Catch the last colours of autumn…


Planning a day trip or a last minute get-away in the great outdoors? Now’s the perfect time to catch the last colours of autumn in the UK, according to Constance Craig Smith in Check out six of the best spectacular seasonal displays in gardens across the UK. But be quick or the autumn leaves will vanish! She recommends….

Erddig, Wrexham, north Wales
An 18th century formal garden that offers sweeping lawns, an avenue of pleached limes (the trees are woven together like a hedge) and a canal garden. Youngsters can meet the estate’s two working horses, Jerry and Claire, and there’s also a play area where they can swing on ropes and build dens. Entry £6.60 for adults and £3.30 for children.

Groombridge Place, Kent
Highlights include the oriental and knot gardens. For children there’s a giant chess board, zip wire, tree swings and animals, including peacocks and a zedonk (half zebra, half donkey), plus birds of prey displays (daily except Monday). Entry £9.95 for adults, £8.45 for children.

Glendurgan, Cornwall
This 25-acre garden, in a sheltered valley, has many unusual plants including tree ferns and bamboos. All the family will enjoy the beach and rockpools where the garden meets the sea, and navigating through the cherry laurel maze. Entry £7.20 for adults, £3.60 for children. Open daily.

Tatton Park, Cheshire
This historical estate has parterres, Italian and Japanese gardens, glasshouses and a 2,000 acre deer park. Children will love the animals at the farm (weekends only), where they can milk the wooden cow tool there’s also a woodland play trail and den building zone.


Arley Arboretum, Worcestershire
There’s an atmospheric Italian walled garden and the grounds give views over the River Severn, especially lovely in the autumn. There’s a maze, fairy trail, dinosaur trail and a play area for children. Entry £5 for adults, £2 for children.