Here we go – my break down of some heritage attractions and gardens that would be delighted to see you, where you will find peace and tranquillity or a riot of colour if you need a bit more excitement. Please note some visits may need pre-booking.
How about a Hadrian’s Wall Roman adventure at Birdoswald Roman Fort. Beautiful in the autumn sunshine where the remains of the Wall casts long shadows. Stand in awe as the longest remaining stretch of the Wall spans as far as your eye can see. Take a slow walk as many Roman soldiers would have done between fort, turret and milecastle. Find out more about life on a Roman frontier with the fabulous exhibition in the visitor centre – where you can also indulge in 21st century refreshments.
Pull on your walking boots and seek out one of the county’s lesser-known galleries. In a cool contemporary space in Grizedale Forest, from 1 October you can see ‘Sense of Here’, an exhibition of photographs, poetry, installations and creative maps offer reflections on the National Park and the issues facing our natural world. Then spend some time with your own reflections in some forest bathing – or shinrin-yoku, which simply means spending time outdoors under the canopy of trees.
And finally, to prove you don’t need to go far to get off the beaten track, a garden I visit very regularly as I pass through one of our popular tourist’s spots. Just minutes off the main road away from the bustle of Windermere are the peaceful Holehird Gardens. The autumn borders present their annual firework display of rich colours which are only enhanced by the changing colours and shapes in the surrounding landscape. You can have a real Lakeland experience from the peace of the walled garden – a true haven in one of the Lake District’s most popular areas.
Be adventurous, find your own special place, make memories and enjoy this fruitful season. I have to confess, there is something quite satisfying about finding these special places at this mellow time of year.