Autumn is one of the most picturesque times of year to get away, but where are the best places to go to soak up the spectacular colours
Autumn is upon us and the north west of England is gearing up for its annual displays of natural glory to rival New England in the Fall.
According to leading Lancashire-based hospitality group James’ Places, which also has hotels in the South Lakes and Yorkshire Dales, few other places in the UK can offer such a variety of forests, fells, crags and tarns which look truly stunning in the autumn.
Three of the group’s venues – Falcon Manor at Settle, The Royal Hotel at Kirkby Lonsdale and the Shireburn Arms at Hurst Green, near Clitheroe – are great choices for packing lots of aspects of a glorious rural autumn idyll into a getaway weekend.
Group marketing manager Heidi Kettle says: “New England is known for its beauty in the Fall, but north west England is just as spectacular and closer to home. In our one region we have the Lake District, a UNESCO world heritage site which has captivated poets for centuries, the Forest of Bowland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Yorkshire Dales, which enjoys National Park status. A stay at any of our hotels puts all these natural wonders on the doorstep to be explored.”
Six out of the top 10 UK’s favourite walks as chosen by ITV viewers are located in the north west of England and the region has an abundance of beautiful hiking routes to choose from. From mountain walks such as Helvellyn, Ingleborough, Pendle or Penyghent to more leisurely strolls through Gisburn Forest, Malham or along the Rivers Ribble or Lune, every level of fitness can enjoy the outdoors and the scenery.
The changing trees offer an abundance of colour with the typical air clarity of a crisp autumn day offering photographic opportunities not to be missed. Look for evidence of wildlife such as deer, birds and other creatures preparing for winter.
The salmon leaping waterfalls as they make their way upstream to spawn in late October is a must-see on the River Ribble at Stainforth, near Settle and the RSPB’s Leighton Moss reserve on Morecambe Bay offers a chance to see bittern, water rail and flocks of bearded tits in the autumn.
Various National Park and visitor centres provide information and exhibitions all year round.