Autumn in Gloucestershire 2012
Published: 01 October 2012
Autumn Days in Gloucestershire
After one of the coldest and wettest summers for as long as most people can remember, it has been wonderful to take advantage of the recent early autumn sunshine in Gloucestershire. The beautiful rich blue skies have seemed all the brighter after the grey skies of summer.
However, now the children are back at school, the signs that autumn has arrived are all around us: the misty mornings, the nip in the air, shortening days and the shops trying to convince us that Christmas is just around the corner.
Windfall apples littering the ground always bring to mind the poem 'Apples' by Gloucestershire's Laurie Lee: “They lie as wanton as they fall, and where they fall and break, the stallion clamps his crunching jaws, the starling stabs his beak”
The experts are telling us that we could be in for a colourful autumn. Apparently the cold, dry winter followed by the vast quantities of rain that fell during the summer, together with a few frosts, might bring about nature’s spectacular tree firework festival of colour. Wow, get the cameras ready!
Whatever your age, there is a something quite exhilarating about walking through a multi-coloured carpet of autumn leaves in your wellies and kicking them high into the air or taking a walk through a wood, hand in hand with the one you love, rustling your feet through the crisp, dry leaves.
We are fortunate in Gloucestershire to have so many different landscapes from the Cotswolds to the Forest of Dean. So, wrap up warm, get some boots on and enjoy the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ in Gloucestershire. You are sure to be left with a warm glow - especially if you stop off at a lovely country pub with a roaring log fire!
Here are some great places to go and kick some leaves…
Autumn at Westonbirt Arboretum
Westonbirt, the National Arboretum
Westonbirt Arboretum is situated near Tetbury. It covers 600 acres and contains around 18,000 trees and shrubs. Autumn at Westonbirt is totally stunning and around every corner you are rewarded with another delightful spectacle. The Japenese Maples and Chinese spindles are some of the first trees to start showing their autumn colours, and with so many different varieties of trees changing colour at various times, there is a long season of interest.
Batsford Arboretum and Garden Centre
Batsford Arboretum is situated on a south facing escarpment in the north of the Cotswolds. The Arboretum covers around 55 acres with over 2,850 trees and shrubs. There will be some glorious autumn tints from the Japanese Maples and Cherries, Quercus and Sorbus trees, to name but a few.
The Forest of Dean
There are some fantastic walks through the Forest of Dean and a great place to enjoy the autumnal tints, some alongside lakes where you get double the effect! There are many different places to commence your walk, and the Forestry Commission website has full details, as well as a guide to the current colour rating.
Autumn in the Forest of Dean
Woodchester Park at Nympsfield, is a beautiful secluded wooded valley with a chain of five lakes. The autumnal hues of the mature trees reflected in the water are a beautiful sight. Waymarked trails of differing lengths, guide you through the valley and there is even a new play trail for all the family to enjoy.
Symonds Yat Rock
Symonds Yat Rock, on the Gloucestershire/Herefordshire border, situated high above the River Wye, is a great vantage place to view the changing colours of the trees in the Wye Valley woods and surrounding countryside. Find the colour rating of the trees on the Forestry Commission's website.
Stratford Park is a beautiful 56 acre park close to Stroud town centre. Along with recreational facilities and a museum, it has a lake surrounded by mature woodland, containing common trees such as oak, maple, beech, as well as more exotic species in the arboretum. It is believed that some of the trees were part of a shared order with Westonbirt in the 1890s. There always seems to be lots of squirrels scuttling around gathering nuts, much to children's delight!
Autumn in Stratford Park, Stroud
Highnam Woods near Gloucester, is the remnants of ancient woodland and an RSPB reserve. It has a 2km nature trail through a variety of trees. As well as the autumnal tree colours, look for winter visiting birds that are arriving, with bramblings and redwings being regular visitors. Also a good time to spot fungi growing on dead wood and on the woodland floor.
Outdoors in Gloucestershire
Take a look at these other outdoor places in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire and the Forest of Dean where you can enjoy the autumn scenery.
Share Your Favourite Places
Do you have a favourite place in Gloucestershire, the Cotswolds or the Forest of Dean which you enjoy visiting in the autumn? Where are the best places to take autumn photographs in Gloucestershire? Let us know where and why you enjoy them - we will feature the best suggestions here.
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