6 Places to Explore in Britain this Autumn

Marwa Hameed

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People often wish to experience the cascading fjords of Norway or the towering glaciers of Iceland once in their lives, but Britain offers some of the most majestic landscapes to take in. What better way to behold them than covered in the warm, golden hues of Autumn?

Promptly visible in Scotland in the first flushes of September as it makes it way down when October becomes November, here are the best places to bundle up and explore this fall season in my favourite island nation.

 

Offering some of the most magical scenery in Scotland, it is no wonder that it’s first on my list. The largest of the Inner Hebrides and  one of Scotland’s archipelagos, it offers natural wonders and captivating history that will never dull your sense of adventure. Skye’s remarkable geologic features include the Old Man Storr, the Cuillin, and the Quiraing. Delve into the wealth of history that the island has to offer with the Jacobite Battles and the devastating tales of the Highland Clearances. End your day in the island’s many towns and villages, such as Portee, the main town of the Isle of Skye. Known as a dynamic hub which offers the best of local culture, it is distinguished by the brightly painted houses lining the area near the port.

Wiltshire is the place where the Romans, Normans, and Anglo-Saxons, all once wandered. It is famously known for being the home of the Stonehenge, the medieval city of Salisbury, the Avebury World Heritage Site, and the Temple of Flora in Stonehead. Dig deep into the fascinating archaeology of Wiltshire by visiting the many museums it has to offer, see the centuries-old White Horse figures carved into the hillsides, explore old settlements like Old Sarum or visit some of the charming historical estates such as Bowood and Wilton House. Escape to the countryside to enjoy the best that the season has to offer with trout fishing, a canal boat trip, a hot balloon air ride to take in the autumn colors, or a walk in the many trails and peaceful country lanes.

The Wye Valley as photographed by gordonplant on Flickr

The River Wye is what defines the Wye Valley, just on the border between Wales and England. Going from the Cambrian Mountains to the Severn Estuary, it is the fifth longest river in the United Kingdom and it holds scenic landscapes that make people flock to Southern Britain to see. Mostly a rural area, it is just the place for people to disconnect and enjoy nature at its peak in the fall season. Take a stroll along the iconic Sculpture Trail or channel your wild side and fly between the trees as you zip line to experience the scenery from a truly unique viewpoint. Dive deep into the budding art scene of the Forest of Dean area and explore the galleries or learn about the area’s industrial roots at the Clearwell Caves where iron ore was mined for thousands of years.

Photo of Bath, Somerset, England by Matt Prosser

Founded by the Romans as a thermal spa in the 1st century A.D., Bath became an important industrial center during the Middle Ages. Under George III in the 18th century, it developed into a sophisticated town with neoclassical Palladian buildings, built to match the surroundings of perfectly engineered Roman architecture such as the Roman Baths which it had become famous for. The city offers a large collection of museums such as the William Herschel Museum that allows for you to see where William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus, the Jane Austen Centre that explores how Jane Austen’s time in Bath impacted her life and love of writing, or the Fashion Museum that showcases the evolution of Fashion and houses historic Georgian gowns. Rent a canal boat and explore the River Avon or discover the highlights of the city on a self-guided walking tour. On the ‘must see’ list is the Roman Baths with a special tour this fall season at night by torchlight, take in the historic Royal Crescent and The Circus, and view the wier and the Pulteney Bridge from the Parade Gardens.

 

Photo of the Lower Slaughter, Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, England by Phil Dolby on Flickr

The Cotswolds and its small pieces of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire exude a sense of English charm wrapped together in honeyed vision. Meander through the quintessentially English villages to take in lively market towns and the country’s greatest palaces, castles, and estates. Make sure to pop by the Ox House in Northleach for a bistro experience you’ll never forget, the Smiths of Bourton in Bourton-on-the-Water for a Cotswold tea experience, the Wheatsheaf Inn, also in Northleach, for a fine dining experience filled with old favourites that offer a local twist and sinful desserts, or the Daffodil in Cheltenham that is a Art Deco style grill in a former cinema with simple and traditional British dishes that will keep you asking for more. Villages that are main focal points include Bourton-on-the-Water and Moreton-in-the-Marsh (who both share the River Winderush)Broadway with the Broadway Tower, and Stow-on-the-Wold with its vintage appeal. All the elements of the Cotswolds come to play just as the autumn leaves begin to fall.

The Lake District becomes a sea of colour in Autumn: reds, purples, oranges, and yellows. As the trees reach the peak of their autumnal hues they are left bare by the wind as the mist covers the natural mirrors that are the 16 lakes that are part of the region. Having visited during the summer, I am often told by locals that the majesty of the area doubles in magnitude during the fall months. A Unseco World Heritage Site since July 2017, it attracts many fellwalkers, (yes that is a word! It is used to described hill or mountain walking coming from the dialects of the many regions in Northern England including the Lake District, Lancashire, and the Yorkshire Dales), Great Langdale is a main attraction with stirring views if you are brave enough to make it to the top! Visit the rolling fells of Borrowdale that sum up the lush landscape of the Lake District or head to neighboring Buttermere with its twins lakes for an undisturbed tranquility that can only be achieved as you gaze upon the serenity of the still water. One of the Lake District National Park’s busiest sights, take the time to head to Lake Windermere; it has been a major attraction ever since the 19th century with the arrival of the railway and nothing is more satisfying than viewing the sunset from one of Cumbria’s most breathtaking spots. While home to spectacular natural wonders, the Lake District offers special inspiration during the Autumn months for writers; the fading lights and the painted sky evoke poetry and call for luminous tales or melancholy verses worthy of Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. In Grasmere, you find the Wordsworth Museum, dedicated to the poet William Wordsworth who called it home and described it as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found.” The writer Beatrix Potter lived and breathed her beloved Lake District, where the magical recreation of the Lake District came alive in her renowned story of Peter Rabbit. Her farmhouse at Hilltop near the village of Near Sawrey is preserved by the National Trust and you can go see the place where are all of our childhoods took root in the hands of Beatrix Potter.

Marwa Hameed, Editor

Marwa Hameed is a junior who has been in Journalism for two years. She took Journalism because she has always enjoyed writing and wanted to report on things...

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6 Places to Explore in Britain this Autumn