15 great places for an autumn walk in Northumberland this half-term

Morpeth man David Steel encourages everyone to embrace the beauty of autumn with his guide to joyful walking.

As autumn blankets the world in a tapestry of warm, inviting hues, it's the perfect time to embrace the joys of fall walking. The tranquil and picturesque landscapes, combined with the health benefits of outdoor exercise, make it a season worth celebrating.

So, lace up your walking shoes, plan your route, and venture outdoors to relish the splendour of autumn. Whether it's a leisurely stroll through the woods, an invigorating hike, or a peaceful park promenade, the wonders of autumn await your exploration.

Here are some of the joys of autumn walking, according to David:

1. Spectacular Foliage: The changing colours of leaves create a breath taking natural canvas. Take a stroll through wooded areas or parks to immerse yourself in the vivid reds, yellows, and oranges of the trees.

2. Crisp, Fresh Air: The cooler temperatures of autumn make walking more comfortable and refreshing. The crisp air invigorates the senses and provides an excellent backdrop for a peaceful walk.

3. Harvest Time: Many fruits and vegetables are in season during the fall, making it a great opportunity to visit local farms or farmer's markets while on your walk and enjoy the bounty of the season.

4. Less Crowded: As summer vacations wind down, popular walking trails and parks become less crowded, allowing you to savour the tranquillity and natural beauty in a more serene setting.

To ensure that your autumn walks are as enjoyable as possible, here are some of David’s planning tips to make the most of your walk:

1. Choose the Right Location: Research local parks, nature reserves, and trails that are known for their fall beauty. Select a location that matches your fitness level and preferences.

2. Check the Weather: Autumn weather can be unpredictable, so check the forecast before heading out. Dress in layers to stay comfortable and bring rain gear just in case.

3. Footwear: Wear comfortable and sturdy walking shoes or boots to handle the uneven terrain and any potential mud.

4. Clothing: Be prepared for changing conditions, and remember to layer up. Many thinner layers are better that one bulky layer. Taking some waterproofs can always help.

5. Safety First: Let someone know your plans, especially if you're walking alone. Carry a fully charged phone and any necessary safety equipment.

6. Pack Essentials: Carry a small backpack with water, snacks, a first-aid kit, a map and compass and/ or GPS (if available), and a camera to capture the beauty you encounter.

7. Timing: Plan your walk for the time of day that suits your schedule and the lighting you desire for photographs. The days are not as long in the autumn time

8. Respect Nature: Leave no trace - make sure to respect the environment and clean up after yourself. Avoid disturbing wildlife and respect any park regulations.

9. Enjoy the Moment: Take time to appreciate the surroundings. The colours, sounds, and smells of autumn are a unique and fleeting experience.

David Steel runs Plan Watch Walk, where he focuses on the North’s great outdoors. He releases weekly walking content on YouTube and his website has a wealth of resources about walking routes and equipment reviews. He also guides walking parties, and speaks at events.