If the autumn season is your favourite time of the year, read on to discover some of the best UK places to see autumn colour in October.
We’re very lucky in the UK to have a great variety of deciduous trees, and our autumns can be spectacular with shades of red, yellow and orange.
Deciduous trees are those that lose their leaves in the winter (unlike evergreens which keep theirs all year round). As the temperatures drop, they start to shut down the photosynthesis process to retain their natural chemicals over the winter.
The manufacture of chlorophyll slows down in cold weather, and as that dominant green colour is no longer on the scene the other chemicals that were being hidden start to show. These include carotenoids (orange), anthocyanins (reddish purple) and flavonols (yellow). Each species has varying amounts of each chemical, which defines how red/yellow/orange the leaves go in autumn.
10 Best UK Places to See Autumn Colour
We’ve put together a list of 10 of the best UK places to see autumn colour in October.
Home to 2,500 different species from the far corners of the globe and 5 national tree collections, Westonbirt is a delight to visit at any time of the year, but is perhaps best known for its spectacular display of autumn colour. The diversity and vibrancy of leaf colours to be found at Westonbirt are unsurpassed in Britain creating a botanical experience like no other.
Covering an area of almost 630 hectares at the foot of the Mourne mountains, Tollymore Forest Park has panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the sea at Newcastle. It’s open to the public all year, so take a trip here in autumn if you’re in the area.
With hills, water and classical architecture overlaid by a fabulous collection of trees and shrubs, Stourhead was described as ‘a living work of art’ when first opened in the 1740s. Meandering paths offer vistas through trees to classical temples and surprises at every turn. The fiery reds and shimmering yellows that frame the lake and classical buildings are an unmissable treat during autumn.
Nestling in a beautiful valley with a bubbling stream, Cardinham Woods covers 650 acres and is bursting with opportunities to explore. It’s an essential location to visit and one of our best UK places to see autumn colour.
When the leaves start turning, the National Park becomes cloaked in dramatic autumnal hues of red and yellow. It’s a fantastic time of year to get outside and explore the scenery. Whether you prefer wildlife watching, sticking to a well-trodden trail or pursuing your own path, there are plenty of opportunities for an autumn adventure.
With more than 200,000 acres of woodlands, which include more champion trees than anywhere else in the UK, Perthshire is Big Tree Country. Together these create Scotland’s most spectacular trees and woodlands, where there are lots of different experiences to discover and enjoy. Perthshire Big Tree Country is one of the best places in Scotland for colour this autumn.
Behind Cardiff Castle just a short walk from the city’s main high streets and civic centre, Bute Park is the green heart of the city. Explore a superb tree collection, natural play features, a visitor centre, three cafes, and a wealth of horticulture and wildlife.
Glenariff, the Queen of the Glens, is one of the nine Antrim Glens in Northern Ireland. Glenariff Forest Park covers over 1,000 hectares with planted woodland, lakes, outdoor recreation spaces and conservation areas.
Breath-taking views, stunning artwork and endless forest trails, come and discover all that Grizedale has to offer. Explore the forest on two wheels, foot or horse back and keep your eyes peeled along the way for unique sculptures which are dotted throughout the forest. Open every day, dawn to dusk.