The leaves may be turning and the nights drawing in but that’s no excuse not to take a stroll in the great outdoors. In fact, these seven hikes are best enjoyed in the autumn months
1. Pontneddfechan Waterfall Walk, Wales
Waterfalls such as Sgwd Ddwli look stunning in the autumn light |Visit Britain
Golden woodland, scenic gorges and – yes – waterfalls abound on this Brecon Beacons walk. Starting and finishing at the town of Pontneddfechan, the walk is 12 miles long, so leave plenty of time to get back before sunset. Highlights include the bubbling cascades of Sgwd yr Eira, Nedd Fechan and Sgwd Ddwli. Take care on the slippy paths.
2. The Howardian Hills, Yorkshire
Autumn foliage aplanty at Castle Howard | Visit Britain
This 5.5 mile walk combines one of England’s finest stately homes, Castle Howard, with the tranquility of the Howardian Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Yorkshire Wolds. A highlight is Ray Wood, where the glades of pieris, wild roses, rare magnolias, viburnums, maples and rowans offer a rainbow of autumnal colours.
3. The Sailor’s Path, Aldeburgh
Follow in the footsteps of sailors who journeyed from the North Sea to the village of Snape |Photo: Choose Suffolk/ VisitBritain / Rod Edward
Following the River Alde from the seaside town of Aldeburgh to the famous concert hall at Snape Maltings, this walk shows off the Suffolk coast at its very best. Marshland, wildlife and big Suffolk skies are all part of the package on this six mile hike – either come back the same way or take the bus back to Aldeburgh for some well-deserved and warming fish and chips.
4. Alderly Edge Woodland Walk, Cheshire
Walk amongst Alderly Edge’s mature woodlands|Photo: VisitBritain / Rod Edwards
A 4.5 mile circular walk from Alderly Edge train station (easily reached from Manchester) takes you from undulating farmlands and ancient woodlands to the Edge, a dramatic red sandstone escarpment. Originally a Bronze Age Burial Site, Armada Beacon – at the top of the Edge – offers wide-reaching views across the Cheshire landscape to the Peak District.
5. Teign Gorge, Devon
Walk the stunning Teign Valley this Autumn| Fotolia.com
Carved out by the now-babbling River Teign, this gorge is one of the most beautiful in Britain – and even more so in autumn when the wooded sides turn golden brown. This route follows an 8.25 mile section of the Two Moors Way, taking in sections of the Castle Drogo estate and the 17th century Fingle Bridge.
6. The Mell Circuit, Stirlingshire
Even the mist adds to the Trossach’s autumnal charm | Fotolia.com
The Trossachs boasts some of Scotland’s finest autumn colours, and the 17 mile Mell Circuit is a great way to see it. Starting at Glen Finglas Reservoir, it passes through glens, woodlands and brooks to Meall Cala at 600m. Expect it to take between 5 and 7 hours.
7. Petworth Park, West Sussex
Rolling hills and ancient forest | Fotolia.com
Expect ancient trees and conquers aplenty on this South Downs walk. Following the outskirts of Petwork Park, near Chichester, the walk takes in ancient oaks and sweet chestnuts, some of which are over 1000 years old. The walk is just 4 miles long, but terrain is steep in places and can be muddy.