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Autumn's colours await you

PUBLISHED: 11:44 29 September 2011 | UPDATED: 20:04 20 February 2013

Autumn's colours await you

Autumn's colours await you

October sees the National Trust celebrating its first Walking Festival, and from walks with rangers to self-guided rambles, there is plenty to help you to get outdoors, enjoying the local countryside.


Many of the Walking Festivals organised walks are ideal for families, and with most in half term week from October 22 to 30 its an ideal chance to drag children and grandchildren away from those computer games. Some properties have buggy-friendly routes and shorter distances for very young visitors.


If you like doing your own thing, the Trust has created downloadable walks and way-marked trails for any time of year. Many of the houses and gardens sit within extensive country estates of parkland, meadows and woodland, so why not take walking boots when you next visit a Trust property, and explore a bit further afield? Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk for routes.


If you prefer walking in a group, there are many organised events.


Its a great way to meet like-minded people and share the simple pleasure of walking. Here are some Walking Festival highlights:


Basildon Park near Reading hosts its own special event on October 21 to launch self-guided trails. Wellies at the Ready is an opportunity to enjoy an autumnal guided walk with the warden, which takes in some of Basildons panoramic views (starting in the Stableyard at 10.30am, no booking required, free after normal admission). Alternatively, visitors can pick up a map and follow any of four new way-marked trails which explore different parts of Basildons parkland and woods. Guided walks take place every Friday until November 25, led by Basildons Warden or by the Reading & District Natural History Society. October walks are from 10.30am. Call 0118 984 3040 for more info.


Cliveden near Maidenhead has acres of magnificent beech woodlands to explore. These are the exciting location for some autumnal family fun, with a 3km guided walk aimed at 6 to 12 year olds, which takes families through the woods, giving them activities to complete along the way, including a mini-beast hunt and agility trail. The walks are on October 24, 26 and 28, 11am 1pm, free after normal admission. A new self-led autumn leaf trail is also available, which leads visitors from the garden into the wilder side of Clivedens woodland. More info from 01628 605069.


The Hughenden Hike from 10am on October 22 is a waymarked 5km walk through stunning Chilterns countryside surrounding Hughenden Manor in Bucks. Find out more from 01494 755573.


The Water Garden Walk is being offered on Thursdays from September 29 through to October 27 at Waddesdon Manor in Bucks. Its a peaceful 45 minute peaceful walk around the beautiful Water Garden located in the grounds of the Dairy from 11.30am each day, other than on October 27 when the walk starts at 2pm. More info from 01296 653226.


For the first year ever, the beautiful gardens of Greys Court near Henley are remaining open throughout October. The property is staging two guided walks. A three mile route takes in the beauty of the surrounding countryside, including Rotherfield Greys and its historic church. The Tudor tombs of Greys Courts previous owners Sir Francis Knollys and his wife will be on show for this tour. A one mile walk meanders across the Greys Court estate, through farmland and beech woodland.


Both walks run on October 23, 26, 27 and 29. Three mile route: 1.30 to 3.30pm, 4, book on 01491 628529. One mile route: 11.30am to 12.15pm, free after normal admission charge, booking not required.


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