If you’re looking for autumnal destinations in the UK, how about picking-up a copy of Keats’ Ode to Autumn, and following in his footsteps on The Keats’ Walk in Winchester?
He composed the ode in 1819 – regarded by critics as one of the most perfect short poems in the English language – after a walk near Winchester one autumnal evening. It is said that its inspiration was the landscape he walked on daily basis during a stay in Winchester.
Often named as one of the best places to live in Britain, Winchester offers the base for plenty of autumnal walking from the city centre directly into the South Downs National Park.
It will also help to introduce the visitor to Hampshire’s best-known author, Jane Austen whose grave can be found inside Winchester Cathedral – one of the many venues in Hampshire which has been marking the 200th anniversary of her death in 2017.
Another seasonal attraction to visit is Gilbert White’s House in Selborne, which contains the story of the pioneering naturalist who is regarded by many as England’s first ecologist, and someone who shaped the modern attitude of respect for nature.
As a rural county, autumn is a time of harvesting, and we can find plenty of food-and-drink options to reflect this throughout Hampshire: from its vineyards, to its cider making at somewhere like Upper Neatham Mill.
Autumn is also the time when Hampshire celebrates its local food and drink at events such as the Hampshire Harvest Weekend at Winchester Cathedral on October 1 & 2 in 2017; and at Emsworth’s Great British Food Fortnight which runs this year from September 23 to October 8.
All of the autumnal colours of the New Forest National Park can also be seen during The New Forest Walking Festival from October 14-19. For full details, visit http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/walkingfestival.
Autumn breaks in Hampshire can be enjoyed throughout the county, and VisitHampshire has a full listing at http://www.visit-hampshire.co.uk/where-to-stay.
Further tourist information can be found at http://www.visit-hampshire.co.uk.