Go with the flow of the season’s heart-warming glow
Whisper it softly, but there is now a distinct nip in the air. The nights are drawing in; the children are settling into school; the first leaves are falling; and the shortsleeved shirts of summer – that incredible, record-breaking, lifeaffirming summer – have reluctantly been folded away.
The fact is that, in exactly a week’s time, the autumn equinox q will be upon us. There is increasing talk of blustery ry winds. The next thing we know, it will be Christmas. as.
No matter what misty-eyed ed poets may say, this change of season is not ot a cause of unalloyed oyed joy. Who really lly wants it to get colder and darker? For the traveller, ler, though, the coming weeks have ve much in their favour, as Telegraph graph Travel writers reveal in the following pages.
There’s the drop in temperature erature for a start. No matter how much h we say we love the heat, generally we e feel much more comfortable in more temperate climes.
Exploring cities in particular is so much more enjoyable when the temperatures are in the comfortable 20s rather than the furnace-like 40s. For those seeking inspiration for an autumn city break right now, Nick Trend suggests Amsterdam, Madrid, Vienna, Milan and the perennial favourite, Paris.
Then there are the spectacular autumn leaves, the exquisite shows of colour from the New Forest to New England to the Rockies, which, while marking the end of nature’s annual cycle, generate such a heartwarming glow. In addition to tried and tested favourites at home and across the Pond, Paul Wade has some well considered suggestions for trips to the forests of Germany and, much farther afield, Japan, a country with autumn reds and golds which, in their own way, are as dramatic as the fabled cherry blossoms of spring.
The new, welcome freshness in the air lends itself to motion, a rekindling of the desire to engage with the great outdoors and the “mellow fruitfulness” of harves harvest time. Autumnal strolls and country pub refreshments loom, with Richard Madden’s proposals exten extending from day-trips to D Dorset and the Lake Dis District to a week’s walk walking in the hills and go gorges of Crete.
Of course, you may prefer to use this time of year to head to the beaches bea of southern Europe E where until well w into October – and min minus the crowds (and prices) o of high season – you can still catch the warming rays of the sun and swim in a sea that will retain the heat of summer for many weeks to come. Jane Foster’s suggestions range from m Nice and the A Amalfi Coast to Montenegro ro and the is island of Rhodes.
And you know what, for all the talk of blustery winds, it may remain pretty nice here, too, with forecasters predicting we are in for a warmer than average rest of September and October.
I know, I know, when did the forecasters ever get it right? But keep those short-sleeved shirts handy just in case. And enjoy it while it lasts…
Adrian Bridge Brockenhurst was built in 1650 from reclaimed ships’ timbers. From £90 a night for b&b in October. Ride the Lake Louise Gondola up p to the viewing platform at 6,850ft. ft. Look out at mighty mountains, a glacier, a sapphire lake and the zingy y yellow of millions of alpine larches. Spot grizzly bears and big horn sheep below; hear elk bugling. Hike ke or paddle a canoe under the bluest luest of skies. In autumn, the Canadian dian Rockies are a must.
Windows on the Wild (020 020 8742 1556; windowsonthewild.com) com) offers seven nights in Alberta erta from £1,080. Includes return flights ights to Calgary, car hire, accommodation. modation. Sweaty armpits, sunburnt nose, chicken-like legs peeping pallidly from shorts… British men never look quite at home in summer. Dark, chilly autumn suits us much better. Michael Deacon Japan’s springtime Cherry Blossom Festival is famous. What is less well-known, however, is the autumnal momijigari or koyo, viewing the red and gold leaves. During the surprisingly long season, lasting throughout November, temples are accented by bright maples. Munch on roasted chestnuts and try momiji tempura – sugar-dipped maple leaves, fried in tempura batter. InsideJapan (0117 370 9730; insidejapantours.com) has 13-night Autumn Splendour self-guided trips fro from £2,600 (flights extra) with top koyo sights, cycling, tea ceremony, private garden tou tours and more. Includes transport,tran accommodation and somesom meals.
Lake Louise, main; Hainich National Park, below