That time of year is upon us. Shorter days, cooler evenings, falling leaves and pumpkin themed everything. The perfect time of year for a lovely autumnal walk. Dog for company and pumpkin spiced latte at the end of said walk optional, but these sorts of things make life lovely. Go on, treat yourself.
And if you’re looking for a bit of walk inspiration, how about one of these little Autumnal beauties?
Richmond Park & Terrace Gardens, London
The largest of the Royal Parks, Richmond is a beauty. Within its historic walls and beautiful old gates lies 2,500 acres of open space and ancient woodlands. The park was originally enclosed as a hunting park in 1637 by Charles I, and it was he who introduced herds of Red and Fallow deer.
The deer remain the stars of the show. No longer hunted, now carefully managed and protected. Always fairly easy to find, they’ll be hard to miss in Autum. This is deer rutting season. Expect stags with greenery clad antlers, harems of females and a whole lot of bellowing. It’s an interesting season, lots of information here.
The natural environment in Richmond Park is beautiful, the manmade views not too shabby either. Walk up King Henrys Mound, a prehistoric burial chamber which now creates an elevated viewing point. Panoramic views of the Thames Valley to the west and a look to St Pauls Cathedral in the East.
Following an Autumnal stroll around the park, the formal Terrace Gardens in Richmond itself are just a short walk away. The Terrace gardens have a gorgeous greenhouse, rose garden and pretty planting set into sloping lawns and are home to Richmond coffee spot, the Hollyhock Cafe.
Sit inside to enjoy the shabby chic interior and the log burner, get a seat on the terrace if you’re up for sharing the experience with the curious grey squirrels.
Canal Side Walking @ Pewsey Vale
I’ve written about this walk before, but I couldn’t not include it here as it truly is one of my favourite Wiltshire walks. And in Autumn, it comes into its own.
The canal here used to be industrial but is now lined by woodlands and farmland, with the occasional stone bridge over the water. On a still day the canal reflects the landscape around it; lovely to see and creates the chance to capture some beautiful images.
The canal is home to lots of traditional boats, each uniquely named and decorated. Most also seem to use log burners. You’ll spot the wood piles here and there along the path and once the weather turns autumnal, the air is often smoke scented.
Leaves turning on the canal side trees, seasonal reflections on the water and the scent of woodsmoke in the air. Does it even get much more autumnal walk-ish than that?
Romsey. Lovely little place, lots of history and a gorgeous Abbey. Also, a brilliant place for a walk when the weather is less than reliable because it’s got a bit of everything.
If you want to stretch your legs outdoors there are riverside walks alongside the historic Saddlers Mill. The town itself is a delight to wander, full of historic buildings and monuments. The beautifully maintained War Memorial Park has formal gardens, a beautiful bandstand and a cafe.
The park is also home to a Japanese field gun, donated by Lord Mountbatten, and the War Horse Memorial. Created by a local artist to commemorate the role of Romsey as a Remount Depot in the First World War, the horse and soldier sculpture is a Romsey must-see.
Should the weather turn, there’s plenty of places to get indoors in Romsey. Explore Romsey Abbey, visit King Johns House, browse in a department store with a strong local heritage at Bradbeers. Or you could just find a pub, tearoom or coffee shop and treat yourself. Romsey has it all, from oddly named pubs to cosy coffee shops, even a cat cafe.
You don’t have to have a pumpkin spiced latte and seasonally themed cake, but it would be nicely in keeping with the Autumnal theme I’m pushing here, wouldn’t it?
Cooper’s Hill Woods, Surrey
If leaf peeping is your thing, an adventure into leafy Surrey is definitely a good idea. Tree lined roads and woodlands galore- it is beautiful.
Managed by the National Trust, the woods are full of wildlife and ancient trees. In autumn, this means walkers are treated to a show of turning leaves, seasonal colour and fabulous fungi.
In addition to the autumnal wooded views, walking out of the woods brings you to the Air Forces Memorial. It’s a jaw dropping tribute set in beautiful gardens, and if you climb the steps to the viewing terrace at the top, the views are stunning. You’ll see the trees turning, Windsor castle, the River Thames and across to Central London.
To access the memorial and the woods, there is free parking at Cooper’s Hill Lane. Use postcode TW20 0LF.
Are you enjoying the change of seasons? Tell me your favourite thing about Autumn in the comments. In case you hadn’t noticed, min is definitely walks, cake and seasonal coffees.