Yes, it’s that time of year again, the nights are getting longer, the temperature is dropping and the smell of Pumpkin Spiced Lattes is in the air. While the return of colder weather can leave us feeling a bit blue, there are so many great things to enjoy in autumn, not least the stunning fall colours.
So why not pack your favourite sweater and take a romantic European trip to see some of the best bronze foliage that autumn has to offer?
Here are our top seven fall destinations for stomping through crunchy leaves.
7. Lake Bled, Slovenia
Offering some of the most spectacular views in Slovenia, Lake Bled is home to the country’s only natural island. A walk around the lake will take you approximately 1.5 hours, plenty of time for you to take in the glorious bronze and gold leaves on offer.
Packed with trees and Instagram opportunities, while the water is too cold to swim in during the autumn months, you can still hire a rowing boat and glide across to the island of Bled. Just remember to pack your camera.
6. The Lake District, England
Visiting the Lake District, you can see why the area inspired so many Romantic poets. From Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Wordsworth, the Lakes have been offering up breathtaking views for centuries.
Head to Buttermere early in the morning for still, clear weather and enjoy the mirror-like lake reflecting the autumn foliage. Before travelling to Coniston Water in the afternoon for its mixture of evergreen and deciduous trees.
5. Perthshire, Scotland
Nowhere does autumn like Scotland, and the county of Perthshire has some spectacular views. With one foot in the Highlands and one in the Lowlands, Perthshire is home to the Meikleour Beech Hedge, thought to be the tallest in the world.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic has meant the display is cancelled this year, the Enchanted Forest in Pitlochry will be back in 2022. The Hermitage, a stunning stretch of forest owned by the National Trust, turns deep gold and russet in the autumn and is home to romantic ruins and a waterfall too.
4. Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany
Look up ‘real life fairytale castles’ and you’re likely to find Neuschwanstein. Straight out of a Disney film, the fall trees surrounding the castle only add to the atmospheric drama of the place. Located in the Bavarian Alps, the castle was built for King Ludwig II in the late 19th century and can be visited by guided tour only.
The castle is then a five-hour drive from Germany’s glorious Black Forest, which is packed full of oaks, elms and beech trees, in stark contrast to the evergreen pines.
3. Transylvania, Romania
Transylvania may still be associated with vampires and gothic architecture, but it is also one of the best places in Europe to see stunning fall colours. The Mociar Forest is Romania’s oldest woodland and covers 570 hectares of Transylvania, perfect for exploring on a crisp autumn day.
Another way to enjoy the fall scenery is via Romania’s many high-altitude roads. At 90km, the Transfagarasan road connects Transylvania with Wallachia and reaches an altitude of 2,042 metres, making it the second-highest road in Romania.
2. Loire Valley, France
Known for its world-renowned wine, the Loire Valley sparkles in autumn. When you’re not sampling the vino, you can watch the grapevines turn deep reds and purples at some of the local Chateaux.
The Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire is a particular favourite in autumn, as it decorates its grounds with pumpkins and cucurbits, adding some autumnal flair to an already gorgeous setting.
1. Lapland, Finland
A place more traditionally associated with winter than autumn, Lapland truly comes to life in fall. Not only are the Northern Lights actually at their strongest at this time of year, but Rovaniemi - the capital of Lapland - is also full of beautiful trees.
While it may not be snowing, the temperature still drops to a frosty -2 degrees celsius, so remember to wrap up warm.