Autumn Day Trips for Your Pre-Christmas Bucket List

Richmond Park

Even though Autumn is the mark of colder weather and shorter days – which would usually make you want to stay in and cosy up by the fire – it’s one of my favourite seasons to go out, whether that be walking the dog, riding a bike or going for a run. If you find yourself with a bit of time on your hands, here are some recommendations of places to go for a day trip, so you can make the most of the crisp air and crunchy leaves.


Richmond Park – If you’re needing a break from the bustling city, try Richmond park. Autumn marks the start of rutting season, so there is an abundance of deer to be seen. The park is 2,500 acres, allowing you to be flexible in planning your route. Apart from walking, you have the option of cycling, horse-riding and running (they even offer park-run every Saturday).

“A perfect day out for those in Nottingham”

Epping Forest – Towards the other end of London you’ll find Epping Forest, which comes alive in the autumn as the leaves change. You’ll find many hornbeam and beech trees which are known to provide stunning yellow and orange colours at this time of year.

South East

South Downs – One of my favourite things to do in the autumn is go on a walk in South Downs National Park. Situated just north of Brighton, it’s easy to get to and is the perfect place for a crisp autumn day. If you go in the morning, you might even catch the mist that nestles in between the rolling hills and offers a breath-taking view.

South West

New Forest

New Forest – There is a reason why the New Forest is so well-loved by both visitors and locals. Covering Hampshire and the south-west part of Wiltshire, it provides stunning landscapes and an abundance of flora & fauna. Unfortunately, the famous ponies are hard to spot at this time of year as they are taken from the forest due to the poisonous acorns. Having said that, pigs are brought in as they eat the acorns, so make sure you keep an eye out anyway! If you’re wanting to cover a smaller area but still have extraordinary views, the Exbury Gardens are also known for their collection of azaleas, maples and dogwood trees which produce vibrant colours in the autumn.

“The maple trees at Sizergh are a must-see in autumn”


Sherwood Forest – A perfect day out for those in Nottingham, Sherwood Forest offers plenty of walking and cycling routes, as well as guided tours and arts and crafts workshops. Fortunately, there is the Sherwood Arrow service that runs hourly from the Victoria bus station in Nottingham and the journey only takes an hour, making it the perfect day out if you need a break from work!


Lake District – I am fully aware this is an extremely large area and one cannot cover it in a day – however, if you do live relatively nearby, the Lake District is a wonderful place at this time of year. The maple trees at Sizergh are a must-see in autumn, as well as Borrowdale, which is a favourite all year round. You will find plenty of wildlife like red squirrels and jay birds all around, so I guarantee you won’t be bored!

The Lake District


Brecon Beacons – Offering plenty to see and do, the Brecon Beacons have always been a popular place for a day trip. There are an abundance of waterfalls, the most famous being Sgwd-y-Eira, on the River Hepste, which you can visit by foot or bike. Around the Brecon Canal, the trees offer jewel-toned shades and the crunchy leaves underfoot are one of the best sounds to hear. Lastly, the area is also home to Penderyn Distillery, which is worth a visit if you’re needing to warm yourself up!

“A great location if you’re a GoT fan and want a photo!”


Royal Botanic Garden – Offering guided autumn walks and creative workshops, The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh is a great way to enjoy a relaxing autumn day out. They offer ‘Silent Spaces’ which are areas surrounded by greenery for ‘quiet reflection’. These secluded spots allow you to marvel at the large variety of plants, from trees to shrubs to flowers.

Whiterock Beach

Northern Ireland

Whiterock Beach, Portrush – Just over an hour away from Belfast, Whiterocks Beach is a great day out if you’re up for braving the wind. Walk along the beach and you’ll come across plenty of caves and sea arches. Make sure you visit when the tide is out though! If you have time to make a quick stop, be sure to go to The Dark Hedges on the way. Made famous by Game of Thrones, it is a great location if you’re a GoT fan and want a photo!

Anna Scott

Featured image courtesy of Dun.can via Flickr. Image licence found here. No changes were made to the image. 

Main images courtesy of JackPeasePhotography (here), cattan2011 (here) and GoToVan (here) via Flickr. Image licence found here. No changes were made to the images. 

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