England, UK, Wales, Wanderlust

UK days out for autumn

September might just be my favourite month to explore the UK – the chance of an Indian summer, those glorious sunny days which feel like a gift after the bank holiday weekend.

A field of golden wheat under a blue sky - as summer ends, some inspiration for UK days out for autumn

Then on the horizon, the first crisp days of autumn, promising the glossiness of a fresh conker, the comfort of a favourite pair of boots as you scuff up the turning leaves – and that feeling of possibility, of new starts that still comes with the beginning of a new school year.

If you’re feeling despondent as the summer holidays end, thoughts turning to all the practicalities of real life again, it’s also the best month to plan a day out or a trip, a pick-me-up to cheer you up.

A day at the beach

Last year, we made the most of those final preschool days with a trip to East Sussex, wandering the cobbled streets of Rye and building endless shell-topped fortresses at Camber Sands under the bluest sky.

Girl making sandcastles on Camber Sands beach in East Sussex - spending a weekend in East Sussex with my daughter before the start of school, to explore the history and coastline

I never tire of visiting beautiful Cornwall too. One of the sunniest parts of the UK, the crowds of summer have died down but the countryside and coast is as lovely as ever, from the fishing villages to vineyard valleys.

Still high on my wishlist is a trip to Northumberland, its unspoiled coast lined with castles, the magic of Harry Potter and endless spots to eat fish and chips with a view.

The UK’s top sights

I’m as guilty as anyone of overlooking what’s on my doorstep, from the big attractions in London (despite actually living here) to some of the UK’s best family-friendly sights.

The closest my daughter has been to Stonehenge is the A303, on our way to the south west – and I haven’t been back for years. I’m tempted to check in on its doorstep at one of the glamping pods or shepherd’s hut at Stonehenge campsite, inspired by this fun UK camping guide from Halfords including tips from a few of my favourite travel bloggers: Mini Travellers, the Family Adventure Project and Vicky Flip Flop.

As well as seeing the Neolithic site’s recent facelift, I’ve yet to see the exhibition at Battle Abbey marking last year’s anniversary of the Norman invasion, or re-enactment of the famous battle. My daughter’s already discovered a few of the Terrible Tudors so perhaps it’s time to introduce her to their aggressive ancestors.

A narrowboat on a canal in England on a summer's day - extend the summer with my UK days out for autumn

Exploring the countryside

Is there anywhere more beautiful than Great Britain when the sun shines? (I admit I may be a little biased). Spending the bank holiday weekend in Staffordshire where I grew up, my daughter walked in my footsteps as I relived my childhood.

Wandering along the banks of a canal, a heron statue-still by the water’s edge and brightly coloured narrow boats cruising along, she clambered on the lock gate just as I used to. At Downs Banks, she broke in her new wellies splashing through the stream that runs past the bracken-lined paths, disdaining the stepping stones for the chance to splosh loudly.

And on the edge of the Peak District, the stark beauty of the moors, where bursts of purple heather brighten the hilltops, dry stone walls resolutely enduring the windswept winters.

Or perhaps I should pull out my walking boots to rediscover the dramatic scenery of the Lake District, after My Travel Monkey reminded me of its charms, and the splendour of Snowdonia, with its waterfalls and rugged peaks, another childhood haunt.

What better way to keep the holiday feeling going into autumn?


September may be the perfect month to explore the UK, with these ideas for UK days out for autumn - from the beach to the countryside and some of England's biggest attractions, there's plenty for families to keep that summer holiday feeling going

Compiled in association with Halfords*


Main image courtesy Pixabay, all others copyright MummyTravels