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Instagrammable Autumn locations

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Josh Carter
7th October 2023

Trust us, the whole family will be amazed by the colours and sights of autumn, whether it be the golden leaves or the long lingering light and shadows – autumn never disappoints as one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. If you're more on the side of preferring summer, we've hopefully got some medicine below that will give you some stunning colours from the best shots and sights of Autumn. Remember - we always love seeing your photos so be sure to tag us in any autumnal photos you take!

Penshurst Place

Before the invention of cars, visitors to Penshurst Place would've arrived at the estate via an avenue of trees along the headland, as the house comes into view. Today, the sight is still as wonderful as the 48 acres of parkland turn their colours from green to gold and the formal gardens get ready for winter. For instance, venture on the 1 kilometre Woodland Trail, or if you're feeling particularly adventurous, take  Regional cycle route no. 12 from Penshurst to Tonbridge through the Wealden countryside, and get the train home!

Photo: David Jenner

Bedgebury Pinetum

When you think of autumn, the first thing to come to mind is the trees changing – the colour bringing a last-minute bit of life to the otherwise quickly disappearing leaves, and one place not to miss in autumn is Marshal’s Lake at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest. Take a seat and enjoy the complete autumnal colour palette from the rich rusty swamp cypress by the water’s edge and get up close to the deep red bark of dawn redwoods. Top tip: Turn left after crossing the bridge at Marshal's Lake and hidden away on the left you’ll find a bench. Take a moment to enjoy the stunning display across the lake.

Gusbourne 

While the grapes may have been picked, the vines are fully alive with colour in the autumn in our vineyards in Kent. If you want to try the wine as you go on a wander, you'll be able to colour match just like this picture of Gusbourne, and be sure to take a bottle home with you so you can continue to keep the autumnal vibes going right through to winter, if you can keep it that long! 

Biddenden Vineyards

With lines and lines of vines adorning the fields, Biddenden Vineyards is a stunning place in autumn. With the grapevines changing colour, the parallel channels provide stripes of yellow and golds that make our Instagram feed pop. Harvest is in full swing in autumn and we cannot wait until this year's vintage appears in the shops!

The North Downs 

In Kent we are surrounded by countryside and running right through the backbone of the county are the North Downs. Whether it's a the open grassland or the patches of forest that sit in the chalkland, we know it's the place to get your autumnal shots. Be sure to head out in the golden hour (the hour or so before sunset and the hour around sunset) to make the most of the low sun and the way it enriches the colours, just like the shot on the left.

Howletts & Port Lympne

Howletts and Port Lympne provide some amazing opportunities to see elephants and giraffes which provide us with that feeling of travelling to the far reaches right here in Kent. This photo is keeping us eager and excited to visit and soak in the atmosphere and the surroundings of autumn. With acres of parkland for the animals to explore themselves, head to one of the parks and get those animals framed! 

Elmley National Nature Reserve

Whether you’re inside or out at Elmley Nature Reserve, the vast skies and big windows make the long winter rays stretch for miles across the wide-open acres of the island, which are perfect for spotting wildlife. This shot of sunrise makes us feel right there inside the cabin, which is exactly what we need to feel as we cosy up before winter. 

Pumpkin Patches

The recipe for the most autumnal day ever? Boots, hats and a field full of glorious orange pumpkins being taken home and carved into some spooky creations! Many pumpkin patches open up across Kent for a few weeks a year and these photos are doing the rounds on Instagram right now - lots of family photos bringing life to our feeds and holding precious memories for the days inside. 

Wander in Medway

It's no secret that Medway has acres and acres of green spaces, so it's just a case of knowing which ones to head to for those optimum views! Handily, Visit Medway have put together a page full of green spaces which offer sweeping views like those at Nashenden Down, autumn walks in misty woodland at Ranscombe Farm Reserve or spotting herons contrasting against the leaves at RSPB Northward Hill Reserve & Cliffe Pools - take your pick here

Down House

Being the home of revered naturalist Charles Darwin, you would think that Down House is sure to have some outdoor space, and you're right. One of Darwin's popular daily routes was the 'Thinking Path', and the grounds are home to plenty of greenery that has turned an autumnal gold. The gardens of Down House are also reflective of the season and this photo does the vibrant colours great justice - one of the understated gardens you'll have to visit for autumn! 

