit nearby Witney which is one of the largest of the market towns in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. 
  • Check out some of the Cool and Unusual Hotels in Oxford

5. The Scottish Highlands 

Glen Coe - place to visit in UK autumn

Loch Shiel Scotland

  • Visitor Centre: Glencoe, Ballachulish PH49 4HX
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 2 to 16 degrees Celsius 

From Loch Ness to Ben Nevis, the Scottish Highlands has all the drama, fresh air, and friendly local taverns you could ever wish for.

Autumn is the perfect time to visit, just before the winter months close in, and the weather can be exceptionally mild. During September and October, the colours across the landscape are vivid, brilliant and not to be missed.

One event you won’t want to miss out on is the Braemar Gathering in September where you’ll see several kilts and caber tossing during the Highland Games.

If you’re visiting around Halloween at the end of October, the haunted castles will certainly keep you busy. Head to the edge of the Highlands and Inverness and you’ll find Culloden Moor. There you just might see apparitions of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army being crushed by the English troops in 1746.

My favourite things to do in the Scottish Highlands…

6. York – an elegant and atmospheric city

York minster - places to visit in the UK in autumn

The Shambles York

  • Visitor Centre Address: 21 Parliament St, York YO1 8SG
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 3 to 18 degrees Celsius 

York is a timeless and stylish city that has a lot going on all year round but it especially makes a great spot for an autumn break.

Head to the city in September and you can take part in the York Beer & Cider Festival. That’s quickly followed by an amazing food and drink festival with cuisine from all over the globe.

York is one of the oldest cities in England and is surrounded by gothic architecture. It’s called the walled city for a reason and there are plenty of historical monuments to visit including the world-famous York Cathedral.

Other highlights of this picturesque city include York Minister, the quaint and gorgeous historic shopping street The Shambles and the scary York Dungeons.

If you fancy heading out for a long walk, the Yorkshire Moors and Dales are nearby and there are some spectacular sites to take in during the golden Autumn months.

My must-do highlights of York

  • Pay a visit to the legendary Bettys Tea Rooms which opened in 1919! Try my personal favourite the delicious carrot cake and Earl Grey! 
  •  Visit the famous – and very scary – York Dungeons.
  • Take a stroll down the famous ancient street The Shambles and check out the quaint teashops and cute independent shops.
  • Check out some of the many Cool and Unusual Hotels in York

7. Grand Union Canal, Hertfordshire – atmospheric autumnal walks 

Grand Union Canal Autumn

Grand Union Canal Autumn

  • The prettiest Hertfordshire towns located along the canal route: Berkhamstead, Kings Langley, Tring and Rickmansworth.
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 3 to 19 degrees Celsius 

The UK has an amazing canal system that is still used to this day. The Grand Union Canal is perhaps one of the most famous parts of this infrastructure and stretches for 137 miles.

If you want to spend your break in September, October or November relaxing on a canal boat, there is more than enough to keep you busy.

As you travel or even walk along the canal, you can stop off at Cassiobury Park, walk around the postcard village of Tring and explore the local wildlife or climb the 50 locks to the top of the Chiltern Hills. Also, check out the many charming traditional pubs along the route.

My favourite things to do in this area…

  • Walk the picturesque 6.6-km circular trail from the Old Mill and Grand Union Canal Walk.
  • Stop for a drink and food at the fabulous Boat Pub, which is located right next to the Grand Union Canel in Berkhamstead and has outdoor seating for great water views.

8. Highclere Castle, Hampshire – the elegant and striking Hampshire setting of Downton Abbey

Highclere Downton Abbey tour

Highclere Estate

  • Address: Highclere Park, Highclere, Newbury RG20 9RN
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 3 to 20 degrees Celsius 

The beautiful Highclere Castle is another one to get lovers of Downton Abbey excited. It’s the site of many of the locations used in the series. Even if you are not a fan, the castle itself is a fantastic place to tour and includes an Egyptian exhibition down in the cellars.

During September they run castle tours and garden trails that are fun for all the family. In October, the gardens are blessed with wonderful Autumn colours.

Once you’ve built up an appetite, it’s only fair to visit the very cute Castle Tea Rooms and take your pick of the homemade soups and delicious freshly made scones and cakes. 

My favourite highlights of Highclere

  • Visiting the fabulous Dining Room which features in many episodes of Downtown Abbey.
  • The onsite Gift Shop has a great range of tasteful gifts, souvenirs and artisan products. 

9. The New Forest – a popular break for autumn

New Forest Pony

New Forest Autumn

  • Visitor Centre Address:  New Forest Heritage Centre Main Car Park, Lyndhurst SO43 7NY
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 3 to 19 degrees Celsius 

In the heart of Hampshire, the New Forest National Park covers 566 km² of beautiful countryside reaching right to the coast. You’ll find curious deer and New Forest ponies wandering the ancient heathland and clear rivers. You can hike for hours and hours and still be in awe of the gorgeous unspoilt heath and moorland.

During the autumn months, you may find pigs running around free as they are often let out by local farmers to feed on the acorns.

