A Perfect Autumn Destination
The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley stand out as one of the premier autumn destinations in the UK. As the season unfolds, the vivid display of autumn foliage e attracts guests from various corners of the globe. Whether you’re a committed nature enthusiast or simply a casual observer eager to immerse in the breathtaking beauty of fall, an unforgettable leaf-peeping adventure awaits🍂
Encompassing approximately 20 million trees spread over 200 square miles, The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley are not only vast but also beautiful. Historically, this region has consistently served as a magnet for those individuals eager to witness the intense, vibrant display of autumn foliage. And rest assured, this glowing recommendation isn’t merely our biased perspective; many share this viewpoint including
The Loney Planet’s blog “9 places in the world with the most intense fall colors” in 2022. https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/best-places-world-fall-colors
The Telegraphs article “Top 10 places to see autumn colours in the UK”
And Country Living magazines blog “23 of the best places in the UK to see autumn colours”
The origins of ‘leaf peeping’
Let’s do a deep dive into the essence of leaf peeping. What exactly is it? Originating as a Canadian expression, ‘leaf peeping’ refers to the tradition where individuals flock to observe the magnificent transformation of leaves as they shift in colour. In the Japanese context, it’s identified as ‘kōyō’ (紅葉), translating to ‘fall colors‘ or ‘leaves changing color‘, and ‘kanpūkai’ (観楓会), denoting ‘gathering to view the leaves‘
The science behind the foliage colours
As the days begin to shorten, signaling the onset of longer nights, a natural spectacle occurs: chlorophyll gradually dissipates from the foliage. The once vivid green hues give way to a stunning array of colors. These can range from the subtle whites and greys to the more vibrant and eye-catching oranges, reds, and purples, extending even to the deep, enigmatic blacks. When October rolls around, this visually stunning transformation draws in not only casual enthusiasts but also dedicated photographers, all of whom travel from various locations to leaf-peeping hotspots to witness and capture the mesmerizing process of leaves changing colour.
Here are my top 5 places to go leaf peeping this autumn in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley.
- Tintern Abbey & the Devil’s Pulpit the Devil’s Pulpit is a viewpoint on the Offa’s Dyke Footpath offering spectacular views over Tintern and Tintern Abbey is an iconic
- Symonds Yat Rock is one of the most iconic views in the Wye Valley. The lookout is 20 metres above the River Wye and provides stunning autumn views.
- Beechenhurst & Cannop Ponds is one of the best places in the Forest of Dean to see the changing foliage. We recommend hiring e-bikes from Pedalabikeaway. https://pedalabikeaway.co.uk/contact/ Visitors can follow the circular family cycling trail which includes 11 miles of off-road track. There are places along the way to stop and admire the stunning views.
- Cyril Hart Arboretum is home to over 200 tree species with stunning displays of autumn colour. Follow the flat circular path around the arboretum. You can enter Speech House Woods through the kissing gates for a longer walk.
- Eagles Nest View Point is not for the faint of heart. There is a steep climb of over 300 steps through Wyndcliff Wood. At the top there is panoramic views of the rivers Severn and Wye and the Cotswold Hills.
Please check out these awesome leaf-peeping guides for more information and activities this autumn.
If you would like to come and visit us this autumn please do check our availability. We would love to welcome you! https://willowforeststays.com/
We would love to know where you went leaf peeping. Please tag us #willowforeststays and let us know where you went leaf peeping this autumn or send us a DM on Instagram @willowforeststays