The autumn equinox marks the official change of season. As the busy summer winds down and the forest covers itself in a patchwork quilt of rusty reds, deep browns, muted oranges, and dark evergreens, this is surely the most beautiful of all the seasons.
The equinox, when the sun shines directly on the equator and the day and night are approximately equal in length, happens twice a year, marking the start of spring or autumn. In September, towns and villages across the country begin preparations for harvest festivals, celebrating the end of a long summer’s work. There are plenty of things to enjoy about autumn in the forest – we’ve picked out some of our favourites across our locations.
Ardgartan Argyll, Scotland
If you’re enchanted by the changing season, there’s one place that’s perfect for a visual overload – the middle of Loch Long. Paddle out into the loch in a canoe, and soak up the magnificence on a grand scale, surrounded on all sides by mountains decorated in their autumnal colours.
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
If there’s one autumn tradition we can’t miss, it’s heading out into the forest to pick delicious plump blackberries from the bushes. These recognisable berries are tasty to eat, and there are plenty more to forage for in the forest. If you’re not sure of your elderberries or your rosehips, our Forest Ranger is on hand to show you some foraging skills.
Blackwood Forest, Hampshire
What’s a night in the forest without campfires, roasted marshmallows and magical tales? This October half term, take a walk through the woods, beautifully lit by lantern light, and discover myths and legends with the Forest Ranger.
Cycle up into the hills and mountains of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and listen carefully; it’s mating season for the red and roe deer! While you might not see these shy creatures up close, you may well hear the males as they roar.
Cropton, North Yorkshire
If you are a keen photographer, then hiking in the North York Moors is particularly spectacular in the autumn. Early morning mists, shot through with light from the rising sun, create a mystical landscape that your camera will love, while the evening sun casts purple tints across the skyline that reflect the heather on the moors.
Keldy, North Yorkshire
Enjoy exploring the woods this October half term with the Forest Ranger, and find out more about this busy time in the animal calendar, as the woodland creatures are dashing about building their winter stores and preparing to hibernate. Build your own den and imagine just what it’s like to sleep under the leaves all winter long
There’s no need to be spooked in the forest this Halloween if you’re carrying your very own lantern, made with our crafting kit. Perfect for wandering the woodland paths – or lighting your way to the hot tub for an evening of stargazing.
The mountains of Snowdonia are still dressed in their very best purple heather at this time of year. Enjoy a hike up to the top of Snowdon, or ride up on the Snowdon Mountain Railway if you prefer. Then stop by the Forest Retreat at Beddgelert and the children as they carve their first pumpkin of the season.
Sherwood Forest, Nottingham
Reds, oranges, purples, and greens, the forest is an artist’s dream palette in the autumn. If you’ve ever had the urge to try your hand at pottery painting, this is the time to start. Create your own masterpiece and take home memories of the woods in a truly unique way.
Thorpe Forest, Norfolk
As the season turns, so does the weather. We know it can get a bit drizzly in the autumn – and that’s wonderful. There’s no better place to be in the rain than the forest. Every child loves splashing in muddy puddles, and sometimes mud just makes more fun for adults too, like on a 4x4 off-road driving day. And what’s more romantic than dashing through the rain to your wood cabin, to cuddle up together with a hot chocolate in front of the log burner?
Book your autumn getaway
We just love autumn in the forest. There’s so much to see and do, we can’t wait to get started! Book your getaway now – half term, Halloween, or a weekend break, whatever you’re looking for, the forest is the place to be this autumn.