With mixed weather over the last few months, we’ve all been eagerly waiting for the annual show of autumn colour, but it’s finally here and a kaleidoscope of rich browns, golden yellows, vibrant reds, and vivid oranges can be found in gardens, woodlands, and parklands across Wales.
Now is the time to see the country in its full autumn glory so dig out your knitwear, pull on your walking boots, and feel the crunch of leaves underfoot as you take a walk through an incredibly vibrant landscape at one of National Trust Cymru’s top spots to soak up the autumn colour.
For more information, or to plan your visit, head to; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/wales
Colby Woodland Garden, Pembrokeshire
Once an industrial coalfield, today this peaceful valley and 19th-century estate is home to an 8-acre woodland garden that has masses of vibrant autumn colour to discover.
Pull on your walking boots and meander along winding garden paths as you look for different varieties of colourful fungi, watch birds and other wildlife preparing for winter, or relax and enjoy a moment of tranquillity in the sky gazing glade.
Elsewhere, enjoy the Japanese Maples, Liquidambar and the extraordinary golden Ginko tree near the stream in the meadow, visit the small orchard, or kick through fallen leaves as you watch dappled sunlight steaming through the golden canopy of the native trees around you.
Find out more; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/wales/colby-woodland-garden
A magical land of power and influence for more than 2,000 years and home to the descendants of Lord Rhys, the powerful Prince of the Welsh Kingdom of the Deheubarth, Dinefwr is an iconic place in the history of Wales.
In autumn, the 18th-century parkland explodes into a riot of colour when its veteran trees display an impressive crown of gold, red and orange leaves. The most remarkable perhaps is the ancient Castle Oak which would have been just a sapling when Dinefwr Castle was built more than 800 years ago.
Wrap up warm and enjoy a walk designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown when he visited Dinefwr in 1775. On this route you’ll see some of oldest trees in Wales framing stunning views of Newton House and discover an amazing variety of plants and insects, and spot ravens and red kites which nest in the trees around you.
Find out more; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/wales/dinefwr
Dyffryn Gardens, Cardiff
Dyffryn Gardens covers more than 55-acres on the outskirts of Cardiff, and with so many autumn wows to discover it’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
See the Arboretum transition into a rich rainbow of warming colours and stop to collect conkers and pinecones as you go. Move slowly and you‘ll find a vast array of fungi hiding in the undergrowth, whilst showy waxcaps shine like glistening jewels on the lawns in a wide variety of shapes, colours and types too.
As you explore, look out for migratory birds like Mistle Thrushes, Fieldfares and the occasional Waxwing as they stock up on nutrients before making their journey onwards to warmer climates, and be sure to stop and admire the acers that put on a dazzling show of rich reds and golden yellows.
Find out more; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/wales/dyffryn-gardens
Tredegar House, Newport
Tredegar House is one of the architectural wonders of Wales and one of the most significant late 17th-century houses in the whole of the British Isles. Situated within 90 acres of beautiful gardens and parkland there’s plenty to explore all autumn long.
See a tide of colour sweep across the parkland as ancient sweet chestnuts and majestic oak trees burst into rich golds and vibrant oranges, and at Home Farm, Boston ivy creates a fiery spectacle as it creeps across the historic walls.
Don’t miss a visit to the garden where you’ll find a strange and wonderful autumnal world at your feet. Move slowly and tread lightly and you’re sure to find fungi in endless sizes and colours, that look as though they’re taken straight from the pages of a fairy tale.
Find out more; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/wales/tredegar-house
Nested in the heart of Ceredigion, in the wooded Aeron valley, Llanerchaeron is a Welsh country estate that has remained remarkably unchanged for over 200 years. With a Georgian Villa, a traditional farmyard, a walled garden, and a lake, there’s plenty to explore.
Find a quiet place to sit in nature and enjoy the spectacular display of colour in the woodlands as the leaves turn fiery red, mellow ochre and rich bronze. You may spot a wide array of wildlife preparing for winter too – from birds and bats to otters and smaller mammals, this tranquil place is home to a wide range of creatures.
Autumn is also the time when waxcaps start fruiting and glowing gems of crimson, saffron, white and emerald appear on the lawns. Traditional, low-level farming at this Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) has allowed this rare fungus to thrive and more than 25 species can now be found here.
Find out more; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/wales/llanerchaeron
Powis Castle and Garden, Welshpool
As the cooler air arrives, Powis Castle’s Baroque garden comes alive in a dazzling array of reds, yellows, burnt oranges and golds.
Explore the borders of the Italianate Terraces which are brimming with penstemons, purple beautyberries, sedums, asters and deep blue aconites, then listen to the sound of leaves crunching beneath your feet in the Wilderness, the formal woodland, which boasts numerous Champion trees.
From here, look across the Great Lawn to appreciate the iconic view of the 13th century medieval fortress which is made even more spectacular by the glowing autumn show of dogwoods, smokebushes, maples and acers which tumble down the slope below it.
Find out more; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/wales/powis-castle-and-garden