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Celebrate autumn at these National Trust sites in Kent

PUBLISHED: 14:32 01 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:33 01 October 2018

Beech woodland in full autumnal splendour (photo: NTPL/Images)

Beech woodland in full autumnal splendour (photo: NTPL/Images)

Archant

There's still time to enjoy the autumn season with its plentiful harvests, half-term fun and glorious colours

The National Trust has cared for some of the most beautiful autumnal spots in the UK for a long time now. Each year, visitors flock to admire the stunning reds, oranges and golds in the trees and to enjoy crisp autumnal walks in forests, woodlands and wider country estates.

Many of the Trust’s formal gardens also contain magnificent examples of later-blooming flowers that add seasonal interest and gentle colour palettes to contrast with summer’s brighter showcases. October is the perfect month to reconnect with nature during a quiet mid-week walk now that the children are back at school and the last of the summer sun remains to add warmth and light to the mellow surroundings.

Trees of gold

For a dazzling display of fiery reds and golds, visit Emmetts Garden, where the exotic garden is full of rich, autumnal splendour, including the bright red Winged Spindle and golden Japanese maple trees. Be sure to look up to admire the trees and then down at your feet to see toadstools at their autumnal best.

Another paradise for lovers of seasonal scenes is Knole. Its 1,000-acre deer park is full of glorious autumnal colours among the shrubs and trees. The park truly comes to life now, thanks to the mix of colours, the chance to search for fungi and fallen conkers and the excitement of watching the deer rut from afar.

Spot the colourful fungi at your feet (photo: NTPL/John Millar)Spot the colourful fungi at your feet (photo: NTPL/John Millar)

Over at Ightham Mote visitors can enjoy some evocative scents to go with the visual pleasures. The Katsura ‘toffee apple’ tree, near the North Lawn, emits an intoxicating sweet smell that is reminiscent of burnt sugar.

Autumn blooms

Gardeners are increasingly realising the potential of autumnal gardens, with many incorporating later-blooming plants and flowers to add seasonal interest to the glowing colours in the trees overhead.

At Sissinghurst Castle Garden, head gardener Troy Smith has overseen the planting of an autumnal scheme of dahlias, salvias, cannas and tithonia that bring glowing seasonal colours

to the Cottage Garden.

Active autumn

Ightham Mote: Apple and Orchard Day, 29 September, 11am-4pm. Apple tasting, produce stalls, refreshments. Free after normal admission.

Knole: Deer Keeping and the Autumn Rut, 19 and 20 October, (5.30-7.30pm). Find out about the behaviour of the deer in Knole Park during the mating season. £10, book on 0344 249 1895.

Emmetts Garden: Terrifying Tree Trail, 20 October to 4 November. Find the scariest trees dotted around the garden. Trail £1 after normal admission.

Scotney Castle: Half-term Trail, 20 to 28 October (10am -4pm). Complete the ghostly garden trail to win a prize. £2 per trail after normal admission.

Scotney Castle: Hops Tours, daily through September at 11am and 2pm. Find out about the abundant harvests on the Scotney estate. £3 per person after normal admission.

Chartwell: Petrifying Pumpkin Trail, 20 October to 4 November. Follow the trail around the garden and then try guessing the weight of the pumpkin. Buggy friendly route available. £1 per trail after normal admission.

Find out more

Discover more autumn colours in Kent: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/autumn-colour-in-kent

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