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Some of the Best Places to Walk This Autumn

Tuesday 25 October 2022

As the leaves turn golden and the temperatures start to fall, what could be more delicious than an Autumn walk?

Feel good

Getting out into the crisp fresh air and kicking through crunchy leaves can be the perfect way to blow the cobwebs away, particularly if you’ve got children. And, according to The Mental Health Foundation, even a 10 minute brisk walk can increase mental alertness, energy and positive mood. It explains that taking part in regular physical exercise has many different benefits including reducing stress and increasing self-esteem. The Foundation publishes a free-to-download report ‘How to Look After Your Mental Health Using Exercise’ which suggests that a low-intensity aerobic activity such as walking, for 30-35 minutes three to five days a week can work wonders for our mood.

Great places to walk

You may have your own favourite Autumn walks already, but if not, we love some of these suggestions, taken from Wanderlust’s website:

  1. The Ashridge Estate – a 5,000 acre National Trust property in the Chiltern Hills has created a special Autumn Colour Trail through spectacular woodland and parkland. At six miles long (including hills), it’s a bit more than a casual wander but the colours of the many beech, oak and lime trees and the views across commons and chalk downland make it well worth the effort.
  2. The Railway Trail Hardcastle Crags in West Yorkshire is a three-mile walk with breath-taking views of deep ravines, rushing streams and historic mills.
  3. Winkworth Arboretum in Surrey is the perfect place to take in the spectacular colours of trees in Autumn. Its two-and-a-half mile Winkworth to Oakhurst walk takes in many exotic varieties including Japanese, American and Norwegian maples.
Find walks near you

To find Autumn walks closer to home, why not try the National Trust website where you can search for the best places to walk in your locality? The site also includes information about nature in Autumn and the wildlife to look out for including deer and overwintering birds. If you love wildlife, the site allows you to search for Autumn wildlife walks.

Walking with children

The Woodland Trust have some great suggestions for outdoor activities for children this Autumn. As you walk through an Autumn woodland, for example, keep your eyes peeled for the many different colours of leaves, as well as falling seeds and fungi on the forest floor. You might want to collect natural materials like conkers, leaves, twigs and seeds to take home to make pictures and crafts – although only take fallen natural items and never take anything direct from the tree.

Wildlife is busy at this time of year preparing for the cold Winter months. Why not give each child a notebook and get them to note down when they spot creatures like squirrels, birds or – if you’re lucky – deer? And then, of course, there’s the activity that all children love – jumping in fallen leaves! Take photos and add them to a photographic memory board at home.

Even if you can’t get out into the countryside, a trip to your local park will allow you to enjoy the beautiful colours and scents of the season and fill your lungs with crisp Autumn air. What’s not to love?

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