Autumn walks in the Cotswolds: 12 of the best

PUBLISHED: 14:01 17 October 2016

Forest of Dean

Forest of Dean

Archant

On a crisp, autumnal day, there is nothing better than gathering the family for a stroll amongst some of the most colourful woodland the Cotswolds has to offer. We’ve accumulated a list of our favourite places to catch the majority of this season’s golden hues.

Bredon Hill

Bredon Hill boasts a diverse landscape; with ancient woodland, rolling greenery and arable farmland. Once at the top, stunning panoramic views over the Cotswold escarpment, Malvern Hills and the Severn Valley can be enjoyed. The ramble up to the top, amongst the autumnal golden hues of the fallen leaves, makes the trip even more magical.

Westonbirt Arboretum

Nestled a short distance from the market town of Tetbury, Westonbirt is home to 15,000 trees and across the autumn you’ll find the arboretum is awash with the burnt oranges and profound coppers associated with this spectacular season. Wrap up warm, pack a camera and a tasty picnic, and wander off the beaten track to find the best beauty spots amongst the trees.

Westonbirt ArboretumWestonbirt Arboretum

Minster Lovell Hall and Dovecote

Soak in the fresh autumn air with a brisk walk around the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall and Dovecote. The 15th century former Oxfordshire manor house lies in a picturesque rural setting with the peaceful River Windrush nearby. The location is made even more special with the backdrop of the bare trees and crunch of fallen leaves on the ground below.

Batsford Arboretum

Batsford Arboretum is a nature lover’s fantasy. Even on the dullest of autumnal days, the woodland is inundated with bright seasonal colours and the smell of crisp, fallen leaves. The park and café are completely dog-friendly too, so you can warm up after your stroll with a hot chocolate and man’s best friend at your feet.

Batsford ArboretumBatsford Arboretum

The Royal Gardens at Highgrove

As the colder months draw in, the private gardens of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are an extraordinary sight to see. The immaculately manicured gardens, full of rich reds and burnt oranges, are a pleasure to stroll around from The Stumpery, the wild meadow bursting with colour and the magnificent Thyme Walk.

Blenheim Palace

Situated in Woodstock, Blenheim has plenty of different levelled walks available, so the whole family can enjoy the spectacular autumnal scenery Blenheim Palace has to offer.

Blenheim: ‘More autumn reflections’ © Rose Davies, FlickrBlenheim: ‘More autumn reflections’ © Rose Davies, Flickr

Pittville Park

This picturesque town-centre park is home to the magnificent Pittville Pump Room. The Regency building overlooks the bustling parkland, popular with Cheltenham’s residents for its family-friendly facilities. The park’s ornamental lake is teaming with wildlife and in the autumn the surrounding trees turn a wonderful hue of crimson and gold.

‘Pitville in autumn’ © Jayt74, Flickr‘Pitville in autumn’ © Jayt74, Flickr

Sezincote Gardens

Near Moreton-in-Marsh, Sezincote House is an Indian extravaganza of romantic landscape including temples, grottoes, waterfalls and canals covering 4500 acres of Cotswold greenery. Lose yourself in the gorgeous scenery of Sezincote Gardens this autumn with gold and red leaves dotting the trees.

Symonds Yat

Located in the Forest of Dean, Symonds Yat is an area of outstanding natural beauty that straddles the peaceful River Wye. The deeply wooded gorge turns sensationally colourful during the autumn and if you manage to work your way to the top of Symonds Yat Rock, the view of the vast landscape from the top is enhanced by the autumnal colours.

Symonds YatSymonds Yat

Upper and Lower Slaughter

When thinking of picture-perfect Cotswold villages, they don’t get much more picturesque than the villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter with charming riverside cottages, stone bridges crossing the River Eye and 19th century watermills. When autumn rolls in, the trees boast colours of gold and red with crunchy leaves littering the banks of the river. Fancy exploring more Cotswold villages? Take a look at 10 of the prettiest!

Dumbleton Hill

Dumbleton Hill is one of the Cotswold’s best kept secrets and during the autumn, the dense woodland is full of deciduous trees that shed thousands of vibrant and brightly coloured leaves. Once you’ve worked your way to the top, the panoramic views of the Cotswolds are simply spectacular. Keep an eye out for the deer that are often seen grazing around the woods.

Cleeve Common

Whether you’re after a leisurely stroll or a more vigorous hike, Cleeve Common offers a number of routes to get yourself walking in the crisp autumn air. Wrap up warm, put on some comfortable shoes and enjoy mesmerising views from the top of Cleeve Hill among the red, orange and golden trees that dot the walk up.

Cleeve Common © Peter Turner PhotographyCleeve Common © Peter Turner Photography

Want to discover more walks around the beautiful Cotswolds countryside? Take a look at our:

10 great walks in the Cotswolds

8 Cotswold countryside pub walks

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