The National Trust was developed to offer beautiful outdoor and historic spaces for the general public to enjoy at affordable prices. The charity endeavours to keep the spaces safe from development and protect the heritage of some of Britain’s most important historical sites.
Each National Trust property is special in its own right and throughout the seasons each property, space or garden get its own time in the spotlight. Thanks to the climate and environment we have here in the UK, the changing of the seasons is a very special time and below are the best National Trust sites to see autumnal colours.
Stourhead National Trust in the county of Wiltshire in the Southwest is known around the world for its incredible autumn foliage and definitely one of the best National Trust properties to visit for autumnal colours.
Due to the longer summer is spreading into September, the best time to visit the gardens seems to be in late October and early November, to give the garden time to turn into its full palette of oranges, reds and yellows.
Throughout the gardens visitors can find stunning grottoes, temples and stone bridges, all nestled between a sea of woodland. It is recommended you dedicate at least half a day to strolling through the grounds, the bonus is it is now dog friendly so you can bring your furry companion on a lead.
Plan your visit to Stourhead here.
well known for being the filming location for Harry Potter’s Whomping Willow, The Ashridge estate in Hertfordshire is one of the most beautiful forests to enjoy an autumnal walk.
In order to see the best of the parks and I would recommend following the National Trust trail which you can find here.
The leaves start to change colour in late September and become more vibrant as time goes on, finally starting to fall throughout mid to late November.
It is the estate’s beech trees that time to the most vibrant orange hues, these beach trees can be found all over the Chilterns but Ashridge has the highest concentration of them, making it the best place for an autumn walk.
Plan your visit to Ashridge here.
Blickling Estate, Norfolk
Enjoy stunning displays of autumn colour from late September onwards at the Blickling estate in Norfolk. Take a walk on the 4.5 mile trail and spot barn hours hunting for their prey amongst beautiful woodland and parkland.
Alternatively there is a breathtaking Lakeside walk where you can admire the gentle reflections with reds and golds shimmering on the water’s surface.
Nothing beats the iconic view of Blickling Hall surrounded by a fire of leaves, especially when the low sunshine gently shines directly onto the landscape to bring out each and every shade of yellow and orange.
Plan your visit to the Blickling Estate here.
Croome Park, Worcestershire
Experience the full splendour of autumn at Croome Park in Worcestershire, a stunning 18th century country house surrounded by 750 acres of landscaped parkland. London plane trees planted along the lakeside and river look magnificent in autumn, and the beech trees beside the carriageways turn spectacularly golden.
Follow the National Trust’s autumn colour trail to enjoy the full brilliance of the English fall and don’t forget to keep a lookout for the wildlife that is so active at this time of the year.
Out in the parkland you can spot birds of prey such as kestrels, buzzards and the occasional kite, whilst squirrels scurry through woodland collecting collect nuts and seeds ready for winter, burying them in hiding places as they go.
Plan your visit to Croome Park here.
Mount Stewart, Northern Ireland
It’s not just the leaves that are changing, but an abundance of wildlife in full activity. Red squirrels are foraging and preparing for winter and autumn is the peak time for light-bellied brent geese on Strangford Lough. There can be up to 25,000 birds which is around 75% of the entire global population.
Visitors can wander through a colourful bed of leaves whilst looking out for different types of fungi that begin to appear around the garden.
Plan your visit to Mount Stewart here.
Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire
There is over 100 acres of countryside to enjoy at Baddesley Clinton, situated around a majestic moated house. The gardens of undergo an impressive transformation during the autumn months and is the perfect place to unwind with a stroll through crunchy leaves.
The walled garden enjoys late blooms alongside a pumpkin patch and juicy apple trees. Visitors are asked to help collect leaves around the lake walk that continue to fall each day which kids love especially.
Plan your visit to Baddesley Clinton here.
People have been visiting the beautiful Georgian house of Stowe for over 300 years thanks to its perfect views, winding paths, lakeside walks and temples which have created a timeless landscape.
During autumn the gardens develop into rich hues of reds and golds, creating vibrant displays that provide a perfect reflection in the water. Early in the season you can enjoy apples, quinces and pears that all ripen throughout late August and early September.
North American trees were introduced during the 18th century which provides a slightly different array of tones to other landscapes throughout the UK, the America area changes colour before the rest of the parkland.
Plan your visit to Stowe here.
Wallington National Trust offers a beautiful historic house surrounded by an informal landscape of lawns, lakes, woodland, parkland and farmland. Boasting its own walled garden and back by rolling hills.
A rich tapestry of autumn colours can be found particularly in the East Woods and walled garden. In the walled garden there is a distinct scent in the air of toffee apples due to the Katsura tree, particularly as the months get colder.
Plan your visit to Wallington here.
Sheffield Park, East Sussex
The gardens of Sheffield Park were planted to thrive throughout autumn thanks to the introduction of species such as Nyssa, Acer and Taxodiums. Because of this, autumn is a very busy season and visitors are advised to book before travelling.
The autumnal reflections in the lake offer the ultimate picture perfect moment, each planted individually and offering their own unique walking opportunities.
Plan your visit to Sheffiled Park here.
Bodnant Garden, Conwy, Wales
Bodnant Garden is home to many gardens in one, backed by the rugged Carneddau mountains. Over the last 150 years, plants have been brought far and wide to provide year round colour across grand terraces, intimate corners, manicured lawns and verdant woodland.
Autumn at Bodnant Garden rivals even the brightest colours of summer, with a firework display of crimson, amber and gold between trees, shrubs, ripening fruit and berries, and late flowering plants.
Plan your visit to Bodnant Garden here.