The best autumn walks in the UK

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According to the meteorological calendar, the autumn is defined by three months: September, October, and November. Unlike any other season, it comes with plenty of welcoming associations; from feelings of comfort and nostalgia to a time of layering up for maximum cosiness and making the most of beautiful scenery all around. 

We’ve rounded up a selection of autumn walks, all of which are within easy reach of our UK country houses. Whether you choose to explore with our experienced HF Holidays Leaders on a guided break or on your own with a self-guided stay, these walks provide plenty of opportunities to embrace the joys of the season: crisp mornings, crunching leaves underfoot, and landscapes in a fiery palette of colours.  

Cornwall

Cornwall

Lizard Point circuit 

From the quaint fishing village of Cadgwith, follow the coastal path passing the collapsed caves of the Devil’s Frying Pan, Lizard Point, and Kynance Cove. This walk is perfect for those keen to discover the most southerly tip of mainland Britain. 

Cape Cornwall to Porthcurno 

Starting at Cape Cornwall, walk past Ballowall Barrow towards Porth Nanven and then along easy paths to Whitesand Bay and Sennen Cove. We traverse granite cliffs to Land’s End before continuing our journey to Porthcurno. 

Perranuthnoe to Marazion 

Starting at the village of Perranuthnoe, follow the undulating coast path to the charming village of Marazion. You’ll enjoy stunning views of St Michael’s Mount - the rocky island crowned by a medieval church and castle. 

Autumn sightings: Keep your eyes peeled for tawny owls. The young birds are seeking new homes while the older birds are fighting to retain their patch. 

Exmoor

Exmoor

Valley of Rocks 

Descend from Countisbury into the wooded valley at Watersmeet and walk along the East Lyn River to Lynmouth. For a taste of Victorian-era Britain, take the funicular railway up the cliff face to explore Lynton and the Valley of Rocks. 

County Gate to Porlock Village 

From County Gate join the Coleridge Way and descend to the riverside path that leads to Oare. Here you can visit Oare Church, made famous in R.D. Blackmore’s historical romance novel, Lorna Doone. 

Steam train, seaside, and scenic Dunster 

Ride the steam train from Minehead to Blue Anchor Bay to take in some of Britain’s most scenic coastline. A short walk across fields takes you to Dunster, a medieval village with a wealth of history to discover.  

Autumn sightings: Autumn is rutting season and the most exciting time to watch as the deer engage in fierce mating battles.  

South Downs

South Downs

Levin Down Nature Reserve, Goodwood, and West Dean 

This walk takes you through the woodland of the Drovers Estate to Levin Down Nature Reserve and the villages of Charlton and Singleton. After summitting the Trundle, follow the West Sussex Literary Trail to West Dean Gardens. 

Bosham & Fishbourne Roman Palace 

Walk to the pretty harbour village of Bosham and then across fields to the Fishbourne Channel estuary of Chichester Harbour. Following the estuary inland, you’ll reach Fishbourne and its impressive Roman Palace. 

Beachy Head & the Seven Sisters  

Follow the South Downs Way from above Eastbourne to Beachy Head. Then take the glorious coastal path past the Belle Tout Lighthouse and over the Seven Sisters to Cuckmere Haven.  

Autumn sightings: Autumn’s sunrises and sunsets are stunning. As the sun stays near the horizon for longer, you can expect to see shades of reds, oranges, and pinks.

Peak District

Peak District

Hope to Castleton on the Great Ridge 

Starting in Hope, climb up Lose Hill. From the summit, traverse the length of the ridge and soak up amazing views in all directions. Afterwards, descend to Castleton along the Limestone Way via the remains of Peveril Castle and Cave Dale. 

The Edges & Chatsworth 

A classic walk along the famous gritstone escarpment of Froggatt and Curbar Edges, that drops down to Baslow and into Chatsworth Park. Spend the rest of the day exploring this historic house and its Capability Brown-designed gardens. 

Thorpe to Ashbourne 

After descending Lin Dale and crossing the stepping stones, follow the River Dove to Coldwall Bridge, crossing to continue to Okeover Bridge and Mapleton. Join the Tissington Trail and follow this through the tunnel into Ashbourne. 

Autumn sightings: The magnificent parkland at Chatsworth House comes to life with the changing colours of the season and the gardens look especially beautiful.  

Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands

Historic Glen Coe 

Discover Glen Coe’s turbulent history as you follow woodland paths by scenic lochs to reach the Clachaig Inn. This former climber’s hostel has a storied past and nearby Signal Rock was the gathering point for the Clan MacDonald in times of emergency. 

Glenfinnan & Loch Shiel 

The trail behind Glenfinnan leads to a fantastic viewing point and with luck, you’ll see the train that featured as the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter cross the world-famous viaduct. Then, head down to the shores of Loch Shiel for a cruise across the water and an afternoon walk to the Glenfinnan Monument. 

Loch Eilde Mor 

Walk around the beautiful highland lake of Loch Eilde Mor before descending via the Old Military Road and the West Highland Way accompanied by views of the Mamore mountains. 

Autumn sightings: The trees put on a wonderful show of colour in the autumn months. Also keep your eyes peeled for ivy, gorse, lichens, and fungi. 

Feeling inspired?

If you’re thinking further ahead for 2024, discover our new UK holidays departing after new year.

Dartmoor Guided Walking

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

Best of the Pembrokeshire Coast

Book now or call 020 3974 8865