feel a bit like I did the time I introduced Julia Bradbury on stage at the Keswick Mountain Festival. In a word: redundant. Who wants to listen to me talk when the golden rays of something wonderful are poking from behind the curtain? Autumn is a star season, and this beautiful edition of our magazine is (I hope) scarcely less dazzling. I won’t stand between you and it for a moment longer than necessary (assuming of course you’re reading this page at all, which as all editors secretly know is something no-one except their parents actually do). Why do walkers have the hots for autumn? Perhaps it’s because it’s the season that seems to most enjoy itself. There’s a sense of nature – normally so full of unselfconscious purpose – exhaling, raising a toast to itself, and enjoying that fatalistic contentment good work or a good drink will give you. So this is what we achieved this year and no more? But wasn’t it good. All these leaves will fall, you say? But look how beautiful they are as they do it. It’s important to take stock now and again, whether you’re nature in the autumn or Nigel in the pub. But if you want the effect – that feeling of pleasure in the way things are – to last more than a short while, you’re going to need more than a season or a snifter. You’re going to need something that makes every experience glow as if lit by autumn’s richest sunlight. You’re going to need walking.