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Six Surrey Spots for a Great Autumn Display


I love autumn when you can discover nature’s bounty at its best and see the beautiful, colourful spectacle of the tree leaves turning. Whilst it’s happening very late this year, it is now underway.

Autumn walks

It’s really the most interesting time of the year to go on a walk. Here are some of my favourite places to visit with the family.

Painshill Park at Autumn


The beautiful landscaped gardens of Painshill Park (which you may have glimpsed during the Bridgerton series!) have a host of attractions at any time of year. There’s the Gothic Temple, the Turkish tent, a 14-acre lake, the Temple of Bacchus, the fairytale crystal grotto and the Gothic tower to name a few.

Autumn only adds to its charms. There are a number of walking routes you can follow, which take in the Painshill sights. Additionally, it’s running a Wild Halloween Camp over half term (October 24th-26th – 9.00am-4:00pm).

For ages 8-11, it includes:

  • Den building – build your own haunted hut
  • Campfire cooking and hot chocolate
  • Wonderfully wild, weird and wicked wide games
  • Making spooky woodland craft

Find out about all of Painshill Park’s autumn activities here:

Leith Hill (Dorking)

We’ve had some lovely walks around here. The Woodland trail is a route of 2.5 miles (takes up to two hours), which takes you through woodland, up to Leith Hill Tower – where you can grab a cuppa and a sweet treat – and Leith Hill Place estate. This was home to Josiah Wedgwood III (of pottery fame) who was married to Caroline Darwin sister of naturalist Charles. It was more recently the childhood home of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (currently closed for refurbishment).

In season, there’s a huge array of mushrooms (for fungi enthusiasts, this is a great spotter book) and there as loads of great trees, including sweet chestnuts, which offer bountiful foraging opportunities.

Here are the details of the different routes:

Claremont Landscape Gardens (Esher)

This is another National Trust favourite of ours near Esher. There are lovely landscaped gardens but with plenty of wild areas, and a big lake complete with plenty of wildlife an opportunities for boating. You’ll also find a very nice children’s play area (Queen Victoria used to play at Claremont when she was a child).

Between Saturday, 14th and Sunday, 29th October, the Enchanted Claremont adventure trail is taking place.

Find out more about what you can expect to see here:

If you’ve exhausted the cafe there and fancy some extremely nice Spanish food then there’s José Pizarro at The Swan Inn pub nearby 🇪🇸.

Winkworth Arboretum at Autumn

What better place to witness autumn’s splendour than at an arboretum? Winkworth Arboretum comprises of 121 acres of wild woodland with over 1,000 species of trees and shrubs. It is wonderful at any time of year, but it is renowned for its displays in autumn.

On its Autumn Colour trails you’ll be treated to arrays of copper, amber, fiery reds, gold and about every other autumn hue imaginable. Keep an eye on their socials to see which trees are peaking.

There is also Autumn Magik this October half-term where children can follow Willow the Witch on her journey to help create an autumnal colour explosion. More details here.

Parking, which is free, can be reserved in advance and is recommended for all visits between now and the 19th of November.

More details here:

Wisley in the Autumn (Woking)

Photo credit:

RHS garden Wisley is vast and boasts a wide range of flora. As well as an arboretum, there’s Seven Acres with its wide open lawns, ponds and fine specimen trees. Oakwood is a hot spot for autumn foliage, and you’ll be able to see many autumn-flowerers in the Rock Garden, Alpine Display House and in all the borders.

Find out about all of their half term activities here including gardening, walk and talks, shows, spooky garden trail and lots of arts and crafts:

For full details of what’s looking good at Wisley right now, visit:

Autumn at Polesden Lacy (Great Bookham)

From the South Lawn at Polesden Lacey, you can take in the lovely views of Ranmore Common. The ancient woodland has a diverse range of trees, so it is awash with striking colours until late October. Perserve Copse has a variety of Acer trees. These provide a lovely display and there’s plenty to see in the Sunken Garden. There are many trails to explore too.

Discover the autumn highlights here.

There’s also the Autumn Explorers for preschoolers, and for older ones and adults there’s the Halloween Adventure Cinema. For all of the upcoming events head to:

Enjoy your autumn walks and please share your favourites.



About Author

I’m Fran: wife, mother-of-three and freelance publicist. My love for communicating and writing mirrors my passion for trying to be the best mum I can be. I love good food & wine, Italian culture and football and have a keen interest in personal finance. I also blog over on Epsom & Ewell Families and Habyts, and write sporadically for a number of other sites.

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