In early September you’ll find Dogstival held in Burley Park or you could try something more serene such as a flower-arranging workshop in Beaulieu. There’s always something going on in the New Forest, especially in the Autumn.

My favourite highlights…

  • Meeting the gorgeous ponies some of which are very friendly (just don’t harass them for selfies!)
  • Going for a meal at The Pig Hotel and Restaurant which is a stunning country house hotel in Brockenhurst which serves up food with freshly made ingredients from their kitchen gardens.

10. Wye Valley – one of the best leaf-peeping spots in the country

Wye Valley Autumn

Wye Valley Autumn

  • Visitor Centre Address: Wye Valley Visitor Centre. Symonds Yat West. ROSS-ON-WYE. Herefordshire HR9 6DA.
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 3 to 19 degrees Celsius 

The Wye is one of the UK’s most beautiful rivers and there’s nothing better than spending a late September evening on a boat watching the sun go down.

Chepstow Castle is a stunning place to visit and there are several high-class restaurants in the region run by Michelin-star chefs like Stephen Terry and Chris Harrod.

For the young and scary at heart, there are plenty of events taking place in October including FearFest Evil in Chepstow and Rave in the Cave in Clearwell Caves. For the more adventurous, try some Autumn swimming out in the open with nature all around you at Forest Bathe.

October is normally half-term and you’ll find some good low rates for family breaks which make the Wye Valley a great choice if you have kids in tow. Easily one of the best places to visit in the UK in the autumn months.

My favourite things to do…

  • Going for a pub lunch at Boat Inn in Monmouthshire which has stunning views and tasty meals.
  • Go on a stunning circular walk and take in the stunning scenery.

11. Chatsworth House, Derbyshire – a fine house and gardens

Chatsworth House Autumn

Chatsworth House Estate Fall

  • Address: Bakewell DE45 1PP
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 2 to 18 degrees Celsius 

Stately homes don’t come more impressive than Chatsworth House in the heart of Derbyshire. It’s not just the impressive architecture but the amazing grounds that make this a popular choice for holiday visits.

If you are a fan of art, 25 stunningly designed rooms in Chatsworth House will certainly feed your creative soul.

For the kids, there’s the nearby playground and farmyard that will keep them entertained for hours on end. There’s also the chance to eat fine food and buy some of the estate’s locally produced wines at the farm shop.

During the autumn months, it’s a particularly beautiful place to take in the vibrant views of the changing colours of the landscape.

After this, the Christmas market starts up in the second week of November so it’s the perfect time to visit and stock up on some special foodie treats and gifts for significant others.

My favourite highlights… 

  • Going for a tasty afternoon tea in the onsite tearooms. 
  • Taking a camera and photographing the gorgeous landscaped gardens.

12. Longleat Forest 

Longleat Forest September

Longleat Forest view at sunset in United kingdom

  • Address: Warminster BA12 7PU
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 2 to 19 degrees Celsius 

Longleat Forest is home to Centre Parcs which has cut its prices for the Autumn to encourage those looking for a well-earned fall break with all the family.

Whether you want to relax at the Aqua Sauna, swim in the pool, visit Longleat House or take a walk in the nearby parks and forest, there’s certainly something for everyone.

The great news is that there are a whole host of free activities around Longleat Forest including walks by the lakeside where you can feed the local ducks, spend some time at the man-made beach, head out on a nature trail or ride the land train.

My favourite things to do in Longleat Forest 

  • Take the family to Center Parcs. 
  • Visiting nearby beautiful Longleat House.

13. Brecon Beacons, South Wales 

Brecon Beacons Autumn

Brecon Beacons Fall

  • Visitor Centre Address: Libanus, Brecon LD3 8ER
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 3 to 17 degrees Celsius 

Brecon Beacons National Park lies in the heart of South Wales and is a very popular tourist attraction. 

From Pen y Fan to the Black Mountains, if you are a fan of trekking, this is the perfect location to spend some quality time, commune with nature, enjoy the wildlife and get plenty of fresh air.

If you’re the more adventurous type, there’s underground caving, kayaking, canoeing, and trekking on offer. Visit some of the small villages across the park and you’ll find some real treats when it comes to food and drink.

The local fayre delivered with a warm Welsh welcome should keep you entertained all week.

My favourite highlights… 

  • Hiring a rowing boat and boating around a beautiful and tranquil lake.
  • Taking in the dramatic scenery on the Dragon’s Back Circular Walk which starts in the small village of Pengenffordd.

14. Dove Crag in the Simonside Hills, Northumberland National Park 

Dove Crag in the Simonside Hills, Northumberland National Park Dove Crag - best places in the UK to visit in Autumn

  • Visitor Centre Address: National Landscape Discovery Centre Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland NE47 7AN
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 3 to 19 degrees Celsius 

One of the most beautiful places to see in Northumberland, fans of stunning autumn views will love Dove Crag and the Simonside Hills. Located in the heart of Northumberland National Park, it’s a looping walk that is suitable for all the family. There are several different routes and if you fancy more of a challenge the 792m fell has a lot to offer.

If you’re looking for a place to stay nearby, delightful family cottages come at reasonable weekly prices and the locals are friendly and welcoming.

