Five Inspiring Autumn Destinations
We rarely get to travel as much as we’d like, and even rarer still is being at our own liberty to decide on when to travel. Affordable flights, availability of accommodation, working hours and other commitments can all us from being able to travel where and when we want. I’ve typically travelled during the summer as it’s the time when it’s easier to take time off work, though most of the places you visit will be jam-packed with tourists by this point. At least you can guarantee nice weather.
I’ve travelled during winter, too, to the UK, Wales and to Rome. If you don’t mind a bit of chilly air and rain then travelling in winter is just fine, but the season I’d really like to experience in a new destination is autumn.
Here are the top five places I’d like to see during my favourite season.
1. Kyoto, Japan
I’d love to see Japan’s ancient capital partly to experience the authentic Japanese way of life that I feel might be a little more honest than that of Tokyo. Apart from this Kyoto is full of beautiful temple gardens and shrines which in autumn become sprinkled with the most wonderful deep red and orange hues. As the leaves power down for the winter, the temple gods almost smile upon the foliage.
Photos by Tristan Lavender Photography
2. Wyoming, USA
The least populated of the States, thronged with the Rocky Mountains and home to both the Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, I can think of few places better on Earth to watch the wilds transform, shedding their summer skirts and turning swiftly to their autumn hues. It must be truly breathtaking to watch the snow creep lower and lower down the mountains and see the spray of the hot springs crystallise in the chilly air. Never mind all the amazing North American fauna, from the majestic bison to the wolves and black bears: all creatures that move with the seasons, perfectly in tune with their home.
3. Aberystwyth, Wales
Maybe not the top of everyone’s list, but I visited this charming little West-coast University town on the far coast of the UK and was instantly charmed by the sloping beach front, the miniature high street and the general quaint calmness of things. Autumn in Aberystwyth is of course time for the murmurations, when spectacular numbers of starlings perform their enigmatic synchronised dance through the clouds. The view out to the Irish Sea provides some stunning sunsets too.
4. Budapest, Hungary
If you enjoy bathing in steaming water outdoors in the middle of the city, then Budapest is just perfect. Less crowded than during the summer months, you can enjoy a dip in the Széchenyi Bath and dine under beautiful trees and scenery in the many parklands that fill the city. As for the Danube, it looks spectacular in all seasons.
Photos by Mark Mervai Photography
5. The Arctic Tundra
I can’t mention autumn without mentioning the place typically associated with winter. I love the Arctic as it quite simply undergoes the most extreme and swift seasonal changes of any place on the planet. From whole waterfalls being trapped by ice and trees cloaked in snow, to an explosion of cascading waterfalls, blooming wild flowers and the most incredible golds, yellows and cadmium reds bursting from the trees. The transformation also sees millions of reindeer shedding their horns after the breeding season, constantly on the move, tracking the sun across the sky for the next patch of fragrant grass.
Photo by Stuart Thomson Photography
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