Best walks for autumn highlights

Autumn is a time of wonder when the natural world turns a kaleidoscope of colour and landscapes come alive with wildlife events. Exploring the parks, coast and countryside we look after on foot is a great way to experience this magical time of year, and there are lots of different autumn highlights to enjoy from our walking trails.

The chemistry of colours

These autumnal colours don't come about by accident — behind the hues lies a careful balance of natural environmental reactions, resulting in the palette you'll see in special places this autumn.

Toby Yorke, gardener at Stourhead, says that the development of autumn colour begins its process according to the conditions of the seasons that come before.

"It’s the steady decrease in sunlight hours during September and October that triggers green leaf chlorophyll to break down, revealing dazzling autumn tones below.

"Throughout the year, factors like temperature, moisture and sunlight all contribute to the vibrancy of the autumn colours. A wet spring, a hot summer, followed by sunny autumn days and frosty nights usually makes for a dazzling leaf display."

The deer in Knole Park

Autumn wildlife walks 

Autumn is the time some of the UK’s most impressive wildlife events take place including deer ruts, seal pupping and the arrival of over-wintering birds – spectacles unique to autumn. You can also spot fungi of all shapes, colours and textures on woodland floors and on the trees.