Best Autumn Walks in the East Midlands
Discover some of the most picturesque walk routes in the East Midlands, where you can experience autumn at its best.
Oct 09, 2017
As much as we all miss long summer days, there’s something special about a good autumn walk in the UK countryside. Here in the East Midlands, you’re spoilt for choice of walking routes thanks to our forests, National Trust parks and the beautiful Peak District. So here we have rounded up the best autumn walks in the local area, where bright autumnal colours and crunchy leaves under-foot are guaranteed.
Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
Calke Abbey Estate is a popular National Trust location in the heart of the Derbyshire countryside, surrounded by extensive woodland grounds. When you take a walk along one of Calke’s routes you can find a large nature reserve and a deer shelter, where you can spot many enclosed red deer roaming the fields. Calke Abbey really does come alive in autumn, with many of its trees turning vibrant shades of red.
The Abbey’s Autumnal red walk covers 2 miles of moderate terrain in a circuit. At a leisurely pace it should take around 1 hour to complete. During the walk you can find yourself in open fields and denser copses. At the Dragon Tree point there is a gorgeous view of the grounds where you can take in the autumn trees in all their glory, such as the Old Man oak tree.
The Chatsworth Estate, Derbyshire
This Peak District National Park boasts 105 acres of woodland grounds and stunning gardens. One thing’s for sure – you won’t be short of things to explore on a walk through the Chatsworth Estate, which includes a maze, various water features and viewing points. This well-kept Estate looks beautiful in autumn with all the different trees and foliage offering a range of colours.
If you want to experience something a little different this autumn, other than walking, the Chatsworth Estate is holding a Bonfire & Fireworks’ event 4th November – 5th November. Flashy fireworks display, circus performers and music illuminate the grounds at night, with delicious hot food including a hog roast, and sweet treats! But hurry as tickets are in-demand!
Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
Home to the Robin Hood legend, Sherwood Forest is home to some of the oldest trees in the whole of Europe. The Major Oak is over 800 years old! When you take a walk along one of Sherwood’s eight routes, you are sure to find leaves coating the path and bright autumn colours in the canopies around you.
Walks range from 5 – 9 miles and include nature trails for all the family, including wheel-chair-friendly routes. The Clumber Park walk is particularly popular and winds through large trees parallel to a lake. Click here to see interesting walks in the forest. If you don’t feel like walking you can hire bikes and go on the many bike routs around Sherwood, ranging from easy short routes to longer routs for more experienced bikers.
Ilam Park to Dovedale, southern Peak District
Ilam Park surrounds Ilam Hall stately home in the Derbyshire Peak District. Along the 1.5-mile riverside walk between the Park and the Dovedale stepping stones, you will pass through peaceful countryside and into the spectacular Dovedale gorge. The walk takes around 50 minutes in total, and offers great views of caves and ancient rocks formed more than 350 million years ago.
At the start of your journey in Ilam Park you can see 1,000-year-old Saxon crosses in the churchyard. As you move further on, keep your eyes out for fossils in the rock and on the river, you might be lucky enough to see a kingfisher, dipper or heron. Click here to see the Ilam to Dovedale route. The stepping stones at the end are a great place to stop and look around the River Dove.
Derwent Valley, Peak District
Derwent Valley offers a high range of walking routes, but one of the most breath-taking has to be, around the perimeter of Ladybower Reservoir (pictured above). The trees come out in wonderful rusty oranges and reds at this time of year. View the wild moorland landscape from a high vantage point or immerse yourself in it by walking across the reservoir bridge. You will cover around 6 miles of fairly flat path if you walk full-circle around the reservoir, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes! Click here to see the Ladybower Reservoir route.