It’s here. The time of year when the leaves begin to glow red, auburn and gold. Standing beneath the shade of a tree, like a Japanese Maple, at this time of year is almost like breathing in the colour red.
The turning of the leaves is not to be missed, and though you can appreciate the show along many of the roadsides and in parks across the country, it’s worth making a trip to see some of the many beautiful woods and arboretums that host stunning Autumnal displays.
Here’s a few of the best…
With a collection of over 1000 trees and shrubs, this beautiful National Trust maintained property is set in a glorious bowl of chalk downland. The Autumnal display at Winkworth is renowned, and coupled with the reflections in the becalmed lake, this property is a real seasonal highlight. Winkworth have their own facebook update page on the Autumn colours, so check out their posts (www.facebook.com/WinkworthArboretum) regularly to find out what looks good now. For general information on access and location see the National Trust link. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/winkworth-arboretum
Bolderwood, New Forest
An atmospheric deer wood set in the heart of the New Forest National Park, along the Ornamental Drive. There’s a mix of ancient and modern woodland, but each part has something to offer. There is a 3 mile waymarked path called the Radnor Trail, which takes in the deer viewing platform, too. The Forestry Commision have also published a useful app guide to the walk.
Exbury Gardens, near Southampton
This beautiful garden, which also hosts a steam railway for those amongst you who love a bit of train travel, has a stunning display of Autumnal colour. There are Japanese maples, deciduous azaleas and dogwoods, as well as a special Autumn trail that leads to the best of the colour. To find out more visit their informative website page at www.exbury.co.uk/website and click on the ‘visitor info’ tab at the top of the page.
The Devil’s Punchbowl, Near Haselmere
This majestic natural amphitheatre sees ripples of russet, oche and bronze surge around its steep sided bowl as the Autumnal colours take hold. It’s an atmospheric and beautiful location, which is being fully restored to its natural state now that the A3 has been diverted elsewhere. Legend has it that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle found inspiration for ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ here – it certainly has an atmosphere like no other and the views from the rim of the bowl are far reaching and bracing. You may even spot the longhorn cattle that graze the site. There are clear paths marked, as well as a cafe and toilets. See the link below for more information.