It may mark the end of summer, but the rich hues and mild temperatures associated with autumn ensure that the season is universally welcomed.
Below we explore five destinations that showcase nature at its most spectacular…
Autumn famously ripples through Japan, beginning in the country’s northernmost island in September before concluding as late as December in the south. Visitors to Kyoto’s Eikando Temple will see the maple leaves at the acclaimed Hojo Pond turning crimson during November (see above) – but can also visit in the evenings when the temple is specially illuminated.
New England, USA
‘Fall’ in North America is a huge celebration marked by tourists and locals alike – and nowhere does it better than New England. Here, the locals turn out in force for the traditional apple picking and other harvest-related festivals that pave the way for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Dedicated excursions such as the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat promise unparalleled colour too.
As the vibrant purple of heather fades from its glens, Scotland’s forests take over – with dense areas of woodland becoming swathed in rich reds and golds. Pitlochry is not just revered for its trees in daytime, however. Each autumn, nearby Faskally Wood becomes The Enchanted Forest – with the illuminated plants the main players in an award-winning sound and light show.
Springtime in the French capital may be a favourite with lovers, but many would argue that Paris is actually at its most romantic in autumn – when strolling couples are caressed by leaves drifting their way to the ground on its wide boulevards and riverside walks. An Autumn Festival pays homage to the season with a mammoth three-month programme of arts-based events.
Westonbirt Arboretum, England
Featuring 15,000 individual rare and international tree specimens, this 600-acre arboretum has gained international acclaim for its autumn display – with Japanese maples among those species still boasting bold colours well into November. Visitors are encouraged to take up a trail map or use the Forestry Commission’s ForestXplorer app to learn more – making it ideal for families.