We are accustomed to thinking that August marks the end of summer but we strongly disagree! If you choose to visit a Best of British holiday park in September, you can enjoy the warm weather without the crowds that often flock to holiday destinations during the school break. If you stretch your touring or camping holiday into October, there are many autumnal treats to be found among the changing landscapes and falling leaves!
We think that Autumn is the one of the best seasons for a touring caravan, motorhome or campervan staycation at a Best of British park. Here we give our top 10 reasons to enjoy a touring holiday in September or October this year.
1. The Weather
Typically, temperatures continue on from August and stretch further now than they ever have before. Depending on your holiday location, you may find those September temperatures make it feel like a warm summer's day and not the start of the autumn period. As we move toward October, get those layers ready for lower temperatures.
2. Lower Cost Holidays
By holidaying out of peak season, you'll be paying less for your stay. The prices reduce when the school term starts again, but be aware that this period gets booked up quickly. October will also make way for half term, although you'll find the dates vary by region. If you find yourself bagging a bargain and getting a last minute deal out of peak season, it may well leave you with extra cash to spend locally! Or, you could book a couple more nights and extend your stay!
3. Fewer People
It is probably universally accepted that a holiday in a less crowded environment is preferable, especially in 2020! If you can choose your dates, autumn is a perfect time to holiday and experience less people both on your chosen holiday park and while you're visiting the local area. Without the crowds you can enjoy nearby towns and attractions at your leisure. You can take your time to relax and truly explore the region and all it has to offer.
4. Magical Autumn Views
Autumn really is the time of year when we are treated to a final burst of colour before we head toward Christmas. It is a photographer's dream and a feast for the eyes. The trees take on hues of red, orange, yellow and pink, intertwined with the evergreens, providing that magical burst of vibrant colour. With so many of the Best of British Parks set in beautiful countryside and coastal locations, you'll be spoiled for choice of where to find such beautiful vistas.
5. Wildlife Walks
While autumn signals the slow down of activity for many animals, flora and fauna treat this time of year differently. During autumn, we will be welcoming millions of migrant birds arriving in the UK from colder parts of Europe, seeking milder winter temperatures (eg fieldfares, redwings and bramblings). We'll also be waving off birds who prefer warmer winter climates (eg housemartins and swallows). Atlantic grey seals begin breeding in September, with the pupping season continuing til November. Squirrels will start preparing their nut stash for winter, so they will be out and about and busy!
Autumn is the time of year when all the activity happens, it's the start of something new in the world of wildlife. Be sure to have your binoculars and camera with you at all times.
6. Deer Rutting
Photo: Blair Castle Caravan Park
Blair Castle Caravan Park in Perthshire is perfectly located to view deer. Blair Atholl is home to a selection of deer, including red and roe deer, and the area is lucky to have a number of herds living locally. Autumn heralds the sound of roaring stags as the rut gets into full swing, and it's one of nature's most incredible sights. The male deer (stags or bucks) complete for females (hinds or does). The dramatic noisy display as they lock antlers and vie for seniority is a sight to behold. As the temperatures cool and the weather declines, herds move to the lower ground in the hunt for food. Be sure to research local deer parks, glens or hills and view this spectacular sight from a safe distance.
7. Fungi Hunting
Fungi comprise a plant/animal kingdom of their own as there are so many and diverse species; over 15,000 in the UK. You'll find fungi growing in every habitat and it's during autumn when you can discover the biggest selection. Some can be eaten, others are poisonous, so do familiarise yourself before you head out on your expedition. It's best to treat it is a photography adventure, rather than foraging, as it's tricky to identify which are safe to eat if you're a novice! You'll be amazed at how many different types you discover though. We particularly like the look (and sound) of these: Honey Fungus, Peppery Bolete and the Golden Wax Cap!
Leading on from fungi hunting, foraging is nothing new to those of us who have been picking blackberries from the hedgerows for years, but these wonderful berries aren't the only thing that can be foraged and utilised in your kitchen on wheels! There's a plethora of wild food available for consumption, but it's important to get started safely so we would recommend an organised foraging trip. It's a great way to connect with nature and see the outdoors in a different light.
9. Garden Visits
Gardens will still be open and looking forward to visitors, especially after a long closed period in the spring of 2020. Some plants are later flowering and will be in full bloom in the autumn. Dahlias, for example, typically flower until the first frosts, so why not take a trip to the National Dahlia Collection? Based in Penzance, they make use of that famous micro climate and usually open til mid October. You'll see the flowers at their peak in September. It's free, as is the plentiful parking. As they hold the National Collection, you'll find hundreds of varieties to view and photograph.
10. Home Comforts
At the end of your busy day, there's nothing better than returning to your happy place, your home on wheels in a beautiful setting. Be sure to take advantage of the park amenities to wind down and start planning your next trip away.
Best of British have 57 member parks throughout the country. Choose from our fantastic selection of touring parks and enjoy your autumn break!