Mote Park

If you are local to Mote Park we are rather jealous - take one look at this shot and you'll see why. Photos of Mote Park popped last autumn as not only is there parkland and plenty of golden trees to enjoy, but add in a body of water and the potential for misty mornings and you've got the perfect autumnal checklist... 

Hythe 

You may think the seaside is a summer thing, and you've seen plenty of shots of the stones, blue water and the big skies, but we would disagree - it's glorious all year round! The charming coastal town of Hythe provides an impeccable mix of views in autumn and this shot of the Military Canal proves that it's a top spot for the perfect autumnal tree lined shot. 

Ashenbank Ancient Woodland & Cobham Woods

The 74 acre Ashenbank woodland in Gravesham (just north of Cobham) is not only the place to go for spring shots, autumn too! The woodland, that is over 400 years old, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest too, so not only will the golden leaves around you be perfect for that shot, but so too will the nature! 

Nearby and in the same green space is Cobham Wood and Mausoleum which is full of sweet chestnut trees and so will provide those golden tones while you wander and snap not only the leaves but the camera too... 

Leeds Castle

When you get a scene like this - castle, lake, autumnal leaves - you know you're in for a spectacular capture. This photo summarises the style of shot you can get from a visit to Leeds Castle this autumn, so be sure to take a moment walking the lake, sitting up on the bank and appreciating the view with some tranquility or head inside and capture outwards for those water reflections!

Scotney Castle ©National Trust Images David Sellman

National Trust properties

This list honestly wouldn't be compelte without some of the National Trust's properties! Emmetts Garden (which is in itself a spectacular spot for autumn) is holding a fungi festival, so you can capture on camera an incredible array of fantastic fungi specimens such as the white spotted fly agaric and stinkhorn. Elsewhere, the fiery red leaves of the winged spindle tree and Japanese maples make spectacular selfie backdrops, illuminated in the autumn sunshine. Then of course there's Scotney Castle, which is possibly up there as the most iconic Kentish castle view come autumn. Just look at those colours! Walk the paths and soak in those autumnal colours, and once more - look out for those reflections to double up on gold. 

Coastal autumn

King George VI Park in Ramsgate is a large, green park with children’s playground, small kiosk serving light snacks and teas and coffees with coastal views across the north sea, but what makes this space particularly special is the charming Italianate Glasshouse tea garden. Plus, it's just a stone’s throw from the seafront right in the middle of Broadstairs and Ramsgate, so you can venture into pleasant coastal towns if the weather decides to take a turn.

In Ramsgate itself, Ellington Park has been awarded both a Green Heritage Accreditation and Green Flag Award from Keep Britain Tidy in recent years, but we're here for the golds! Just a short walk from the town and train station with towering trees and nature area make it the perfect place to rest and relax. Ellington Park was laid out in 1893 and designed by the Victorian landscape company Joseph Cheal and Son, known for their work at Hever Castle and Kirkstall Abbey.

Walmer Castle & Gardens

Open throughout October and weekends through winter, the beautiful Walmer Castle & Gardens makes a spectacle regardless the season, but autumn is when it all really pops. Wander through the kitchen garden and out into the 32 acres which are lined with seasonal plants and trees, all with the backdrop of the castle so you can frame your pictures very nicely! 

For autumnal views nearby, head to Kearsney Abbey, Russell Gardens & Bushy Ruff in the Alkham Valley. These parks have slow flowing streams and plenty of woodland will rolling hills so you'll be able to capture full pictures of those leaves falling... 

A golden view in Tunbridge Wells

A wander through the parks of Tunbridge Wells offers some sweeping views like those at Calverley Grounds pictured, but to make it really special, venture on a 45 minute walk through the Common to the High Rocks Inn. The exterior leaves of ivy that cover the frontage turn a crisp golden colour, and once you're down snapping head in to warm up and eat a nice pub lunch! While there you might also notice the Spa Valley Railway meander past, which also stops there on select dates so you can make your journey back into town a little easier. 

Canterbury 

The likes of Westgate Towers in Canterbury always make for an ideal subject in photos, but even more so when you can frame them with the autumnal trees in the park. Throw in some of the mist from the River Stour and you'll be able to create the perfect autumnal capture. Elsewhere in the city, the Dane John gardens are tree lined and so once more frame the city's sights with those golden tunnels, equally Canterbury Cathedral's wide outdoor space allows for those low sunshine view that compliment the leaves of the surrounding plants.

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