Autumn is an incredibly beautiful time of year, as the foliage turns wonderful hues of orange and brown and the evenings begin to draw in with earlier sunsets. For those of us who love to get snuggly, it’s also the perfect opportunity to dig out the woolly jumpers and heat up the fire, ready for a cosy night in.
These are just a few of the advantages of taking a break in a cottage at this time of year. Here, we look at even more reasons why you should book yourself a holiday in what is arguably the best season of the year.
Less traffic on the roads
With so many people taking holidays in the summer, travelling can often be a nightmare, due to the high number of cars on the roads. By heading on a break in the autumn you’ll be in a much better position, as the roads will be much clearer and service stations less busy. You may also find that train tickets are cheaper, should you wish to travel this way, with local transport in the area you’re staying quieter too. Be sure to check traffic news before you travel though so you can avoid any potential hold ups. The traffic news service offered by the AA is excellent.
Attractions are less busy
If you take a cottage holiday during term time, you can almost guarantee that the attractions won’t be as cramped as the children are back at school. Car parks will be empty, there will be no queueing to get in, and you’ll be able to get closer to the attractions and fit more into your day. Some attractions may also offer cheaper tickets in off-peak periods, but don’t forget that purchasing tickets online in advance, using websites such as 365Tickets, can also save you money.
For those with an interest in formal gardens, they’re also great to visit in autumn, as the flowers on display are likely to vary to those in summer, offering a different landscape for you to enjoy. For example, the Westonbirt National Arboretum in Gloucestershire is particularly beautiful, as is Stourhead, which can be visited while staying in cosy Wiltshire holiday cottages.
Lower numbers of visitors during autumn will also apply to cafes, restaurants and bars, meaning that you won’t have to rely on making reservations and can be more spontaneous during your trip. A few of our favourite places to eat in Wiltshire include Anokaa, The Beckford Arms and Fisherton Mill, but there are so many wonderful restaurants in the South West that you will really be spoilt for choice.
Deborah, owner of Fisherton Mill said: "Autumn is a great time to visit Salisbury, with unique events such as the Food Festival, Fashion Week and the Arts Trail all taking place in the city, ideal for independent holidaymakers keen to relax and explore."
Weather is still warm
Average temperatures in September differ from August by just 1°C, with the average temperature in October being 13°C according to Holiday Weather, which is still much higher than the yearly average. Average rainfall in September is also exactly the same as August, so there’s no more of a chance that you’ll need a coat in autumn compared to the peak months.
While we all hope for sunshine for our holiday, there can be something quite magical about wrapping up warm and heading on a walk when the weather isn’t on our side. Make sure to bring your wellies and your waterproofs, or purchase some from retailers such as Go Outdoors, and you will be sure to have just as many great adventures as you would at any other time of year.
Dogs are allowed on the beaches
Numerous beaches have dog restrictions during the summer months, but many of these are lifted during autumn and winter, which you can check on The Beach Guide here. This means that if you’re planning a holiday with your four-legged friend, you’ll have free reign over the majority of the magnificent coastline that the UK has to offer.
Whether you choose to let your pooch roam free on the dog-friendly beaches of Cornwall, or head to the large expanses of sand dunes in Devon, you’ll have much more choice when on holiday during the autumn. It’s also unlikely that you’ll have to worry about your loyal companion hurting their paws on sand that’s too hot.
Accommodation prices are lower
As there is less demand, due to the majority of children being at school, the cost of booking holidays in general is often lower in the autumn. This means that you can book yourself a luxury holiday cottage in the UK for less, meaning you’ll have more to spend once you arrive at your destination.
Cottages are also a fantastic choice of accommodation for the autumn, as you can choose added extras such as log burners or hot tubs, which are perfect for cosy and relaxing evenings in. More often than not, holiday cottages also provide that extra charm, and will give you somewhere welcoming to return to at the end of a long day exploring your chosen destination.