The leaves are starting to fall, the air is turning a little bit crisp and you’re starting to crave an apple crumble. Autumn is on the way. It might be the end of summer but for many of us, that doesn’t mean the end of travel and adventures. If you prefer the golden light and long shadows as the year winds down, then autumn staycations are the perfect kind of travel.
The outside world is at its’ most stunning in the Autumn with red berries bursting from the hedgerows, jewelled brambles and technicolour displays as the leaves change colour. Building in some time on the beautiful trails that the British countryside has to offer is the perfect way to take it all in, before retiring to a cosy fireside and a comfortable armchair for some well-earned refreshments. Travel doesn’t have to be long-haul to be transformative.
Now that we’ve established why you should be lacing up your walking boots, you’ll need to decide where to go. One of the first places on your list should be the Cotswolds. Famous for rolling hills, idyllic countryside and historic towns and villages, the Cotswolds are home to some of the most enchanting walking trails.
The circular trail that runs from quaint Charlbury through the only right of way in the ancient Wychwood forest is a particular gem. Once a royal hunting forest and now a paradise for those looking for the glory of deciduous trees in their autumn blaze. The trail runs for eight miles through gentle woodlands and picturesque villages passing a notably well preserved medieval church in the village of Shorthampton.
For a taste of the Cotswold Way, take the short stretch from Cranham woods up to the top of Painswick Beacon. Starting in a thriving Beechwood, you can expect beautiful views over the surrounding area from the Beacon top followed by a ramble along a quiet riverside. This part of the way runs for about five miles, so just the right length for an experienced walker to build up an appetite for lunch or a nice challenge for those who just want to get out in the fresh air.
In the southern part of the Snowdonia range, is the Dolmelynllyn Estate trail. It skirts the dramatic waterfall at Rhaeadr Ddu before travelling down through an unspoiled national nature reserve and on to the ruins of the Cefn Coch gold mine. The trail is for medium ability walkers and runs for approximately four miles as well as being dog friendly for any adventurous furry friends. This trail is perfect for Autumn when the cool breeze will make light work of the hilly parts. Don’t miss the historic gold working stations and ruined cottages on the route.
If you can make your way to the pleasant enclave of Hebden Bridge this autumn, then you can’t miss the Mill Walk at Hardcastle Crags. With a gently babbling brook at the bottom of a leafy wooded valley and a colourful collection of mushrooms to spot, you can’t go wrong. The walk benefits from way markers and wooden bridges to help you but they take nothing away from the sense that you have passed out of civilisation and into another, more bewitching dimension as you crunch through the fallen leaves. The remnants of the Old Gibson Mill only add to the feeling that nature has gained the upper hand.
Perhaps a staycation within easy reach of London is what you need for your next travel venture. If so, throw yourself back on the tracks of time. On the Meon Valley trail in Hampshire you can walk along a disused railway track. You could base yourself in historic Winchester, to see some of the ancient sites before setting off from West Meon and climbing Old Winchester Hill. On clear days you can see all the way to the sea but it is always worth keeping an eye out for the stunning variety of local birds. The trail is pushchair suitable and accessible for the majority of those with mobility scooters, so a good fit for the whole family. Wherever you chart a course this Autumn, it is worth remembering that arrangements can be as changeable as the British weather. Make your staycation safe as well as stunning by taking out some reliable travel insurance to cover yourself in case plans need to adjust. With Globelink you’ll get covered for delays, cancellations, medical repatriation, lost luggage, and more. A prepared walker needs more than a good pair of boots and some Kendal Mint Cake.