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couple map reading in autumn forest

10 top UK attractions after the crowds have gone

The tourists have left, the weather is still warm and you deserve a holiday. Discover the joys of visiting some of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions in September and October.

For those not tied to the school calendar – the child-free and the carefree, grandparents and parents with pre-schoolers, those whose children have long since flown the nest and couples seeking time alone in each other’s company – the country now belongs to you. The roads are passable once again, the beaches are almost empty and the tourist attractions will welcome you. 

Here are 10 of our favourite attractions and activities that are all the better for enjoying in September and October:

1. the Eden Project

eden project domes

One of England’s most popular tourist destinations, the Eden Project in Cornwall is a year-round attraction, but so much quieter after the summer holidays. Get a group together and explore the biomes, meet the WEEE man and the giant bee, and fly down Britain’s longest zip wire. If that’s not enough, on Saturday 1 October, it plays host to a beer festival with music, food and St. Austell Brewery ales. Stay at Deerpark for an Eden Project discount.

2. London

view of the london eye

Sandwiched between the tourist surge of spring and summer and the madness of Christmas, September and October promise not exactly a quiet period, but a time when you can visit the top tourist attractions without being barged aside or having to queue for hours. Visit the Tower, wander through Covent Garden and have tea at the Ritz. And for the crowd-averse, stay at Blackwood Forest, just an hour away by train but a world away after a busy London day.

3. Edinburgh Castle

view of edinburgh castle

Scotland’s top visitor destination, Edinburgh Castle is mobbed throughout the August Festival, but in September and October you can almost have it to yourself. As you climb the Royal Mile and look back over the city, you cannot fail to be charmed. Stay at Strathyre, just an hour and a half away.

4. National railway museum

trains at the national railway museum york

After a particularly busy year as the Flying Scotsman returned to the tracks after a multi-million pound overhaul, the steam is clearing to reveal the other magnificent engines in the NRM collection: Sir Nigel Gresley’s world-beating Mallard, a replica of Stephenson’s Rocket, the art deco Duchess of Hamilton and the super sleek Japanese Shinkansen. A crowd-free, autumn visit is a must if you are staying at our cabins in Keldy.

5. Flamingo Land

flamingo land logo

Planning a fun-filled get-together with friends? Head for Flamingo Land and rediscover your inner child. With 8 extreme rides, a gym complex, it’s just the ticket for a great group holiday. Perfect too, for extended family with pre-schoolers in the mix, who will enjoy the zoo and the Dino-Stone Park. Stay at Cropton.

6. Robin hood adventures

major oak at sherwood forest

Nottinghamshire is most famous for Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest. Robin Hood may be the stuff of legends but the forest is very much alive and it is a fabulous place to visit at this time of the year! Stay at our cabins in Sherwood Forest, hidden amongst the trees and enjoy miles of woodland trails, marvel at the world famous Major Oak and, inspired by the legend, test your aim at archery in the forest.

7. Go ape

girl enjoying go ape zip wire

For tribes of any number, Go Ape is a treetop adventure you will never forget and it all began in Thetford Forest, just next door to our Thorpe Forest location! Now there is a Go Ape within easy reach of all of our forest locations for you to enjoy the zip wires, Tarzan swings and forest segways! Save 10% when you book with us directly

8. Outdoor adventures in the Wye Valley

kayaking with forest holidays in wye valley

While the weather holds, it’s time to take a kayak out on the Wye. The river traffic of summer has thinned and you can enjoy unhindered progress through the river valley. Back at our cabins in Forest of Dean, get the gang together for a Forest Night Vision walk with Gerry the Forest Ranger. Explore the forest by bike or on foot and finish your holiday with a team visit to nearby Go Ape.

9. Inveraray town and castle

view of inveraray town

Inveraray is one of the most picturesque towns in Scotland. And one of the most visited. Reap the benefits of an autumn break, free from the tourist coaches, to explore the town, visit the famous jail and tour the castle, seat of the Clan Campbell. Stay at Ardgartan Argyll and enjoy the colours of autumn in this very special corner of the world.

10. ... and relax!

autumn cabin at forest holidays forest of dean

If you have worked all summer, the sun mocking you through the window while friends and family have enjoyed the long summer days, now is the time to take a break. Book a cabin at one of our 9 UK locations and let yourself be soothed by the sights and sounds of the forest. From a romantic Golden Oak Hideaway for 2 up to a Treehouse cabin for 10, enjoy a hot tub, log burner and open plan living area, perfect for gathering together.

Go with a group of friends or just that special someone and, as you sink into your hot tub beneath the trees, spare a thought for those of us back at work, the summer a distant dream.


  1. John Dory

    September 26, 2016 AT 9:54 AM

    Great ideas, might have to look into some of these this Autumn