Autumn is probably my favourite of all the seasons. No doubt I also say this at the onset of Spring, Summer and Winter, but there is something pretty special about this period of burnt orange and gold, with its promise of falling leaves, chunky sweaters and spiced pumpkin lattes. As L.M. Montgomery once wrote; ‘I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.’
Autumn is also one of my favourite times for travel, and although for me there are few places to rival my home in the north of Scotland, there is also excitement about leaving it’s mainly treeless landscape for the possibility of enjoying Autumn in all its technicolour glory, for a little while at least, elsewhere.
I’ve been posting some of my favourite Autumn travel pictures over on Instagram this week and I thought I’d also share some of our favourite October travel destinations with you on here. So grab a cuppa (or a spiced pumpkin latte) and expect plenty of opportunities for leaf kicking, nature loving and lots of Autumn family fun.
- The Lake District
One of my absolute favourite places to visit in October is the Lake District, and in fact we’ve tended to holiday there for most of our half term breaks with the kids in recent years. It’s a popular travel destination with good reason – combining stunning scenery, charming towns and villages and lots and lots of things for families to do. We stay near Ambleside at the Skelwith Fold Caravan Park, a beautiful site set in picturesque woodland – from the first time we made our way along the long tree lined drive I was completely entranced. The staff here have a habit of making you feel not just as if you’re welcome, but that they’re actually really pleased to see you, and the site itself has lots to offer, including walks, a tarn, and lovely views of the surrounding fells and pikes (we do try to get used to the local lingo while we’re in the area). With all this, venturing out of the park doesn’t really feel necessary, but a 20 minute downhill stroll from the rear of the site to the smart Chesters by the River cafe is always a draw, and followed by a scenic walk to Elterwater, makes for a lovely day out.
Some of our other favourite outings in the area include exploring Grizedale forest, cycling at Lake Windermere, and visiting Wray Castle (which has lots of activities for children as well as an exciting outdoor adventure playground). A boat trip to Bowness is always a fun excursion, and a walk around the National Trust Tarn Hows site is a great opportunity to enjoy views to the Coniston hills and Langdale Pikes. In fact walking in this part of the country is in general delightful – as well as being scenic, most walks are studded with opportunities to stop for coffee, a picnic or a visiting ice cream van (makes travelling with children so much easier). And if you holiday with your dog as we do, you’ll also find this to be one of the most canine friendly places in the UK. Dogs are welcome in many cafes, pubs, shops and restaurants, and you might even find a doggy meal on offer on the menu as you choose your dinner. It’s just another of the reasons we keep heading back to the Lake District time and time again – we definitely give this area family friendly Autumn full marks.
- Highland Perthshire
Closer to home, another of our favourite Autumn destinations is Perthshire. With over 200,000 acres of woodland, this area, known as ‘Big Tree Country’, is every Autumn lovers dream. We stay near Pitlochry, a popular, pretty town just off the A9 north. From here you can enjoy a visit to the spectacular Queen’s View over Loch Tummel, or take a walk around the Faskally Woods and enjoy the colours of Autumn reflected in Loch Dunmore. If you’re visiting in October, the Enchanted Forest, a light and sound extravaganza set against the backdrop of the forest, makes for a magical evening experience with children. During the day, take a trip to the Hermitage woodland between Perth and Pitlochry and enjoy views of the falls from Ossian’s Hall. Add in a trek to Pine Cone Point for a lovely day’s walking – just remember to pack a picnic. If you’re exploring by car, don’t miss visits to the villages of Kenmore – which is home to the Scottish Crannog Centre – and Blair Atholl, where you can enjoy a range of Autumn adventures on the Atholl Estate. (find out more about Blair Atholl in my article Top Picks for Family Cycling Breaks in Scotland).
- Aviemore and the Cairngorms
If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that the Aviemore area is one of our favourite destinations for a campervan adventure at any time of year. However, Autumn is a particularly special time to enjoy the changing seasons when cycling around Loch an Eilean or strolling along the shores of Loch Morlich. You’ll find lots of information about this area in my article on Aviemore and the Cairngorms here. And you might also enjoy finding out more about nearby Grantown on Spey, one of our top family cycling break picks in my article here.
I do hope this piece has given you some inspiration for your next October holiday. I’d love to hear any of your favourite Autumn travel tips too!