Celebrate autumn with the National Trust

Karen Neville

As autumn swoops in, it’s not just Keats who was in love with this atmospheric season, the National Trust is too, find out more about what you can enjoy

Ask anyone what sets autumn apart from the other seasons and they’ll almost without fail say the colours – the kaleidoscope of reds, yellows, oranges, russets and bronzes – that fills the landscape are a sight to behold and none more so than at Basildon Park, Stowe and Hughenden.

Take the orange or green walk through beech woodland to see the colours at Basildon Park near Reading, the Grecian Valley at Stowe serves up a splash of colour while Hughenden manor is awash with seasonal shades across the Chiltern valleys.

We can all channel our inner child with a bit of leaf swishing

The balcony at Basildon Park, dahlia garden at Greys Court near Henley and under the arch at the ruin of the cascade at Stowe all provide the perfect frame to your autumn snaps bathed in the glory of the natural light of the season.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away so you’ll be more than ok if you visit Hughenden where very day is apple day – not only can you learn about the 40 varieties of old English apple they have there but you can also help with the hay making or find out more on a fungi trail.

Credit: Hugh Mothersole

We can all channel our inner child with a bit of leaf swishing – do you favour the high kick to watch the leaves fall to the ground or a flat-footed swipe to hear the rustle or perhaps you like to go full on ‘snow angel’ and really immerse yourself in autumn? All the above places are ideal to indulge in this.

Another sure sign of autumn are conkers, their shiny brown casings are jut begging to have string attached ready for battle but before you do that, take a moment to admire their form and gather up as many as you can from the surrounding woodland at Basildon, Stowe and Hughenden among others, An old wives tale portrays them as useful in warding off spiders which may come in handy for Halloween at the end of the month.

On October 31st, thoughts will turn to spooky tales and you can summon up the atmosphere at Chastleton, near Moreton in the Marsh, which is exactly as it was 400 years ago – take a behind the scenes tour on October 25th or follow the Halloween trail at Stowe in the half term which explores the lost village of Stowe complete with chants and spells along the way and visit the Gothic Temple if you dare on 29th and 30th.

Find out more

See the National Trust’s website www.nationaltrust.org.uk