There are many adventure activities to take part in over the Autumn including foraging and wild cooking, bouldering and caving, and canoeing.

My favourite things to do…

  • Taking a camera and getting some truly stunning photos of the dramatic scenery.
  • Trying to spot rare wildlife like red grouse and red squirrels.

15. Bodenham Arboretum, Worcestershire – view the beautiful change of colours of over 3,000 trees and shrub species

Bodenham Arboretum Autumn

Bodenham Arboretum, Worcestershire - A beautiful view of changing of colors

  • Visitor Centre Address: Bodenham Ln, Kidderminster DY11 5TB
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 3 to 19 degrees Celsius 

Bodenham’s famous Arboretum in Worcestershire is one of the most beautiful and best places to visit in the UK during the autumn months. 

If you prefer your botanical garden outdoors and on a massive scale, this is the place for you and the family to explore. With trees and plants from all over the world, it’s another location where the Autumn colours really do shine through during September and October.

Bodenham’s restaurant is open during lunchtime and offers a range of home-produced food and scrumptious dishes to get your culinary juices flowing. This is a busy restaurant so it’s best to book beforehand.

My favourite highlights… 

  • Seeing the incredible array of colours and leaves in this beautiful season.
  • Spotting wildlife like wrens, rabbits and Canada Geese.

16. North Downs Surrey – take beautiful autumn walks from Polesden Lacey into the atmospheric woods and rolling hills

North Downs Surrey Autumn

North Downs Surrey

  • Location: Farnham in Surrey to the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 4 to 20 degrees Celsius 

Counties like Surrey aren’t often known for their tourist destinations but look a little harder you’ll find some amazing places to visit during the Autumn.

North Downs is a ridge of iconic chalk hills that runs from Farnham in Surrey right down to the White Cliffs of Dover. It’s an overlooked gem that is well worth a visit.

Polesden Lacey is a great location to start any autumn walk around this region and is one of my favourite beauty spots in the south of England. With decent parking and an Edwardian country retreat to explore, you can spend days strolling around the gardens, gazing at the incredible views and exploring the fine historic house.

My favourite must-do things to do…

17. A pub crawl and an autumnal walk by the River Thames in Twickenham

Twickenham Pub Crawl Fall

Twickenham Autumn

  • Location: Twickenham South West London
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 3 to 19 degrees Celsius 

If you prefer several drinking holes along your walk, Twickenham is the perfect place to start your UK autumnal and scenic pub crawl along the Thames and there are many pretty places to visit.

A walk from Twickenham to Teddington takes about two hours and goes by the River Crane. Along the way, you’ll pass Kneller Gardens and Radnor Gardens as well as conservation area Teddington Grove.

There are some old and iconic pubs around the Twickenham area including the White Swan on the river and the Sussex Arms which are worth the visit for the charming interiors alone.

If you are spending your break in London, Twickenham is a brilliant place to have a few beers while exploring what the local amenities have to offer.

18. Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire – Autumn leaves from around mid-October to mid-November

Westonbirt Autumn

Westonbirt in the Autumn UK

  • Address: Tetbury GL8 8QS
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 4 to 20 degrees Celsius 

If you’re looking for a break to recharge your batteries and get back in touch with nature, Westonbirt Arboretum should be somewhere near the top of your list.

Run by Forestry England, Autumn is the perfect time to visit mainly for the colours and wildlife, particularly in September and October.

With 15,000 different trees from all around the world, the arboretum covers more than 600 acres and was the brainchild of Victorian businessman Robert Holford. Trails are organised for each season so you can expect something spectacular over the Autumn period right up until the end of November.

One of the highlights is the Treetop Walkway which puts you 300 feet above the ground and offers great views of the forest and surrounding hills.

19. Aymestrey and the rest of Herefordshire

Croft Castle Autumn

Herefordshire Autumn

  • Location: Leominster, HR6 9ST
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 3 to 19 degrees Celsius 

Aymestrey is a small and unassuming hamlet in the heart of Herefordshire but it’s also a great base to explore everything that the county has to offer especially during the beautiful Autumn months.

If you love getting out into the country, walking, cycling or running, you won’t be disappointed – the colours in this country are just stunning!

Along the way, you can explore locations such as Croft Castle and Wigmore Castle. There’s also the Westonbury Mill Water Gardens, offering a unique glimpse of the region’s history and local culture.

20. Sissinghurst Castle, Kent 

Sissinghurst Castle UK

  • Address: Sissinghurst Castle Biddenden Road Near Cranbrook TN17 2AB
  • Average Temperatures in Autumn: 4 to 20 degrees Celsius 

Another location that looks fantastic as we head into the months of Autumn is Sissinghurst Castle. The estate is a working farm and there’s a lot for all the family to enjoy.

The castle garden covers 460 acres and was created by poet and artist Vita Sackville-West in the 1930s after the original estate fell into disrepair.

Although it is less well-known around the world, Sissinghurst is one of the most popular National Trust properties in the UK with over 200,000 visitors every year.

The autumnal highlights through the garden during September and October are a delight to see. There are also plenty of nearby attractions such as the Big Cat Sanctuary and Hush Heath Winery to enjoy during your break.

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