Dazzling displays of autumn colour

'The huge landscaped garden at Anglesey Abbey is fantastic in the autumn. My favourite part about it is the cyclamen flowers which carpet the ground with pinks, purples and whites, and the winter berries on the bushes make every corner of the garden come alive with colour.'
- Richard Todd, head gardener at Anglesey Abbey.

Why do you love autumn? Whether it's enjoying a walk in a spectacular landscape of autumn colour or spending time with friends and family jumping in fallen leaves, there are plenty of reasons to love this time of year.

So why not take a walk through an incredible landscape of colour this autumn and discover shiny conkers and invigorating fresh air with all the family. Here are our top autumn destinations: 

    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.

    Awesome Autumn Adventures, 25 October–2 November, 10.30am–5.30pm
    Come and see Anglesey Abbey change colour with our range of self-led autumn activities. Our gardens and wildlife area provide a great place to catch our brightly coloured leaves as they fall off their trees, enjoy a game of conkers, create beautiful wild art, build a den and have many more adventures in our grounds.

    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.

    Apple day, 12 October, 11am-4pm
    Join us at one of our most popular events and celebrate the English apple and orchards in our beautiful gardens. There will be juicing’s, tastings, puzzles and apple advice.

    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.

    School Holiday Fun - Colour Detectives, 25 October–2  November 10am–4pm
    Every autumn there’s an explosion of colour here at Fountains. Using our snazzy colour wheel we want you to detect 10 places on the estate that are bursting with colour. It may be a rich red leaf, or the cool blue of the river it’s up to you. Grab a trail from any of our admission points, and if you find 10 spectacular colours you could win a prize.

    Glendurgan Garden, Cornwall

    With its mild climate and sheltered valleys, the amazing plants of Glendurgan 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.

    Wild Art Week, 25 October-2 November, 10.30am–4.30pm
    Have fun creating some amazing wild art in the garden this autumn. Have a go at making a colourful crown of autumn leaves or maybe a pebble picture at Durgan beach or even a masterpiece by the maze.

    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.

    Autumn Garden Walk, 2 November, 11am–1pm
    The gardens at Mount Stewart were recently described as one of the Top Ten Gardens in the World and they look stunning at this time of year. Take this opportunity to take a tour of the gardens with the gardening experts at 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.

    Great British Walking Festival - guided tours of the garden, 03 September–29 October, 10.30am–11.45am
    Join the garden staff as they give you an exclusive tour of the gardens. Highlights include a behind the scenes tour of the nursery and other areas usually closed to visitors.

    Sheffield Park Garden, East Sussex

    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.

    50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾: Catch a Falling Leaf, 20 September-30 November, 10.30am–3pm
    Tick off number 33 of your 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ and catch a falling leaf. Across the garden and parkland our trees provide plenty of opportunities to catch loads of brightly coloured leaves in the autumn months.

    Sizergh, Cumbria

    One family, one estate and more than 700 years of history. Sizergh gardens are 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.

    Salmon run and Sedgwick gunpowder, 3 October, 12pm–3pm
    The river Kent is one of Britain’s fastest flowing rivers, which provided the driving force for Sedgwick Gunpowder Works. If you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of the salmon jumping and swimming upstream back to their breeding pools.

    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.

    Find out why our volunteers love working at Stourhead in autumn.

    Apple Day, 25 October, 11am–5pm
    Over 20 varieties of Somerset apples from local orchards will be available to taste and buy, plus local ciders, cheeses and other yummy things.

    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.

    Find out why our volunteers love working at Winkworth in autumn.

    The Great Big Tree Climbing Days, 26 October & 2 November, 10.30-15:30
    Experience the exhilaration of recreational tree climbing; a chance for everyone to get up high in the trees at Winkworth with rope, harness and zip wires. Price: £15.50.