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Autumn leaves along path

Top spots to experience autumn in the South East

With the highest percentage of woodland cover in the country, the South East puts on an incredible display of autumn colour for senses-awakening walks during autumn with family or friends. 

From stunning open skies in Norfolk to wooded and ancient landscapes of the home counties, grab your drinking flask, wrap up warm, and discover a perfect autumn walk near you. 

Atmospheric misty forest at Wendover Woods

Seasonal views from the Chilterns

Wendover Wood, Buckinghamshire 

Follow the short and sweet Hill Fort trail on woodland paths around the Iron Age Boddington Hillfort. Stop to enjoy the beautiful sights of beech woodland on this easy walking trail, which is relatively level and takes in views over the Vale of Aylesbury and the Chiltern Hills.

Top tip: Time your walk in the morning or evening to catch the long shadows off the Chilterns escarpment. 

Alice Holt, Surrey

Weave through native trees like oak, beech and rowan, as well as mature pine, and explore the forest at your own pace. Alice Holt’s Lodge Pond trail is a scenic route which takes you into the heart of the forest and autumn's magic.

Top tip: Take a slight detour off the path to Glenbervie Meadow and stand at its edge which stretches out in front of you framed by beautiful autumnal trees.

Forest floor with autumn leaves

Breathe in the fragrance of autumn

Bright green grass field in front of dusty orange tree tops

Fiery orange glow in the South Downs

Friston Forest, Sussex

As the largest area of recently established forest in South East England, Friston blends the beauty of South Downs with the peace and tranquility of the season under the forest canopy.

White Horse View trail is a picturesque walk along the forest edge overlooking the view of the white horse carved in the hillside across the downland.

Top tip: Look out for the grazing cattle on the northern side of woods who are there to encourage chalk downland plants. 

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

Blackwater, New Forest, Hampshire

The New Forest’s ancient and ornamental woodlands are some of the best places in the country to see autumn, with beech, sweet chestnut and oak often showing truly magical displays. The Tall Trees trail is one of the best places to experience the array of colours in the New Forest. Take a stroll around the peaceful surroundings while marvelling at the vivid display of autumn colour.

Top tip: Lookout as you pass two of the largest trees in the New Forest,stunning redwoods either side of the trail.

Walking path in autumnal forest

Autumn wonder reaching into the sky

Autumnal forest path with long tree shadows across

A lakeside view and spots to reflect

Bedgebury Forest and Pinetum, Kent

Bedgebury is a stunning place to visit at autumn, the fiery leaves and brilliant berries are in sharp contrast to the background of rich evergreen conifers. Particularly striking are the golden larch which turn a deep golden colour, the dawn redwood and swamp cypress with shades of red, chestnut, ochre and copper.

Top tip: Turn left after crossing the bridge at Marshall's Lake and hidden away on the left you’ll find a bench. Take a moment to sit and enjoy the stunning views across the lake.

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Family on walk through autumn woods

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Forests are places you can seek adventure, make memories or find escape. For 100 years we've been looking after the nation's forests, so that they can take care of you.
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Seek adventure, make memories or find escape in the forest.
Download this booklet for tips for forest bathing, inspiration for adventure, forest memories notepad and Carol Ann Duffy's poem 'Forest'.