Autumn walks and fireside naps at our favourite seasonal boltholes
The months of October and November count as a special, often- overlooked time to take short breaks – we share nine beautiful places to hole up in this season, whether you want to pull on some wellies and go leaf- kicking or settle by the fire with a good
Monkton Old Hall, Pembrokeshire
An entry in the guestbook at Monkton Old Hall sums its character up well: ‘Vaulted ceiling, fire at night, ping pong in the “dungeon”, stone spiral stairs, peep hole windows to poke hands through and make ghost noises… just magical.’ If sharing spooky tales by the light of a log fire is one of the greatest treats of autumn, this place is the ideal venue. The Old Hall has been hosting travellers since the 14th century, when it was a guest house run by Benedictine monks for pilgrims en route to St David’s. The cavernous lounge (pictured) and vaulted undercroft (now home to the table tennis table) are traces of its distant origins, as is the resident ghost: some say she is a nun whose skeleton was found bricked into the wall of an equally ancient priory next door. Take a guided tour of immense Pembroke Castle – birthplace of Henry VII and viewable from the Old Hall’s gardens – and enjoy beachcombing at nearby Barafundle Bay.