According to travel statistics most of you will now have returned from your summer holiday and got back to work, dreaming already of where to go next year; whether to return to the lovely resort you’ve just visited or to try something new. Next summer’s a long way off and between now and then is the long, cold and wet winter – the perfect reason why many try to squeeze in an autumn break before winter begins.
A winter break doesn’t have to mean travelling abroad and the expense it entails, although for the lucky few who haven’t maxed out their credit card in Ibiza, Cyprus or Turkey, delaying winter is certainly a great idea. Instead, on a budget, you can get a great relaxing break either close to home or for the adventurous, a car ride away.
Two recent surveys give hope for a great short break in the UK; one suggested that autumn has some of the best weather of the year and with a good summer still here on and off, the chances that 2013 will see an Indian summer are greater than ever. The second survey found that there is nowhere in the UK that is more than a hundred miles from a national park or historic city.
Favourite City Destinations
Top of the travel list for city breaks in the UK is understandably London but not far behind you’ll find the attractions of Roman Bath with the natural beauty of the Cotswolds not far away. There’s also great shopping to be found there – especially in the lanes where antique shops abound.
is popular now the hectic Festival and Fringe are a memory. Once more the shops of Princes Street entice the retail therapists whilst the city’s bloody history, documented in the museum, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the castle are another great reason to spend a weekend there. You don’t have to travel far for some dramatic scenery either for the wild ground surrounding the extinct volcano known as King Arthur’s Seat is a stunning location from which to see the city.
York is one of our favourites. It’s crammed with almost every kind of history to involve England and has great experiences such as the Jorvik Museum and the National Railway Museum. A walk around the extensive city walls will give you a grand view of the city and the famous York Minster.
Autumn is the time for the changing colours of nature and this year, after a hot, dry summer it should be spectacular. Top destinations for autumn colour are the New Forest in Hampshire where you’ll also have the added attraction of the New Forest ponies as well as charming towns such as Cadnam and Lyndhurst and if the weather’s exceptional, the golden beaches of Bournemouth are less than thirty minutes away.
The Lake District also puts on a rainbow cloak of autumn hues and, reflected off the languid lakes, your finger won’t ever be off the camera button. Take a boat trip for the best views and stay in one of the many remote bed and breakfast establishments for some real Cumbrian hospitality.
Not so widely known, the valley of the River Wye has great natural beauty as the river winds lazily through meadows fringed with the dazzling autumn colours of deciduous trees. Take a trip to Tintern Abbey for some history and, time it right and the region’s best known product; Victoria plums will be a bargain at the roadside orchards.
Not so many trees but still alive with the russets of autumn is Dartmoor in Devon. There, the colours come from the fields interspersed with bracken, gorse and the occasional heather. Bleak, yet beautiful, there are few more beautiful places in Britain.