September is the perfect month for adult holidays. Its calm days of mellow sunshine are just right for enjoying the finer things in life: walking at your own pace, taking in nature’s most spectacular seasonal display, or catching the last outdoor cultural events of the year. Though high season is over, much of the summer warmth remains – and there’s always the chance of a glorious Indian summer.
Marvel at the red, burnt orange and yellow reflections in the still surface of woodlandlakes. Enjoy peaceful walks through orchards laden with apples. And savour the bounty of peak harvest, as you dine on seasonal delicacies like clam stew, butternut squash soup and pear strudel.
From kitchen garden walks to open-air films, here are two ways to enjoy the best of September.
Escape to Shropshire
For a tranquil autumn break, escape to Sternsmill Cottage near Bridgnorth. From this secluded spot on the edge of Dudmarston Estate, you can venture out into wooded parklands, sweeping gardens and orchards. Drink in the season’s rich colours as you skirt wooded lakes on the Three Pools Walk, or sip seasonal apple juice at the Orchard Tea Room, looking out on to the trees it came from.
From here it’s a half-hour drive to Attingham Park, where the River Reflections Walk brings another chance to drink in autumn’s hues from the mirrored surface of the River Tern. If you fancy a night of movie magic and vintage glamour, don’t miss the outdoor screening of Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby at Attingham on 9th September.
Enjoy Devon’s riches
For a holiday rich in possibilities, take a trip to the vast Killerton Estate. Stay at one of five characterful cottages within the grounds, and get set to explore 6,400 acres of glorious gardens, woods and parkland surrounded by Devon’s rolling hills. The Ancient Trees Walk is a great place to discover seasonal treasures, as you stroll past great gnarled oaks and sweet chestnuts decked in their autumn splendour.
Drive over to Knightshayes for a romantic stroll around a walled kitchen garden, busting with ripe produce. Here you’ll find countless crops, including many species preserved from the Victorian age. Once you’ve feasted your eyes, you can feaston heritage fruit and veg for real in the cobbled courtyard of the Stables Café. For the chance to bag some rare heritage seed for your own garden, join Knightshayes’ Seed Swap on 17th September.