Autumn, or Fall as the North Americans call it, is my favourite season of the year. Yes I know I’m supposed to be a patriotic island girl but really I just love the cooler temps this time of the year, the beautiful earthy colours as the leaves change and fall off and most importantly the scrumptious warm and inviting foods that are associate with the season.
Having said that, do you have a favourite country or city to enjoy the season and some good old fashioned leaf peeping? Roadtrip perhaps? I have many from my travels but I’ve narrowed down my favourites to share with you.
Without a doubt Kashmir tops my list! The natural beauty of Kashmir is always described as the closest to heaven on earth as one can get. I really felt that way and to experience it in early November in all its glory of golden colours was simply magical. Despite there being Indian Army men all around I felt quite safe, in fact after awhile they became part of the attraction of Kashmir.
I also learnt the apple industry is quite big in Kashmir – I never would of guessed it even existed there to be honest. Being there during apple picking was an added bonus to the trip.
You can never go wrong with Paris no matter the season you choose to visit. But Autumn is special to me. Firstly, when I lived there I would patiently wait for the leaves to fall off so I could have my perfect view of the Eiffel Tower again (serves me right for house hunting in late Autumn, thinking “what a perfect view” and completely ignoring what would happen when Spring rolled around). Secondly, it is not as tourist infested as the Summer. From the beautiful rooftop views to the colourful tree lined streets, it all makes you want to wander around and explore the different arrondissements perhaps even patisserie hop to find your favourite croissant, pain au chocolat and macaroon.
It’s almost an abomination to not visit the Chateau de Versailles on a visit to Paris. It is afterall an easy day trip. Visiting in Autumn guarantees less tourists and crowds inside the Chateau but being able to explore the beautifully manicured grounds with all its foliage in glorious golden colours enhances the experience to the point of not wanting to ever leave. If you are lucky (again on another rainy day) you will spot the end of a rainbow wanting to look for that pot of gold…but hey you’re at Versailles, it’s all gold already!!
NEW ENGLAND, USA
Leaf peeping in New England is simply surreal. Everyone should experience this at least once in their lifetime. It’s the perfect time to take a road trip and be at one with nature. It’s that beautiful in my opinion! One of my favourite vistas that always excites me no matter how many times I visit Boston, is the Boston skyline itself surrounded by the colourful foliage.
Whilst there are many smaller cities and country areas that make England a must see during the Autumn season, York instantly became another of my favourites. It’s a perfect weekend getaway from London but in early November when Guy Fawkes is nationally celebrated, York comes to life priding itself on being his birthplace. The spectacular foliage and the majestic cathedral adds to the charm, especially when Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated with bonfires and why drinking off course! Be sure to buy a locally made nativity set as a souvenir too, there are some unique handmade wooden sets made and sold in the shops in York.
You can never go wrong visiting wine country too in the Autumn! All those miles of colourful vineyards are just gorgeous. Plus wine tasting adds to the experience. Win-win situation in my books! Gather some friends and make it a getaway, that’s what I do. My top two favourites are Bordeaux, France and Napa/Sonoma Counties in California.
If I had to pick any wine region in France to visit in the Autumn it would be Bordeaux over and over again. It’s a beautiful city and wine country is downright spectacular in that French joie de vivre kind of way. It makes for a superb weekend getaway from Paris too.
NAPA & SONOMA COUNTIES, CALIFORNIA,USA
Waking up each morning to a beautiful sunrise in a cottage in Sonoma County surrounded by colourful vineyards…what more could you ask for? It’s the kind of moment you wish would never end. And all the winery hopping in Napa County that goes along with it with some of your best people makes for memories of a lifetime!