One of the best various locations and motels for autumn weekend breaks

What can we search for in an autumn break in Britain? Heat and cosiness, log fires, snug beds and exquisite views, actually. Menus primarily based on seasonal, hopefully native, produce together with hearty dishes similar to hotpots and blackberry and apple pie. Lengthy, lazy afternoon teas, with newspapers and books and possibly a board recreation by the fireplace. And if we discover ourselves staying near a sight famed for its wonderful autumn colors – a park, backyard, arboretum or forest – a lot the higher.

The older I get, the extra I respect autumn. After the warmth of summer season (particularly this previous summer season) and earlier than the chilly and darkish of winter (particularly this coming winter, with its alarming gasoline prices) it’s certainly a season, as Keats so eloquently put it, of “mists and mellow fruitfulness”, when ideas flip to relaxation, rest and mild however energising train. Now could be the time for that calm stroll round a stunning lake, purchasing tour of an enthralling city you didn’t know earlier than, or day-long hike: there’s nothing extra pleasurable than strolling on this nation’s astonishingly stunning panorama and returning on the finish of the day to good meals and a heat mattress.

There’s another excuse why autumn makes such an ideal season for escape: it’s one of the best time to ring the modifications, keep away from the apparent and select someplace to base your self that’s lesser recognized, much less busy and cheaper. If summer season is all about heading to the seaside and winter means festive luxurious, autumn is a time for roaming far and extensive, diving beneath the radar and searching for out candy spots you might not have thought-about earlier than. In any case, the entire of leafy Britain is clothed in shades of yellow, orange, crimson, purple and brown.

There are some good strategies right here: as an alternative of Broadway within the Cotswolds, head for beautiful Ludlow in Shropshire with a rhythm and a soul all its personal. As a substitute of Brighton, uncover hip and arty Hastings; within the Lake District, swap the crowds, pleasure-boat loudspeakers and costly lodging of Windermere for the nonetheless, uncooked great thing about Haweswater nature reserve and the mild worth of its lakeside resort, whose tree-filled gardens are a sight to behold in autumn. Keep off the crushed observe, save your pennies and uncover autumn gold. Fiona Duncan

The basic

Broadway, Cotswolds

Even by Cotswold requirements, honey-stoned Broadway has a fairly breathtaking magnificence that guests have at all times been moved to seize, from the Pre-Raphaelites (Rossetti, Burne-Jones, William Morris) to in the present day’s selfie-snapping vacationers.

The choice

Ludlow, Shropshire

Handsome Ludlow charms with its wonky wattle-and-daub buildings, but its location in sleepy Shropshire, beside the Welsh border and blessedly far-flung from London, saves it from the overtourism that blights the Cotswolds. Nonetheless, its sturdy culinary scene pulls in devoted gourmands and its sq. has hosted a farmers’ market for the reason that twelfth century, when it was simply generally known as a “market”. Decide up artisan cheeses and venison pies for a picnic inside the pleasingly ruined fort; for those who’re feeling courageous, work up an urge for food with a wild swim within the River Teme.

It’s additionally blessed with some terrific (and inexpensive) locations to remain, the fanciest of which is Outdated Downton Lodge – a rambling, half-timbered farmhouse on a 5,500-acre property, with vintage oak four-posters within the former secure rooms and a wise restaurant within the Thirteenth-century barn serving adventurous and thoroughly crafted dishes. 

Doubles from £185 (01568 771826; Learn the total resort assessment right here

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