BONUS UPDATE: See Bath's stunning Botanical Gardens this Autumn! Extra location listed below:
Beautiful Bath in Autumn
Just as the final flames of the summer barbecues die down, Autumn arrives bringing a distinctive smell in the air of rich fruits and mist vapour on a fresher breeze. The shift into the new season feels like a new beginning rather than an end, a chance to dive through the wardrobe looking for that favourite woolly jumper, tugging on some sturdy boots and getting out into the great outdoors (or city) to explore.
In Bath that means one thing - Autumn colour! Being located in such a leafy, green part of the country we are slowly rewarded for enduring this year's intense heat over the next few months. Fading summer green hues begin to change before our eyes, revealing stunning tones underneath in the tree canopies, shrubs and hedegrows. It's a visual theatre show transforming city streets and countryside into a kaleidoscopic display of wonder.
The parks and gardens in Bath are incredible for autumn colour which satisfy any crisp, frosty morning stroll but even better are the woodlands and valleys surrounding the city. When you're done kicking the leaves in Bath, take a journey through the trees to some of these other places to welcome in the new season in all it's glory:
1. Westonbirt Arboretum
When Autumn arrives in South West UK one place springs to mind that attracts people back year on year. The Silk Wood Trail at Westonbirt Arboretum takes you on a journey through a vivid feast of colour - paths and collections of trees mingle together creating a patchwork of interest with the main show-stopping highlight being the Japanese Maple collection, rightly taking centre stage.
Over 15,000 trees sourced globally make up the collection at Westonbirt and every conceivable colour reflected in the diverse leaf patterns, stems and trunks.
Top Tip: Arrive early in the season whilst the grass remains green and if you can, visit mid week to avoid the crowds. Bring an id book and see how many different species you can spot!
How to get there: From Bath, take the A46 north to South Gloucestershire and follow the right turning just after Dunkirk along the A433 to Westonbirt Village. Postcode: GL8 8QS
Ample parking, refreshments and shop.
Admission costs: £10 Adult/£4 Child - 1st March - 30th November
£7 Adult/£3 Child - 1st December - 28th February
2. Victoria Park, Bath
Just a short stroll from Bath's city centre (and from anywhere to be honest) is a vast oasis of nature filled with mature deciduous trees, botanical garden and plenty of open parkland. The colours; yellow and orange are the order of the day here - reflected in the tree canopy of some pretty impressive Plane, Sycamore and Beech trees.
This Green Flag awarded park has been attracting visitors since it's opening in 1830 and acts as a breathing space from the bustle of the city. From the city centre it is possible to follow an elliptical route through the park taking in the impressive stone obelisk monument, duck ponds and network of paths before ending up at the Royal Crescent, which is beautifully framed by golden Beech trees.
Top Tip: Arrive at dawn or dusk when the temperatures are cooler to experience the crunch of leaves underfoot and the golden sun streaming through misty tree branches above, perfect for photography!
3. Kennet & Avon Canal, Bathampton
For a walk full of atmosphere the Kennet and Avon canal can't be beaten - in fact, any section of it's 87 mile route is stunning at this time of year. Though, for scenery, architecture and late season ambiance the section between Bathampton and Sydney Gardens is golden. The most satisfying aspect of a stroll along this tow path is the ability to walk from quaint village hamlet, through isolated pockets of nature onto great spectacular vistas of the approaching city of Bath.
Top Tip: Being so close to water means early morning mist, which dances along the surface of the water. Arrive as the light levels increase revealing a magical scene. A perfect start to your day before finding a coffee shop.