Where to spend your autumn staycation

It’s never too early to start thinking about booking an autumn break in the UK, and we’ve rounded up some of our favourite spots for 2022 – places where you can enjoy the unique offerings of the great outdoors at this time of year safe in the knowledge that at the end of the day you’ll be able to relax and refuel on hearty local food and drink.

Where to spend your autumn staycation

Perthshire

This is Scotland’s adventure playground, remote and yet not too far from civilisation, with glorious mountains, lochs and rivers providing wide open landscapes ideal for outdoor activities including cycling, hiking, rock-climbing, horse-riding and fishing.

Dubbed ‘Big Tree Country’ for its vast woodlands, this central region of Scotland is perhaps best known for its spectacular autumnal hues, with particularly lovely viewing spots including the wooded river gorge of Killiecrankie along the River Garry.

Devon

Each Bonfire Night, inhabitants of the village of Ottery St Mary carry burning tar barrels through the streets of their village in this centuries-old tradition that may have started as a way of fumigating cottages or to warn of the approach of the Spanish armada.

Autumn is perhaps the best time of year to holiday in Devon, free of the summer crowds so you can enjoy the beautiful beaches and woodlands all the more. Dartmoor is especially scenic at this time, with the bracken and gorse turning from green to flaming orange.

The Wild Atlantic Way

One of the world’s longest defined coastal routes winds its way for 2,600km all the way down along the west coast of Ireland from the Inishowen Peninsula to Kinsale. It comes into its own in autumn, with milder sunshine, the chance of vast expanses of coastline entirely to yourself and the promise of fireside pints in the evening.

You’ll find five of Ireland’s six National Parks on the Wild Atlantic Way: Glenveagh, Ballycroy, Connemara, the Burren and Killarney, all with unique micro-climates and hence their own plant- and wildlife.

The Isle of Skye

This island off the west coast of Scotland is a good location for Aurora Borealis sightings, so delay your visit to late autumn if you can. The best spots for seeing the celestial displays are in the north, in remote spots away from light pollution, such as the Trotternish peninsula.

Skye is also one of the best places in Scotland for stargazing, with no fewer than nine Dark Sky Discovery Sites.

New Forest

In autumn this area of Hampshire glows with reds, oranges, yellows and greens. The October New Forest Walking Festival helps you to appreciate their majesty on guided walks by local expert, or try a foraging walk – the forest is abundant in seasonal treats at this time of year, many of which you’ll find on the menus of local restaurants and pubs.

This is also the time to spot pannage pigs snuffling around, eating all the acorns that can harm the iconic New Forest ponies, cattle and donkeys (all of which are usually brought in over autumn).

Somerset

Its name translating as ‘people of the summer lands’, this southwestern county is often overlooked in favour of Devon and Cornwall but is a remarkable place to come during the apple harvest. Expect cider tasting and tours, with maps of locals producers available from local hotels, B&Bs and cottages.

For walking in Somerset, choose from kilometers of sandy beaches and breathtaking inland countryside including the Exmoor National Park and several Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

To book your autumn staycation, call your Travel Counsellor today.

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