7 best woodlands for autumn colour

An autumn woodland is one of our most magical seasonal spectacles - so here are seven great places to enjoy it.

© Anne Rowe

Even if the UK doesn’t quite have an autumn spectacle to rival New England, there are still some places where the colours will take your breath away. This is our pick – but really, you just visit your nearest woodland any time in October.




Crinan Wood, Argyll & Bute, Scotland

A small remnant of the Atlantic oakwoods which once covered the western fringes of Britain, Crinan Wood is as close as you’ll come to temperate rainforest in the UK. Trees are mainly oak and silver birch, but look out too for a great variety of ferns and lichens. Spectacular views of Jura to the west and Mull to the north.


Hardcastle Crags, Hebden Bridge, West Yorks

Wooded valley of mainly broadleaved trees just to the north of Hebden Bridge, also home to the rare hairy wood ant. Way-marked walk starts at Gibson Mill.


Lumb Brook Valley, Warrington, Cheshire

A series of connected but different woodlands consisting of both ancient woodland and mixed conifer and broadleaved woodland. Mature trees are mainly oak, silver birch, beech, sycamore and Scots pine.


Devil’s Bridge Falls, Aberystwyth, Wales

An ancient sessile oak woodland surrounding spectacular 100m waterfalls. Downloadable nature trails and walks available on the website, look out for red kites as you enjoy the beautiful autumn colours.


Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

Extensive tract of oak, beech and sweetchestnut (among many species) forest most famous – these days – for its feral wild boar population. Look (and listen) out for rutting fallow deer or just admire the fabulous colours.


Lydford Gorge, Devon

The deepest gorge in the South-west with a 30m waterfall. Oak trees predominate. Look out for dippers and grey wagtails down by the river. www.nationaltrust.org.uk


Just a mile or so south of Charles Darwin’s home, Downe House, Blackbush Shaw is an ancient woodland with numerous veteran trees, notably beech and ash pollards. The autumn gentian – which flowers between July and October – is also found here.