Sunday 17 December 2017


10 spots to see stunning autumn colour in Gloucestershire

Embrace the new season with SoGlos's round up of 10 places to see dazzling displays of autumn colour in Gloucestershire, sponsored by The Forestry Commission.

From blazes of burnished reds to carpets of golden yellows, there’s nothing like the sight of the autumn leaves changing colour to celebrate the arrival of the new season.

Whether you’re planning a family day out in the fresh air or a romantic stroll, soak up nature’s fireworks display – with SoGlos handpicking 10 spots to see stunning autumn colour across Gloucestershire in this hot list sponsored by The Forestry Commission Forest of Dean.

For more information about the beautiful natural playground of the Forest of Dean and the exciting attractions it offers for visitors of all ages, see Forestry Commission or visit forestry.gov.uk/forestofdean directly.


1. Forest of Dean and Wye Valley


The Forest of Dean is a delight for outdoor enthusiasts year-round but especially during the autumn months when you can visit to admire the changing colours of the ancient woodlands, which are looked after by The Forestry Commission.

Set off from Beechenhurst Lodge for a gentle walk through bountiful woodlands; head to Symonds Yat for spectacular views across the River Wye and miles beyond; take to the bike trails; enjoy a different vantage point from a canoe; and if you’re feeling particularly fit, climb up to the Blaize Bailey viewpoint for some truly breathtaking autumnal scenes.

Whether you’re planning a family outing or a romantic day trip, all ages are sure to be impressed by the stunning landscapes and blankets of autumnal leaves that are just picture-perfect during autumn. Trust us; you’ll definitely want to impress your friends with some Instagram snaps and you certainly won’t need a filter!


2. Westonbirt Arboretum


Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury, is at its most spectacular during the autumn months, attracting visitors from across the UK – and even around the globe – with its world class collection of trees and plants.

With more than 15,000 specimens of trees spread across 200 acres, it’s the acers – or Japanese maples – which are the stars of Westonbirt’s autumn show, bursting into all their colourful glory in October.


3. Painswick Rococo Gardens


While Painswick Rococo Gardens is most famed for its blankets of springtime snowdrops, it’s also a beautiful place to visit in October when its leaves are transformed into warm shades of gold and red.

The picturesque six-acre gardens, which dates back to the 18th century, encompasses follies, water features and impressive planting too – with its cyclamen and acers at their most impressive at the start of autumn.


4. Pittville Park

A photo posted by Joanna (@nakhmailean) on


With huge horse chestnut trees for conker-hunters, giant oaks and ancient yew trees, Pittville Park is a prime place to head for autumn colour in Cheltenham – with ginkgos, Paperbark maples, beech, liquidambar and red oaks all providing the most colourful displays.

And when the vibrant displays are all over and the park is carpeted with leaves, more autumnal fun can be had kicking the crisp leaves around!


5. Hidcote Manor

A photo posted by l u c y ?? (@lucyrmander) on


Prepare to soak up the impressive sight of the Japanese maples and Euonymus at their colourful peak with a visit to Hidcote Manor Gardens this autumn.

The gardens of the National Trust property, located near Chipping Campden, were designed by American horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston, with the striking displays of vibrant dahlias complementing the autumnal hues.


6. Batsford Arboretum


With one of the largest private tree and plant collections in the country, Batsford Arboretum in Moreton-in-Marsh offers a stunning spot to soak up autumnal colour while enjoying a stroll around the 56-acre setting.

From the start of October to the end of November visitors can expect to see maple and cherry trees in every hue imaginable, while the multi-coloured leaves of the Liquidambar tree are truly spectacular.


7. Laurie Lee Wood and Frith Wood

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Immortalised in the classic Cider with Rosie, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s Laurie Lee Wood nature reserve in Slad is a great spot to soak-up the changing season, with three hectares of ancient woodland to explore.

Frith Wood, meanwhile, next to Bull’s Cross and on the Laurie Lee Wildlife Way, is a particularly lovely beech wood that straddles the ridge between the Painswick and Slad Valleys.


8. Sezincote House

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Enjoy the chance to catch stunning colours while soaking up the unique setting of Sezincote, a splendid 200-year-old Mogul Indian palace near Moreton-in-Marsh, surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and trees.

Come autumn visitors can expect to see liquidambar, acers, Persian ironwood, American ash, Rhus Potaninii and Staghorn Sumac trees all basking in autumn glows.


9. Highgrove Gardens

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A visit to the gardens of Highgrove House, the family residence of the Prince of Wales, offers the chance to admire beautiful surroundings, creative planting and a carpet of trees in the arboretum – which has an abundance of Japanese maples at their colourful best in October.

Autumn visitors to the historic Tetbury attraction can also take in the impressive kitchen garden, with the apple tunnel particularly fragrant at this time of year.


10. Colesbourne Park

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In addition to its stunning displays of snowdrops every spring, Colesbourne Park also opens up the doors to its arboretum at certain days throughout year.

Don’t miss the October guided tour for a chance to soak up the autumn colours in their prime. For more information see Colesbourne Park Arboretum Opening.


Do you have a favourite spot for soaking up the autumn colour in Gloucestershire? Have your say by commenting below.

By Anna McKittrick

© SoGlos
Tuesday 12 September 2017

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