As we say goodbye to the unexpectedly pleasant dosage of British sunshine and welcome in the glorious crisp season of autumn; preparing ourselves for the return of fallen golden leaves, blazing bonfires and a revival of the cable knit jumper trend, we are all asking ourselves the same question. Why couldn’t the summer last longer? Therefore, to keep you in the spirit of heat and combat those dreaded holiday blues, we have put together a seasonal report on our top five destinations for you to visit this autumn. From hiking around the alpine slopes of Switzerland admiring the ever-changing colour of the crunchy leaves to enjoying the irresistible sweet taste of Shiraz whilst roaming the vineyards of Paso Robles, we have included the perfect getaway for both the outdoors, adrenaline-led family right through to the taste maker couple with an eye for gorgeous views and the finer things in life. Also, if that was not enough, we have put together a few complementary looks for your chosen getaway to keep your well-edited wardrobe looking fresh and fabulous throughout the new season.
Center Parcs, United Kingdom
Take the family on an Autumnal adventure this season by spending your time cycling through majestic woodlands, engaging in jaw-dropping outdoor activities and indulging in the leisure lifestyle at one of the Center Parcs villages. Located within the natural surroundings of the English countryside, Center Parcs offer five different landscapes in areas such as Whinfell Forest just on the edge of the Lake District, Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire and lastly but just as exciting, Longleat Forest in the valleys of Wiltshire. With activities including indoor caving, rock climbing, quad biking and aerial tree trekking, your trusty trainers and raincoat are a packing essential for this action-pack endured weekend filled with guaranteed fun and quality time for the whole family.
With more than 750 km of hiking routes and a beautiful medieval castle, the picture perfect historical town of Gruyeres in Switzerland is a go-to destination for a bold explorer with a desire for cultural and architectural settings. Surrounded by a peaceful scenery and located on a small hill above the river Saane, the village of Gruyere is filled with different activities for you to take part in such as trailing down the footpath of the La Gruyère lake, hiking up spectacular mountains and tasting signature Swiss specialties including fondue, raclette and the world-famous Gruyeres cheese at some of the town’s most traditional restaurants.
Paso Robles, California
For the most divine getaway where you will be greeted by the indulgent smell of syrahs grapes on every corner you turn, between the rolling Western hills of LA and San Francisco, lies the hidden getaway of Paso Robles. Although many would head to Napa or Sonoma this season for a wine tasting experience, it seems that the exquisite region of Paso Robles on the Californian coast has become an increasingly popular destination for those in search of breath-taking views, an abundance of the most sensual wineries, a truly unique castle and many abodes to the mineral-rich waters they like to call hot springs for the ultimate mind and body renovation. In terms of accommodation, the Hotel Cheval is an elegant boutique haven in the heart of downtown Paso Robles with the most welcoming atmosphere and a location that is just minutes away from the historic town square allowing you to combine culture with relaxation during your vacation.
“Autumn is a great time to visit Paso, it’s harvest season which means lots of activity at the wineries and farms. Definitely pack your cutest pair of boots, a sundress and a sweater, wrap or hoody – our wine region has the highest day to night temperature swings of any wine region in the US, which is why our wine is so great and our fashion is casual and eclectic.”
– Shonna Howenstine, Tourism Coordinator, City of Paso Robles.
A tradition since 1937, the chic neighbourhood of Montmartre is the home to one of the most popular Parisian festivals in the land, the Grape Harvest Festival. With an array of stalls featuring crafts and rich regional delicatessens, various exhibits, tours, fashion shows, parades, concerts and dances, there is certainly no time to get bored during this celebratory extravaganza which starts on the 6th October this year and lasts for five days. In awe of the main wine ingredient; the grape, the festival also includes a gathering of many expert wine growers and enthusiasts who come together to taste, share and socialize about new recipes. Furthermore, also taking place on the 6th October is the celebration of the annual all night arts festival, Nuit Blanche which sees the town’s main landmarks and places of worship stay open from dusk to dawn and turn into the most idiosyncratic de facto art galleries including phenomenal installations, theatrical performances and magnificent works of art.
What was once a celebration for the marriage of Prince Ludwig and his bride, Therese of Saxony in 1810, has now 206 years later, turned into one of the biggest beer fuelled events to visit across Europe during the chilly September and October months. Starting on the 17th September this year to ensure the nicest weather possible the enjoyable Oktoberfest festival, which is an important part of the Bavarian culture, offers various events including the Oktoberfest Costume and Riflemen’s Parade which presents local civilians dressed up in popular traditional German costumes marching through the streets of the city, the Parade of Oktoberfest Landlords and Breweries, the Official Tapping of the Keg which showcases the Mayor of Munich tapping the first beer keg to officially open the alcohol infused extravaganza, the Oktoberfest Mass and the “Böllerschießen” which takes place in front of the iconic Bavaria statue. Whether you are a fan of beer or not, the event is still a great experience which allows you to get involved in traditional German culture and spend your weekend surrounded by the most energetic and harmonious atmosphere.