If you’re thinking of visiting the United Kingdom in autumn, there are several things to take into consideration. Temperature is one thing. Some parts of the UK can be very cold in autumn, while other areas – such as the south west and south east – are relatively mild.
In Devon and Cornwall, it’s often possible to bathe in the sea in autumn, and you may still need to pack sunscreen, so if you like warmth whatever the time of year, the south west of England may be the best place to visit in autumn. Here are just some ideas for autumn visits in the West Country.
Plymouth is the largest city in Devon, and is an ideal place to visit at any time of year. However, in autumn, it really comes into its own. Visit the historic Barbican, from where history was made over and over again. The Pilgrim Fathers sailed to America from here in 1640, and Katharine of Aragon landed in Plymouth in 1501 for her marriage to Prince Arthur, eldest son of Henry VII. After Arthur’s death in 1502, she was betrothed to his brother, Henry – later Henry VIII.
Many other famous people have sailed into or out of Plymouth over the centuries. Find out about them, and the history of Plymouth, by visiting the Elizabethan House and the Merchant’s House on the Barbican, or the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery. However, before you leave the Barbican, visit the Plymouth Gin Distillery on Southside Street. Gin has been made here since 1793 – take the tour, and treat yourself to a bottle of the world’s finest gin as a souvenir of your holiday.
When you’ve had enough of Plymouth’s history, there’s some great shopping, and plenty of choice of restaurants and night life. Plymouth really is a great place for an autumn holiday in the UK.
Somerset is an ideal county for an autumn visit, particularly if you are able to go at carnival time in November. It begins with Bridgwater Carnival on 5th November, ending at Weston Super Mare on 15th. The parades start at around 7.00pm each evening, and you’re guaranteed a great spectacle, whichever carnival you attend. Find out about the full schedule, and the routes the carnivals will take, here.
In the daytime, Somerset has some wonderful places to visit. Go to Cheddar Gorge, where Cheddar cheese is made, and sample the wares and enjoy the wonderful scenery. Shopaholics should head for Clark’s Village in Street. With over 90 outlets, you’re certain to bag a bargain or two.
Cornwall is lovely in the autumn. Drive through the Glyn Valley and admire the trees in their autumn colours, and call into Trago Mills outlet for shopping in beautiful surroundings. Visit historic Lanhydrock House, and stroll in the beautiful gardens.
Cornwall is the home of the Eden Project, and there are special seasonal events for autumn. If the weather turns rainy, there’s plenty of under cover entertainment there. Take the Brewery Tour in nearby St Austell, and try the wonderful locally made ales. On Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays, visit Cornish Market World at Par, near St Austell. It’s the largest indoor market in Britain, and there’s a car boot sale on the adjacent ground on Sundays.
Flambards in Helston is another attraction with plenty to do indoors. Truro, the county town of Cornwall, has a beautiful cathedral, with lunchtime organ recitals, as well as a variety of famous high street stores and lovely local shops. The indoor Pannier Market is open every weekday.
The West Country of England is a great place for an autumn holiday. Head there soon and enjoy all it has to offer. You’ll be glad you did!