Autumn at Wallington
As the season shifts and the air takes on an altogether chillier feel, we embrace a change of pace as we say goodbye to the hustle and bustle of the summer months.
Autumn is a wonderful season and such a great time to visit Wallington. A rich tapestry of colours can be enjoyed on a walk, with the Acers in the East woods and in the Walled Garden a must-see at this time of year. A great number of other trees throughout the East and West Woods are also giving a wonderful display of autumn colour, beech and birch are amongst the most vibrant.
The fabulous smell of the Katsura tree in the Walled Garden is a real Autumn highlight – the distinctive scent, reminiscent of toffee applies is enough to make your mouth water! As the leaves are hit by the colder weather they give off the most amazing sweet smells.
Also in the Walled Garden, Autumn flowers are having a last blast - Dahlias on the Hot Border will stay looking wonderful right up to the first frost. Asters, Anemone, Helenium, Nerine and Salvias are all still looking fantastic.
Berries and fruits all look beautiful at this time of year. Yellow crab apples look delicious but taste terrible, so bitter that even the birds leave them alone until they get really hungry! The ornamental Rowan trees are laden with white, yellow and pink berries. We see unexpected fungi forming on old wood, in the trees and the grass. Some weird and wonderful, all giving off the scent of autumn. Structural seed heads add a layer of textural interest - 'pepper pots' of poppy, whispy clematis, architectural phlomis and sea holly.
Autumn is of course known for its show of colour - but as well as the wonderful rich reds, golds, and yellows of the leaves as they change, the colour of the flowering plants is also a treat. Plants such as Toad Lily (Tricyrtis), Nerine, Cyclamen and Colchicum add splashes of pink to the mainly golden tones around at this time of year. Helenium and Rudbeckia are wonderful stalwarts of the borders, along with the Asters and Sedum. Many of these flowers are highly attractive to insects - on a sunny autumn day the garden can still thrum with the bustle of bumble bees and butterflies. Grasses - with their airy flowers dried to ripe gold - add subtle colours to the garden too.
A walk in autumn always blows away the cobwebs. The river walk takes you through the River Wansbeck valley and offers great opportunities to spot the resident wildlife including roe deer, red squirrels and dippers. Enjoy the crisp leaves underfoot and the spectrum of colour from the woodland canopy above.
Go for a country stroll on the Farm walk which takes you out into the open farmland with far-reaching views across two of Wallington’s tenant farms; Broom House and Prior Hall, which were both part of the designed landscape created by Sir Walter Calverley Blackett in the 1740s.
Dragon cycle trail and cycle hire
The Dragon cycle trail launched in 2017 is the perfect place to enjoy autumn outdoor adventures whilst taking in the gorgeous colours. Head to the top of Coombe Hill on the blue route and you won't be disappointed even if you are a little out of breath. From here, the view is something else. Don't forget your camera!
A low-cost cycle hire facility is open Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10am to 4.30pm (last hire 3.30pm) and every day of October half term after which time it’ll close for the winter.