Colourful autumn walks in the South of England

Family taking photo in autumn

Top spots to experience autumn in the South of England

Clear your mind and feel refreshed by the sights, sounds and smells of the most beautiful season in the forest. Explore the many winding paths of fallen leaves, wildlife and radiant colour in the South of England. 

From the stunning range of changing hues on the South Downs to the impressive array of fungi popping up across the New Forest, grab your coat and a picnic and head on a mindful autumn walk near you. 

New Forest Fungi - Turkey Tail

Discover the unexpected in the New Forest

Bolderwood, the New Forest  

Autumn in the New Forest is hard to beat! Expect stunning displays of burnt oranges, reds and yellows, beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife. Located near the site of King Edward III's hunting lodge which was built in 1358, Bolderwood is a well-known spot to see a variety of terrific trees.

The car park is located just off the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, next to majestic Douglas firs and ancient oak trees. Choose between a variety of fantastic walking trails and head out on a gentle stroll to explore more.

Parkhurst Forest, Isle of Wight 

One of the few places in England where you can spot red squirrels, this Isle of Wight forest is a beautiful mixture of both ancient woodland and heathland, and a great spot for a moment of mindfulness beneath the changing trees. Follow one of the multiple way-marked trails through the burnt orange bracken, falling leaves and dappled sunlight for the perfect autumn walk.  

Red squirrel clinging to a branch

Wonderful wildlife on the Isle of Wight

We want to see how autumn captivates your senses! Share your most colourful and crunchy snaps of the forest with #AutumnLeafWatch on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to win a £200 gift card, Forestry England national membership and t-shirt!

Autumn leaves along path

Engage your senses

Moors Valley Country Park & Forest, Hampshire

As the days gets shorter and the leaves begin to turn, Moors Valley becomes all the more lovely for a family afternoon spent soaking up some nature. Situated just 10 miles north of Bournemouth, there’s a great mix of conifer and broadleaf to help you teach the younger ones about autumn’s colourful effects, as well as some fantastic views along the Lookout trail.  

Top tip: Visit between 16 October 2023 and 28 January 2024 to catch the Earth Photo exhibition.  

West Walk, Hampshire 

Known locally as Hundred Acre Woods, at 350 hectares West Walk is the largest remaining fragment of the ancient Forest of Bere. With plenty of oak and beech trees, the woodland here puts on a fantastic display of autumn colour - perfect for an afternoon spent in the great outdoors. Watching the mighty trees as they turn to a warm, rusty red is a delight to many.

Explore one of the walking trails or let any younger visitors blow off some steam in the forest play area, set amongst tall pine trees.

Autumn Maple Leaves
Photo credit: Paul Box

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