With the back to school rush complete, and cooler weather rolling in, we’re looking ahead to the changing colours and seasonal activities to start planning autumnal activities. Exploring the outdoors is ideal for those bright, crisp days, before winter sets in so find one of our suggestions below to inspire your next trip away.
An oasis of calm – from £145 per night (family of four) at Crabwall Manor Hotel & Spa, Chester
In the midst of the Cheshire Plain agricultural landscape emerges the Delamere Forest. The largest area of woodland in England, this shady oasis is the perfect spot for families to enjoy some peace and quiet together, or to get active with some wild running, cycling, or orienteering. Just 30 minutes’ drive away, the beautiful Crabwall Manor Hotel & Spa boasts an 18-meter heated indoor pool and leisure facilities in an historic setting. Prices from £145 bed & breakfast per night (based on two adults and two children sharing). Call Crabwall Manor Hotel & Spa on 01244 851666, www.crabwallmanorhotelandspa.com
Trek the Tolkien Trail – from £95 per family at Legacy Preston International Hotel, Preston
Walk in the footsteps of author J.R.R. Tolkien who regularly visited the Ribble Valley, in the Forest of Bowland, less than 40 minutes’ drive from Preston city centre. The trail explores the richly scenic surroundings that inspired author of The Lord of the Rings series, with several names throughout the books being similar to those found locally. Then relax at nearby Legacy Preston International Hotel for comfort and recuperation. Prices from £95 per family (two adults and two children sharing) including accommodation and breakfast. Call Legacy Preston International Hotel on 08444 119 028, www.legacy-hotels.co.uk/hotels/legacy-preston-international-hotel-preston-lancashire
Putt a smile on your face – from £79pp at Wychwood Park Hotel & Golf Club, Crewe
Thursday 4 October marks National Golf Lover’s Day, so what better excuse to pick up the clubs and head to the fresh Cheshire countryside. A round or two on the green at Wychwood Park Hotel & Golf Club with their knowledgeable golf pros, 18-holes with sweeping views over the challenging course, and recent PGA EuroPro Tour host success, is the perfect place to dust off that golf swing. Enjoy an overnight accommodation package with two rounds of golf, evening meal and full buffet breakfast from £79pp. Call Wychwood Park Hotel & Golf Club on 01270 829200, http://www.legacy-hotels.co.uk/hotels/wychwood-park-hotel-crewe-cheshire
New escapes in the New Forest – from £90pp at Chilworth Manor Hotel, Southampton
The New Forest National Park may be a well-known gem in the southeast, but even frequent visitors can find something new with each visit. Explore 140 miles of tracks and footpaths, the unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest by foot, bicycle, or on horseback. Book a restful stay at the nearby Chilworth Manor with prices from £90pp for a two-night stay (two sharing) with stunning leisure facilities and sprawling landscaped grounds. Call Chilworth Manor Hotel on 023 8076 7333 or www.chilworth-manor.co.uk
Forest bathing – from £99.50pp at New Place Hotel, Southampton
Tucked away in the lush and leafy Hampshire countryside, New Place Hotel is a luxurious Grade I listed manor house, oozing in history and charm. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the property sits amongst 32 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds and has its own woodland trail. Take a brisk walk, try latest wellness trend forest bathing, or simply have some fun with a four-legged friend in the great open spaces. Stay for two-nights from just £99.50 per person (based on two sharing) and enjoy a three-course dinner on both evenings, breakfast and a bottle of prosecco. Call New Place Hotel on 01329 833543, www.newplacehotel.com.
Night owls delight – from £45pp at Legacy Rose & Crown Hotel, Salisbury
Enjoy a magical evening in the wonderful world of owls as they twist and turn through the night sky, ducking and skimming overhead at the Hawk Conservancy Trust’s Owls by Moonlight events. A guided tour will give guests an up close and personal peek at the resident owls in the natural countryside setting. As the sun rises, head back to the comfortable Legacy Rose & Crown Hotel on the charming banks of the River Avon for an overnight stay from just £45pp (two sharing) with full English breakfast. Event tickets not included, available on Saturdays throughout autumn and spring. Call Legacy Rose & Crown Hotel on 01722 328615, www.legacy-hotels.co.uk/hotels/rose-crown-hotel-salisbury-wiltshire