Although the arrival of autumn means a sad goodbye to the last of the sunshine, light nights in the beer garden and backdoor barbecues, it does pave the way for a number of beautiful UK city breaks. What’s more, they don’t have to break the bank. Staycations are all in, so get packing the car now!
Scotland is beautiful all year round, but the Scottish Highlands in early October are truly a sight to behold. Without a doubt, October is the most exciting time of the year here – take a peek, and a listen, of the mighty stars roaming the land. The national parks here are home to numerous deer, including fallow, sika and red. The autumnal landscape provides the perfect backdrop for the fierce stags to battle over potential mates, plus, any little ones in tow are likely to believe they’re up close and personal with Santa’s reindeer.
At the opposite end of the UK, Cornwall may take your fancy. The beaches are empty here, and the lightness of the place suffuses everything. Autumn is by far the best time of the year in Cornwall, as the mid-summer haze is long gone and colours are sharper owing to the crestfallen hue of the turning leaves.
Still, the sea retains its summer temperatures, so you’re still able to go for a swim. Down in Penzance, the Jubilee Pool remains open until the very end of October. The pool is a surreal experience – as, twice a day, it fills with fresh seawater, making for a swimming experience like no other.
With its cornfields, farmhouses, barn ruins and horse ponds, Suffolk is an agricultural county like no other. It’s the one area of the UK that is truly dominated by the cycle of farmland – and, after harvest, you can catch a glimpse of the landscape laid bare, a slightly dystopian look for this part of the country. There’s certainly the feel of a haunted past here; watch out for the flint hag stones cemented into garden walls and the mysterious, witch-like marks scratched onto the churches of East Anglia.
Yorkshire is a beautiful pocket of the UK – and, in autumn, the Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage invites visitors to experience a one-of-a-kind weekend. The weekend features 130 artists in over 90 pop-up galleries, a great opportunity for art fans or those with a creative mind.
Entry to the festival is completely free, so it won’t damage your bank balance in any way – and, after the exhibition, you can stroll the coastal bird trail and look out for the fieldfares, redwings and waxwings. The heritage of the Yorkshire coast is a huge part of its distinctive character, with ruins such as Scarborough Castle and Whitby Abbey well worth a visit.
The capital city makes for an excellent city break during any time of the year, and autumn is no different. Much like North Yorkshire, the city is popular with art fairs during this time of the year, and Frieze is set to be one of the best yet. The sculpture fair will be held in Regent’s Park during the beginning of October, with a huge focus on contemporary and living artists.
After you’ve marvelled at the beautiful works on show, head over to Richmond Park for a glimpse at the magnificent stags. You can also check out several London museums during nightfall – a surreal experience for sure. There are a number of brilliant hotels in Shepherds Bush; you certainly won’t be short for places to stay.