But what makes the colours change? Well, with the days getting shorter and the nights getting darker, the amount of sunlight is heavily reduced which causes chlorophyll to break down. As such, we’re left with a burst of cosy, mellow and heart-warming colours that were masked by the green chlorophyll.
Here at Feel Good Contacts, we have unveiled the colours of the UK’s 15 National Parks that are perfect for those autumnal weekend walks. To do this, we ran an autumnal image of each park through a colour picker tool to find out its most dominant colours.
Not sure which location will give you the visual stimulation you need? Here are the 15 National Parks to choose from, so no matter where in the UK you live, you’ll be able to enjoy a crisp Autumn walk.
Discovering England in Autumn
Here are some of the best parks in England you can stroll through to enjoy all the colours of autumn.
Home to breathtaking views of open moorlands, deep river valleys and a wide range of wildlife, Dartmoor’s natural beauty will leave you mesmerised at the stunning landscape. With soils that have been undisturbed by intensive agriculture, the National Park is especially fascinating in terms of its rare and peaceful wildlife that has over 28 key species for conservation here.
From butterflies to birds of the moors, the 369 square mile landscape is the perfect place to unwind and take a relaxing walk on a Sunday afternoon or go for a picturesque picnic by the river. Being the largest and highest upland area in southern Devon is known for its changeable weather, so it’s best to wrap up warm here and bring an umbrella just in case there’s a downpour!
Although one of the UK’s smallest National Parks, Exmoor makes up for it in spectacularity. The steep wooded valleys with beautiful flowing streams alongside the valleys shaped over thousands of years, makes for a truly magical visit. Located in Southern Britain, Exmoor is the ideal location if you want to experience the true meaning of golden hour by witnessing the beautiful orange hue that follows sunrise and reappears just before sunset.
The vivacious colours that can be seen here are usually associated with optimism, enthusiasm, and confidence can help boost your mood! With options to hire an e-bike to explore the dramatic coastlines and moorlands, experience the tranquillity of the open space and marvel at the gorgeous landscape.
Famous for its gorgeous scenic views, cultural heritage and ancient woodlands, the sweeping valleys of Lake District sees the countryside transform into gorgeous shades of orange and yellow during the Autumn time. Visitors are welcome to climb the beautiful fells, walk across the colourful semi-natural woodlands and explore the clear lakes and rivers.
Here, you’ll be able to take in a quality of scenery found nowhere else in the UK. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, why not hike up Scafell Pike? At 978 metres tall, this is the highest mountain in the park, so the views at the top are guaranteed to be out of this world. On your way up, be sure to look out for red squirrels, herdwick sheep and red deer!
The ancient woodlands of New Forest are filled with wonderful wildlife and an outstanding coastline that’s perfect for taking in the dramatic lakes, delightful forests, and wildlife. With over 1,000 ancient trees (which is the highest concentration in Western Europe), take a walk through the woodlands and learn about New Forest’s heritage whilst looking out for the diverse range of animals and plants.
With the Autumn months providing a kaleidoscope of warm hues, it’s the ideal place to spend a tranquil weekend away from everyday busy life. Hire a bike or stroll on foot to experience the magic of New Forest.
North York Moors
The serene corner of North England is home to the beautiful New York Moors National Park which contains one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the UK! The wide-open spaces make for a peaceful destination to connect with nature and enrich your senses whilst experiencing the tranquil natural landscape and coastal strolls.
Additionally, the New York Moores is well-known for its dazzling night skies, so if you’re heading out at night, you’re able to see up to 2,000 stars! But, if you’re not a fan of walking around in the dark, then the crisp Autumn days are a perfect time to experience sunrise and sunset, which will be sure to boost your mood. Away from all the buzz of everyday life, the only noise you will hear is the moorland birds, water trickling in the stream and the wind howling around you.
The beautiful South Downs National Park is over 1,600 square kilometres of historic woodland, rare wildlife species and rolling hills. It’s also the perfect place to spot butterflies! With Autumn being the season of morning mists, crunchy leaves and amazing sunsets, South Downs will give you that warm sense of comfort.
With the landscape including a large woodland area that’s bigger than any other National Park in England, this place definitely won’t be short on vibrant, colourful leaves. If you want to capture the moments, the best time will be at sunset when golden hour is at its best. The South Downs National Park also has some of the best views of the starry night skies in the UK, so it’s a perfect place to stay a little later (on a clear night) and gaze at the stars.
