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Turning Summer Blues Red this Season

Head on a mindful woodland walk or shop for this season’s must-have red knit. Whatever you do this autumn, make sure you feel good doing it. We look at some ways of awakening the senses as the key to happiness and well-being this autumn.

Let your mind wonder, with a hot cuppa and some soothing music as you browse our Autumn Arrivals, Lake District cottages waiting for you this autumn.

A Mindful Walk in the Woods

In today’s hyper connected world, it’s very easy to breeze past some of the simple things. Ones that, if we were more mindful of, would bring us pleasure and health benefits.
This autumn, the Forestry Commission have teamed up with mental health charity Mind. They are working to raise awareness of the health benefits of connecting with our beautiful forests and woodlands. This is a way of awakening our senses and becoming more self-aware and mindful.

Tree hugging jokes aside, woods and forests are great places to head to ease stress and to relax. And this is especially true in autumn, where all your senses are awakened.

Sight is our dominant sense and a walk in an autumn wood greets us with a large blaze of oranges, reds and yellows, all of which are uplifting colours. They stimulate the mind and are associated with vitality, optimism and joy.

Ashness Woods Copyright David Welham

Ashness Woods Copyright David Welham

And as we trudge along a carpet of leaves, whether we’re chattering away with friends or chasing little ones, it doesn’t take long until you start kicking your feet through piles of leaves in complete delight. The rustling sound, sense of fun and beautiful damp, earthy smell that is released is undoubtably energising. You start to breath deeper breaths and taste the cooler, moist air.

In autumn, woods and forests are bright spaces. There’s still enough light before winter sets in and the falling leaves open up the canopy above for light to flood down, which it tends to do in beautiful shards, or hazy spotlights.

There’s a sense of excitement and adventure of autumn in the woods as a carpet of leaves blur paths into the woodland floor. Although the birdsong has gone, there’s lots of fun to be had crunching and rustling dry twigs and leaves and then there is the unexpected plop as a beach nut or conker tumbles from high up.

Being aware of your senses, how you are feeling, is directly related to well-being, advise Mind, and what better place to re-connect and awaken your senses than in a woodland walk in the Lake District.

Plus, Autumn 2017 is set to be a particularly spectacular autumnal display, following a wet summer, which has quenched thirsty trees after a dry spring, and we’d recommend heading up Carron Crag in Grizedale Forest, in the heart of the Lake District, for panoramic woodland views.

Make a Statement in Red

Whether it is Dutch brand Sandwich’s ‘pop red’ or welly boot maker Aigle’s ‘rouge’, shop this autumn’s style trends and you’re in for a treat that will leave more than your cheeks rosy. Yes, red is the colour of the season and we’re pleased about this. Red is a powerful colour and is proven to have a stimulating effect on our hearts and circulation. Plus, it is a ‘safe’ colour for the mountains. We checked out Berghaus and Patagonia’s new A/W ’17 range and are happy to see the classic red given this season’s update over there too.

The Lake District is fast becoming England’s top cultural holiday destination and attracts sought-after brands from around the style globe, such as Patagonia, Aigle, Howies, Fjällräven, Carhartt and Kühl, as well as fashion and heritage brands, such as Sandwich and Aigle. Plus, the world-class selection of outdoor retailers in Ambleside and Keswick are sure to hit the retail therapy spot this autumn.

We love the sporty ‘rouge’ for men in Aigle’s collection, as well as their burgundy knits. For women, there’s little that will make you feel as good as a strong red knit jumper to match with an upbeat ‘rouge’. For women we love Sandwich’s layering look in sophisticated ‘Port Royal’, loose silk blouses and comfy knits layered for the perfect feel-good, look-good style. For men, it’s about a no-fuss, chunky knit and some sturdy footwear!

Have Fun ForagingWhilst we think of summer fruit picking as the time to replenish our nutrient intake from superfoods and berries, Autumn’s harvest is filled with health boosting and immune strengthening offerings too, much of which can be foraged in the Lake District. And what better way to get the senses stimulated than on the hunt for some of nature’s finest delicacies. Foraging is great fun and the satisfaction of the find is addictive. Plus, it is good for you too, as it involves slowing down and looking closely around you. Also, foraged foods are packed with nutrients. Let’s take a look.

In spring, across the pastoral orchards and fields in the Lakes, we enjoy the pretty, perfumed, blooms of apple trees and in Autumn, we can harvest their bounty.

The Great British apple season is in full swing, and despite spring frosts dampening harvest yields, our appetite for this super healthy and delicious snack is as strong as ever. There are lots of wholesome Apple Day events around the Lakes, where you can pick your own and decide on your favourite variety – Duke of Devonshire, Keswick Codlin, Carlisle Codli or Howgate Wonder, to name a few. As the saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Edible mushroom foraging is also a great excuse to sample some Lakeland bounty, and Grizedale Forest’s mushroom foraging tour on Sunday 8th October is a must for foodies. In the far East mushrooms have long been a delicacy, largely because of their believed medicinal properties and ‘mushroom hunting’, as it is known here, is particularly popular in the Lakes as rainfall is the main contributor to their proliferation. This Autumn is looking like a good season, after a wet summer, so look out for the beautiful looking orange coloured Chanterelle, which are delicious with scrambled egg and lots of butter, and often found growing under beech trees.

Also, don’t forget to collect and bake pumpkin seeds at Halloween – they are ‘nutritional powerhouses’ and tasty too!

Gathered Autumn Mushrooms

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