Autumn is a magical time of year, a time of transition, with vibrant colours and the sheer majesty of nature caught in a state of seasonal flux. The sun rises a little later, sets a little earlier and paints the sky crimson while so doing. You might wake to a crisp frost or a morning mist, you might have to wrap up warm, or find yourself sweltering in the unseasonal sunshine, one thing’s for sure, the best way to see the scenic wonders nature has to offer, is to get out and experience them for yourself.
In the UK we’re blessed with an extensive road network and a rich variety of landscapes to get out and explore. We’re so spoiled for choice as to wonderful places to go, see and immerse yourself in the wonder of Autumn, that it wouldn’t be possible to do any of them justice in just a few short paragraphs. Any outdoor space, whether it be forest, garden, lake or moor, heritage site or hidden gem, they all transform in their own unique way as nature prepares itself for the winter. Here are some of our favourites;
The Scottish Highlands are usually the first to enter an Autumnal state and it’s as close to being a true unspoiled, untamed wilderness as you’ll experience anywhere on these Isles. Autumn is amongst the best time to visit The Highlands. The landscapes will take your breath away, but wrap up warm or that ‘wee nip’ in the air might do the same. The notorious Highland midges however, scourge of many a Scottish excursion start to die off from Summer’s end, so get up there and enjoy the scenery before the roads succumb to snow. There’s so much space and so few people around, that if isolation is your thing, the Highlands are reassuringly far from the maddening crowd.
The Lake District is a picturesque paradise at any time of year, but in Autumn the russet hued, tree lined hills surrounding sparkling lakes with the sunshine glinting off each ripple are certainly a wondrous a vista to behold. It’s no surprise that views like these have inspired the works of Beatrix Potter and scores of other notable authors and artists.
The Northumberland International Dark Sky Park provides proof that the scenery of a forest can still be enjoyed after sunset. In this case, it’s not so much the forest itself that’s scenic during the Autumn, but rather what’s above it. As the name suggests, the Dark Sky Park is the best place in Europe to see the stars. While you can see stars anywhere on a clear night, what you’re witnessing is only a small selection of the very brightest, the rest, are invisible in populated areas due to ‘light pollution’ – the effect of street lamps and other light sources. The Dark Sky Park however is a protected area of pitch blackness, where even the faintest star can be clearly seen and the wonders of the heavens, including planets, comets and galaxies become visible on clear nights. We challenge you to see this spectacle without being awed by it and Autumn is the start of prime viewing time when the sky starts to become inky black at night.
Stonehenge in Wiltshire plays host to the Autumn Equinox celebrations on the 22nd or 23rd of September each year to mark the official start of Autumn. The word ‘Equinox’ is a Latin word for ‘time of equal days and night’ and describes an equilibrium between where there are twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness in a day, something that only happens twice a year. It’s an event that attracts various ‘new age tribes’ and tourists. While the world famous standing stones of Stonehenge are usually roped off, it’s possible to arrange a guided tour to be inside the stone circle at the point of the Equinox, but if that’s not to your taste, Wiltshire is full of parklands, pretty villages and open countryside. Stourhead in particular is an outstanding National Trust estate dating back to the 18th century, whose Autumnal displays will lift your spirits just as surely as the Equinox itself.
What better way to wake up to a different view every day than to hire a luxury motorhome from Priory Rentals. The lanes are awash with colour, tree lined avenues range from red to gold, shafts of light shine between the tree trunks, illuminating the leaves like a stained glass canopy and you can choose to cruise through them at your leisure. Perhaps stopping for a hot chocolate, or pitching up for the night wherever you please. The road is open and yours to drink in.
We’re always keen to see where your motorhome excursions have taken you. We’d be delighted to hear your stories and see the photo’s of your Autumn Adventures.