Known for its wonderful scenery and natural attractions, the Yorkshire Dales is a much-loved spot for going on short walks, cycling around and observing the heather moorland and distinctive hills. With spectacular waterfalls, ancient woodlands, limestone scenery and hay meadows, Yorkshire Dales picturesque location is the perfect place to find peace and tranquillity.
The park is filled with farm animals, wild animals, birds of prey and wildflowers! Other than the sound of animals roaming around, the only other sounds you will hear are the gentle splashing of the waterfalls, the rustling of tree leaves and the wind howling around you. If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, activities such as caving and potholing may be more up your street!
With the cleanest rivers, clearest air and darkest skies, Northumberland National Park is a wonderful attraction for those who love nature, heritage and culture. Covering more than 1,050 square kilometres, the park is one of the least populated of all the ones in the UK, so it’s particularly great for those who want to experience the natural attractions without bumping into lots of people. Northumberland National Park is also home to the largest protected Dark Sky Park in Europe (if you want to see something truly incredible and unique!).
One of the UK’s most visited parks is the 555 square miles Peak District, which is the perfect spot to hike, climb and camp. It’s ideal for unwinding and recharging by immersing yourself in the wild moorlands, dramatic rock edges and famous hills.
The countryside is said to have a wide range of wildlife - from red deer in Autumn to white mountain hares in Winter, whatever season you want to visit, be sure to look out for the different animals! The Peak District always offers great views, but Autumn is especially magical with the sweeping Moreland with decaying bracken to woodland full of ancient oaks.
Home to more than a quarter of Britain’s rarest animals and plants, the Broads is a fantastic destination to discover wildlife and go birdwatching. There are lots of sites to spot migrant and unique species, so make sure you bring a pair of binoculars to get the best view possible. Some of the species include the Norfolk Hawker dragonfly and the Swallowtail butterfly that can only be found at the Broads.
The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads are also Britain's largest protected wetlands and unlike any other. You’ll have the option to hire a boat to travel around to explore the land. The beautiful rural landscape also includes historic wherries, windmills and winding rivers, which is the perfect spot to reconnect with nature and have a picnic whilst gazing at the magnificent surroundings.
Discovering Scotland in Autumn
Here are some of the best parks in Scotland you can stroll through to enjoy all the colours of autumn.
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs
Surround yourself with peaceful mountains and wonderful views of nearby hills and lochs and rivers in the North of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. With 720 square miles and 22 large lochs to explore, the park has scenic viewpoints along your travels, so you can stop and take in the picture-perfect landscape! You’ll be able to walk from the wide-open lush landscapes to the southern part of the park and explore the rocky peaks in the north. With atmospheric lighting and fantastic sunsets, you can appreciate the national beauty of Loch Lomond in the Autumn.
The Cairngorms National Park in Scotland is known for its spectacular landscapes. It is ideal for a relaxing and mesmerising Autumn walk. Filled with the highest range of mountains, heather moorlands, lowland farms and rivers, the biggest National Park in Britain is perfect for discovering the magical sights, nature, and wildlife. There are plenty of places along the walking and cycle trails where you’re able to stop and take pictures of the gorgeous landscape and some of the UK’s rarest and endangered species.
Discovering Wales in Autumn
There are some incredible parks in Wales, all of which look especially peaceful and beautiful during Autumn.
Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons)
Recognised for its internationally recognised dark skies, towns and nature, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park is the place to go if you’d like to reconnect with nature. From deep caves to high peaks, there’s plenty to explore. The Welsh mountains’ lack of light pollution makes it the perfect place for stargazing at night. After your relaxing day of exploring, you can spend the night experiencing breathtaking views of the Milky Way and shooting stars from the night sky.
With fifteen peaks above 3000 feet and twenty-three miles of sweeping coastline, Eryri National Park in Snowdonia is a vibrant, diverse and historic landscape that provides the tranquillity and solitude you might be looking for. With large, remote mountains, dark skies and lots of wildlife, there are many different activities and opportunities to explore on the land.
One of the smallest National Parks is the wonderful Pembrokeshire coast which is backed by hills, valleys and woodlands that are split into four parts. With over 600 miles of public footpaths, the best way to explore the scenic coast is on foot, where you can take pictures of the location, take in the scenery and get acquainted with the wildlife. Pembrokeshire Coast Path National trail covers some of the best views, including miles of golden sands and blue waters. If you’re feeling brave, you’re more than welcome to go swimming on the quiet and undisturbed beaches.
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