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Five leaf-peeping holiday suggestions from Travel PR

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Autumn is almost upon us, bringing cosy nights, golden light and striking seasonal colour. Make the most of this natural spectacle, whether in the UK or travelling further afield, with these five leaf-peeping holiday suggestions from Travel PR.

Ashdown Park

UKColourful encounters in glassy lakes – Cumbria from £85 per day, with Yescapa

Widely recognised as one of the UK’s ultimate autumnal experiences, Grizedale Forest – wedged between Windermere and Coniston in the Lake District – is a riot of colour and endless reflections. A hundred million vivid hues emanate from amidst the ancient trees and fern-fringed trails; mirrored in the many lakes, the calm, and blur, breed contemplation. And then there are the sculptures: works by some of the leading names in contemporary art, dotted across this dreamy forest. Take your time to explore this autumn; comfortable and economical, this converted van (sleeps four) has all you need to stay warm, clean and fed. The cost is from £340 for a four-day rental (£85 per day), including one insured driver, breakdown cover and up to 200 km travel distance per day. Pick up in Kendal, Cumbria. For more information and to book, visit www.yescapa.co.uk.

Yescapa autumn

Spot British wildlife in East Sussex – from £176 per night at Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club

Lose yourself in the mesmerising golden beauty of Ashdown Park’s surrounding landscapes and enjoy the tranquil ambience that only autumn can bring. Set within 186 acres of Ashdown Forest, Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club is the perfect base for a cosy leaf-peeping autumn break, with walking paths and cycling trails on its doorstep. Enjoy a visit to the nearby British Wildlife Centre to see red squirrels, otters, and foxes in their native habitat (£13/adult, £7/child). Dine in the hotel’s stylish Forest Brasserie, situated beside the 18-hole, par 3 golf course; take a dip in the indoor swimming pool, or enjoy a relaxing spa treatment; savour afternoon tea in one of the ornate lounges; and sample award-winning cuisine in the Anderida Restaurant. Elite Hotels is offering up to 25% off suites and 10% off rooms – at their best available rate – this autumn. Rooms from £176 per night (two sharing), including full English breakfast and use of the leisure facilities at Ashdown Park Country Club (tennis, a large array of exercise gear in the gym, swimming and more). Suites from £275 per night (two sharing), B&B.  Valid mid-week until 21 December. Call Ashdown Park on 01342 824988 (www.ashdownpark.com).

Ashdown Park autumn

EUROPE

Autumnal colours of Italy – from £2,257 pp with Kirker*

For an alternative to the typical ‘leaf-peeping’ journeys across North America, visit some of Italy’s spectacular 16th and 17th century gardens in search of autumn foliage, and appreciate the milder temperatures that make sightseeing at this time of year infinitely more enjoyable than during the summer months. Relax in the autumn sunshine, admire sensational villas and the striking colour palettes of the gardens during a small group tour that explores the Villas & Gardens Around Rome, including the Villa Borghese Gardens and Gallery, the Villa Torlonia, Villa Lante and Villa Farnese. This six-night holiday costs from £2,257 pp (two sharing), including return flights, accommodation with breakfast, three dinners and two lunches, all sightseeing, entrance fees and gratuities, and the services of expert Kirker Tour Lecturer, Caroline Howard. Departs 8 October. Call AITO* member Kirker on 020 7593 2288, www.kirkerholidays.com.

Kirker autumn

Forest, rivers and rapids to glaciers and mountains in Sweden this autumn – from £2,755 pp with Sunvil*

Discover a region in Swedish Lapland that offers fantastic views of the changing of the seasons. This autumn, stay at Arctic Retreat in Gunnarsbyn in an authentic, yet luxury, cabin surrounded by unspoiled nature. Comprising four traditional log cabins overlooking the Råne river, it’s the perfect romantic escape. Each cabin has floor-to-ceiling windows that allow natural light to flood in – a prime leaf-peeping spot to view the ever-changing trees that transform from greens to reds, russets, oranges and yellows. Observe the Northern Lights in an Aurora hut, sweat it out in a wood-fired sauna, and tour the landscape on a complimentary fat bike or sled. The hotel’s Getronosan restaurant serves seasonal Swedish home-cooked food. Go further into the remote north of Swedish Lapland and stay three nights at Sapmi Nature Camp, in Laponia, 60 km north of the Arctic Circle. Immerse yourself in the Sami culture in this beautiful and sparsely inhabited UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the reindeer graze and Sami have lived a nomadic life for thousands of years. Experience the Arctic autumn amongst glaciers, mountains and plateaux, staying in a Lavvu tepee with wood stove. Departing 25 September, this six-night full-board holiday costs from £2,755 pp (two sharing), including return flights (Heathrow via Stockholm), 23kg of hold luggage pp, transfers, and the services of an experienced local rep. Call AITO* member Sunvil on 020 8758 4722 (www.sunvil.co.uk).

Swedish lapland autumn

Autumn at Plitvice National Park in Croatia – from £1,437 pp with Sunvil*

Visit Plitvice National Park and lakes in the Lika-Senj region of Croatia this autumn for a spectacular chance to view the golden trees. One of the most famous and most popular attractions in Croatia, more travellers visit this UNESCO-listed World Natural Heritage site each year than anywhere else in Croatia. With 16 terraced lakes joined by cascading waterfalls and a limestone canyon, the area is spread across almost 300 square hectares of blue, turquoise and sapphire. Autumn brings contrast courtesy of the golden colours of the forest leaves. Activities include hiking, horse riding, and swimming in the nearby Korona River. Stay in one of 20 stylish rooms at family-owned Hotel Degenija, located just 6 km from Plitvice National Park, in beautiful countryside criss-crossed by crystal-clear rivers and surrounded by pastures and forests. Enjoy homemade cakes at the hotel’s café-patisserie and bakery, and local river trout in the à la carte restaurant. Departing 22 October, this seven-night B&B stay costs from £1,437 pp (two sharing), including return flights (Gatwick), 23kg of hold luggage pp, transfers, and the services of an experienced local rep. Call AITO* member Sunvil on 020 8758 4758 (www.sunvil.co.uk).

Croatia autumn

Press: Please call Sue Ockwell, Mischa Mack, Lizzie Cooper, Gemma Minto or Jane Collyer at Travel PR on 020 8891 4440 or email initial.surname@travelpr.co.uk for further information.

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