The clocks have gone back, the days are growing shorter and winter has started to beckon.

So, may we proudly present one of Mother Nature’s greatest free shows? Autumn in the New Forest!

As the temperature drops our magical forest is transformed from a solid green canopy to a wonderland of colour as the leaves on our trees turn scarlet, orange, pink and gold.

Step into our Ancient Woodlands – we have the highest concentration in Western Europe – and see nature’s own fireworks – wild explosions of colour from our amazing trees, some of which have been around since Tudor times!

Take a stroll or a cycle through the Ornamental Drive at Rhinefield. You’ll find out in the most glorious way why this route, planted in 1860, is one of the top UK places for ‘leaf peepers’.

Beautiful colour can be found everywhere, but some of our favourite places to look include the ancient woodland at Bratley Inclosure, Ocknell Inclosure or the walks from Stoney Cross. Mark Ash wood near Emery Down will also not disappoint, either.

Or pop up to the National Trust’s Northern Commons to spot the yellow flare of birch leaves against the brooding heathlands.

Kids will love rushing through the rustling drifts of autumn leaves, or scrambling over the trunk of a fallen beech tree. Teach them how to play ‘helicopters’ with the seeds of the sycamores; throwing them skywards and watching them twirl and drop. Or hunt under the Horse chestnut trees for the last of the conkers.

The autumn colours make it easier to spot our roaming ponies, donkeys and cattle and you may still catch the odd Pannage Pig munching on acorns. Keep an eye out, too, for the deer and foxes that live in our woodlands as well as badgers and owls at dusk after you’ve witnessed one of our amazing autumn sunsets. Bolton’s Bench at Lyndhurst or Pipers Wait at Nomansland – at 129 metres, the highest point in the forest – are perfect for this.

Once the outing’s over, don’t forget to stop at one of our cosy pubs for a pint or a hot drink and something comforting to eat whilst you warm up by the fire.

You’ll find plenty more autumn inspiration on our website!

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