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Our little black book of enchanting places

Autumn with the National Trust

Posted in SPORTS & ACTIVITIES By Maggie O' Sullivan

With autumn upon us, how about a scuffing up the leaves on glorious National Trust land followed by a stay in a cosy NT cottage? Here are four suggestions to set the ball rolling. For more inspiration, visit National Trust Holidays.

Dinefwr parkland, above, in Carmarthenshire is at its best in autumn, when the veteran trees explode into a riot of gold, red and orange. Stroll the Capability Brown trail, which leads through parts of the medieval deer park before arriving at the natural vista that frames Newton House.Home Farm Farm House, National TrustHome Farm Farm House was built in the late 1700s on the advice of Capability Brown. Inside it has all the quirks of a traditional farmhouse, with exposed beams, cosy log-burners and rustic wooden floors. Guests can explore the Dinefwr estate whenever they please and also enjoy free access to the historic Dinefwr Castle. Sleeps 12; three nights from £759.Fountains Abbey, N  Yorks, National TrustSome of the country’s best autumn colour can be found on the Fountains Abbey estate, in North Yorkshire, where at this time of year trees are a blaze with oranges and yellows. In September the Red stags festoon their antlers with greenery and by the end of October, all of the deer on the estate will be rutting.Wren Cottage, N Yorks, National TrustLess than a mile from Fountains Abbey is Wren Cottage. The 18th-century cottage boasts stone walls, exposed beams and a wood-burning stove, but the highlights are the large windows that give way to autumnal views of the Vale of York and Hambleton Hills. As an added bonus guests receive free entry to the abbey. Sleeps two; three nights from £339.Calke Abbey, Derbyshire, National TrustIn October, Calke Abbey parkland in Derbyshire is a spectacle of autumn colour. The deer enter rutting season and the walks are seasonal perfection.Thatch Cottage, Derbyshire, National TrustCharming, 17th-century Thatch Cottage, on the edge of the Calke Estate, is where country rustic meets contemporary luxury. Its low beamed ceilings and large bricked fireplace have been preserved, while modern furnishings have been added to create an inviting holiday cottage with hints of luxury. Sleeps six; three nights from £697.Bideford Bay and Hartland, National TrustBideford Bay and Hartland in North Devon is perfect out of season and rich in wildlife. Secluded woodland runs down to an attractive rocky beach, backed by striking red sandstone cliffs – the ideal place for peaceful picnics, rock-pooling and walking.Coastguard Cottage, N Devon, National TrustSet in a secluded woodland area in the Peppercombe Valley, only a few minutes’ stroll from the rocky foreshore, Coastguard Cottage 1 has been refurbished with bright and modern interiors, but still retains its 19th-century character with slate floors and a large fireplace. Sleeps four; two nights from £389.

All images ©NationalTrust

BY MAGGIE O'SULLIVAN

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