As the cooler weather rolls in after a warm summer, the leaves change colour and the August crowds dissipate, many travellers from around the world head to the United Kingdom in order to enjoy the beautiful autumn. Whether you are searching for an urban getaway or a retreat in nature, you can find it somewhere in the UK. Read on for 10 beautiful ways to enjoy autumn in the United Kingdom.
Watch the leaves turn in Westonbirt
One of the most popular autumn activities in the United Kingdom, and even around the world, is watching the leaves turn colours and fall to the ground as the cooler weather sets in outside. Although there are plenty of great places to see this beautiful phenomenon, the National Westonbirt Arboretum is perhaps the best place in the nation. More than 600 acres of land contain hundreds of trees and shrubs that change colour, showcasing bright reds, yellows and oranges. Visitors can take guided tours, explore the area on their own or even have a picnic on the carefully manicured garden.
Set sail in the Lake District
The Lake District in England is known as one of the top destinations for a getaway, but it is in autumn that the weather is ideal for outdoor recreation. Hike through valleys, take guided tours underneath waterfalls or view historical landmarks like stone monuments that are more than 4,000 years old. Set sail on a boat tour of the area during your stay in this scenic area of the United Kingdom.
Go foraging in Wales
The best time of year to go foraging for wild mushrooms is in autumn, and there is no better location that the Elan Valley of Wales. It is here that visitors can enjoy the quietness and solitude of nature, staying in one of the many small cabins that can be rented out. Bring a field guide to ensure you pick only edible mushrooms, or join a tour that can help teach you about which fungi is safe. Once back at home, take a cooking class to learn about what to do with all your newly picked mushrooms.
Go running in Edinburgh
Cooler autumn weather makes it the perfect time to participate in an organized charity run. Each autumn in Edinburgh, the BUPA Great Edinburgh Run takes place. If you are feeling fit, set a new personal best at the 10k distance. Otherwise, get some friends together to walk the 5k distance, enjoying the various bands along the course for entertainment. Make the event the focus on your trip, but be sure to see the other sites in the city like the Edinburgh Castle. The 2012 event takes place on October 7th.
Roll through the mud in Cheshire
It’s not uncommon to see Segway motorized tours through most major cities, but the Segway tours available in a farm in Cheshire are truly something special. The giant tires of a farm-ready Segway will guide you through the muddy ground through a working farm, and riders will undoubtedly see herds of cows and horses along the path. These tours operate throughout the fall, and guests can stay in the farmhouse itself or in one of the countless accommodation options nearby.
Spend Halloween in the London Dungeon
One of the most exciting holidays of the autumn season is Halloween. If you are more interested in tricks than treats, head to the London Dungeon for some scary thrills. The 90 minute tour of the dungeons included spooky exhibits with live actors and special effects to recreate the terrifying characters of Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd, among many others. While in the capital city of London, take some time to see other mysterious landmarks like the Tower of London, which was once used as a prison.
Enjoy a brewery tour in the Yorkshire Dales
There are few things more satisfying after a day of being outside in the cool autumn temperatures than a pint in a warm pub. Explore England’s history of brewing with a tour in one of the many breweries in the Yorkshire Dales. One of the most popular is the Theakston’s Brewery, which was founded in 1827. Learn how the ales are made, sample a few pints yourself and then take home your favourites to enjoy all autumn long.
Visit the museums of Belfast
If the cooler weather convinces you to stay indoors, there is no better city to explore than Belfast. The capital of Northern Ireland boasts several fascinating museums that will captivate any visitor. Make time during your trip to see the historical Ulster Museum, the Eileen Hickey Republican History Museum, the old trains and modern Delorean cars at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and visit Belfast Exposed, the ultimate gallery and museum for creative types and art enthusiasts.
Explore Cornwall without the crowds
Cornwall is perhaps the best known coastal destination in the United Kingdom, but summer crowds can lead it to be overwhelming for some travellers. Make the most of your trip by visiting Cornwall in the autumn. Walk along deserted beaches, hike through the Cornish Coastal Pathway System and stay in a quaint cottage during your stay. Take in scenic views from Bodmin Moor and Land’s End, and be sure to stop by the exciting Eden Project as well.
Get creative in Birmingham
Although many of the arts and music festivals in the UK take place in the summer, one festival in particular dominates Birmingham each autumn. The Supersonic Festival is an exciting blend of arts, crafts, music and even film. Visitors can get day passes to see one of their favourite bands, or you can make a full weekend of it and attend all three days of the event, which lasts from the 19th to the 21st of October in 2012. While in Birmingham, take in attractions like the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Aston Hall, the Soho House and the delicious Cadbury World Factory and Exhibition.