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Want to see fabulous autumn colours? It's a walk in the park!

It’s autumn! And you don’t need to travel to New England in America to see dazzling displays of autumn colour. It really is a spectacular time of year in Britain and apart from the glory of the changing colours, walking through crisp fallen leaves, looking at shiny conkers and simply enjoying the different feel of the countryside in autumn is a lovely experience - and a healthy activity as well!

The National Trust is a source of terrific information for people who want to experience the best of the British countryside this autumn, and we include some of their recommendations for below. They have also put together a special section of their website devoted to Great British Walks (visit
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gbwalk ) which gives lots of ideas and tips to help you make the most of our fabulous outdoors. It includes walking events, information about woodland and even pub walks for those of us who enjoy having a refreshing incentive to our outdoor activities!

However you choose to enjoy this autumn, don’t forget to include some outdoor walking!

Anglesey Abbey, Garden and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire

The celebrated garden, with its sweeping avenues and classical statues, enjoys an array of foliage in shades of red and gold, making a beautiful backdrop to an autumn walk. The yellow leaves of the field maple make a fine entrance to the temple lawn. Berries along the pilgrim’s lawn provide even more colour, while the working water mill and house are full of treasures and offer plenty to do on your visit. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/anglesey-abbey/

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

Proving age is no barrier to beauty; vibrant autumn colours come to Calke Park during the season, home to some of the oldest trees in England. A National Nature Reserve, the park is also home to roaming red and fallow deer, providing a memorable sight during the autumn rut. The veteran trees of the estate, including the Old Man of Calke, display all the colours of autumn and the lime avenue is particularly beautiful. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/calke-abbey/

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Yorkshire

This World Heritage Site provides a stunning man-made contrast to the natural wonder of an autumnal wilderness. Discover breathtaking views across the magnificent 12th-century abbey ruins and the beautifully landscaped Georgian water garden, alongside seasonal shades in the surrounding 800 acres of beautiful countryside. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey/

Glendurgan Garden, Cornwall

Pic by Andrew Butler

With its mild climate and sheltered valleys, the amazing plants ofGlendurgan take on new features in the autumn months. Southern hemisphere plants burst into flower, while the jungle-like leaves of giant rhubarb and bananas reach full size. As low light filters through the woodlands on the valley sides, the leaves and trunks of trees take on fascinating shades of autumnal colour.
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/glendurgan-garden/

Mount Stewart, County Down

Beyond the garden rooms, providing coloured blooms at every turn, the woodlands of Mount Stewart come into their own. Follow the lake walk to discover the ornamental trees and shrubs in their autumn coats of red and gold, reflected in the still water of the lake.
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mount-stewart/

Powis Castle and Garden, Powys

Rising above the terraced garden and estate, this medieval fortress provides a fantastic autumnal setting. The warm colours of the castle appear to echo the rich tones of seasonal foliage, as the red walls match the red vines and the leaves in the surrounding woodlands. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle/

Sheffield Park Garden, East Sussex

Pic by Andrew Butler

Why not head outdoors on a Great British Walk and explore over 120 acres of landscaped garden at Sheffield Park, or follow winding paths to enchanting lakes where even the water takes on a distinctly autumnal hue. The five linked-lakes reflect the vivid autumn colours, with flaming ochre and scarlet painted by Japanese maples, swamp cypresses and birches.
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sheffield-park-and-garden/

Sizergh, Cumbria

One family, one estate and more than 700 years of history. Sizergh is definitely worth a visit in the autumn as the seasons turn slowly towards harvest and fruitfulness. In the orchard, see the harvesting of apples, quince and Westmoreland damsons, which visitors can taste. The mature ornamental trees and the herbaceous border, especially planted for autumn, offer visitors the chance to see a real display of colour, and scent. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sizergh/

Stourhead, Wiltshire

Visit one of the world’s finest landscape gardens and see vistas highlighted with burnished leaves and rusty colour palettes. With a lake at its centre, the garden is planned with temples and follies and a planting scheme which allows the colours to wash through the landscape of a 6-8 week period. Towards the end of August, the North American maple begins to turn a scarlet red, heralding the start of the autumn season and the Japanese acers, hornbeam, chestnuts, also put on a vivid display. The Tulip trees take on a yellow hue while the oak and beech finish off the season with their bright oranges late in October. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stourhead/

Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey

Autumn colour is Winkworth’s chief glory, and as the surrounding countryside assumes its wash of russet, copper and gold, its hillside takes on the more potent livery of Chinese mountains and New England forests. Experience a pallet of golds, browns, coppers, bronzes and reds – a treasure trove of colour that reflects in the ripples of the lake. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/winkworth-arboretum/

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