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Colour yourself happy this autumn

Autumn, in all its golden glory, is surely designed to compensate for the loss of summer and keep our minds off the forthcoming winter. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of this colourful interlude.

It’s that time of year again; misty mornings and crisp sunlit days shot through with bolts of autumn colour; conkers, berries and the crunch of leaves underfoot; Halloween, bonfire night and the distant draw of Christmas.

This year, Forestry Commission England has launched a fabulous campaign for families called Colour Me Happy. With recommended walks, forest activities and lots of helpful and interesting information, it is a great resource for autumn ideas, particularly if you have small children.

Top 10 forests to go for
an autumn walk

Try one of the Colour Me Happy top 10 recommended autumn walks:

1. Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire – the walk around Symonds Yat is rewarding at any time of year but the colours of autumn are extra special. Our cabins at Forest of Dean are on the doorstep.

2. Grizedale, Cumbria – in the heart of the Lake District; it is worth making an effort to climb to the top of Carron Crag, where the views are breath-taking.

3. Westonbirt, Gloucestershire – the autumn highlight is the fiery red of the Japanese maples. Westonbirt is just over an hour's drive from our Forest of Dean cabins.

4. Delamere, Cheshire – enjoy the soft golden and copper landscape reflected on Blakemere Lake.

5. Bedgebury, Kent – although famous for it’s  evergreen 'pinetum', autumn does come to Bedgebury as the giant Dawn Redwoods and Swamp Cypress trees burst into colour.

6. Hamsterley, Durham – follow the 2.5 mile trail through this 2000 acre forest for an unforgettable autumn walk.

7. Salcey, Northamptonshire – an ancient woodland, vivid with autumn colours; follow the Church Path trail and admire the view from the Tree Top way.

8. Wyre, Worcestershire – the largest ancient woodland in England, Wyre Forest's oaks create a picture of the quintessentially English autumn.

9. Alice Holt, Surrey – an easy drive from our cabins at Blackwood Forest, Alice Holt’s mix of native trees put on a riotous display of colour for your autumn walk.

10. New Forest, Hampshire – also within striking distance of Blackwood Forest, the Tall Trees trail in the New Forest has one of the finest autumnal displays in the UK.

Visit Forestry Commission England's website for more information about the best walks to take in these beautiful forests, complete with route maps. 

The Forestry Commission Scotland's website has lots of ideas for autumn walks and activities too. Stay at Strathyre and try the Waterfall Trail in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park or from Ardgartan Argyll head for Glenbranter in the Argyll Forest Park.

Autumn activities in the forest

From autumn activity trails to the Woven Woodland project, the Colour Me Happy campaign has lots of ways to celebrate autumn. Find out why leaves change colour, discover how mindfulness in the forest can bring you inner peace and enter your best shots into the autumn photo competition.

And don’t forget to sign up to download your autumn activity pack, containing lots of fun things to do with the kids which you can bring on your Forest Holiday.

Autumn at Forest Holidays

Every Forest Holidays location is situated within Forestry Commission boundaries. Not only does this give you a unique opportunity to stay in a woodland cabin in some of autumn's loveliest spots but it also means we are close to lots of the trails and activities that are part of the Colour Me Happy programme. 

But you don't need to venture far from your cabin to experience autumn in the forest. See who is checking in to the Bug Hotel for the winter, enjoy woodland crafts in the Forest Retreat and let the Forest Ranger show you the signs of autumn in the forest. Book the children up for their own Mini Forest Rangers session too, where they will learn all about nature and the changing seasons while having the time of their lives.

And as the evenings close in, escape into the warmth of your cabin, refreshed and revitalised from your day time exertions. Put the little ones to bed, where they can dream they are sinking onto a soft pile of golden leaves; light up the log burner, cuddle up close on the sofa or sink into your outdoor hot tub and celebrate the changing of the seasons. 

Yes, autumn is a transitional season, but live for the moment and enjoy this fleeting blaze of glory while it lasts. Book now to ensure you capture the moment.

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