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Finding Autumn Colour Locations

This may seem a silly title for an article, as in autumn in the UK and other countries where the trees drop their leaves, the autumn colours are everywhere. Go to most woodland, town or city parks, or drive thorough the countryside and tress in autumn colour are everywhere to be seen. While this is true and many offer opportunities, we are here going to consider the more photogenic or impressive displays of autumn colours.

We have produced 4 listings of some of the woodlands that have displays of autumn colours in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but there will be far more. If you are aware of specifically good locations then please let us know and we can add them to our listings or perhaps put a location guide together.

The autumn displays that we could search out to photograph could be:
  • Large displays

  • Bright colours, perhaps specific colourful species of trees

  • Perhaps tress layered up hillsides

  • Reflections

  • Waterfalls and rivers with colour

  • Trees at different stages

Perhaps some types going faster than others, or perhaps those at different levels up the hillside, or perhaps the autumn colours over a waterfall or reflected in a peaceful lake.

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Each year is likely to be different, some years all the trees and all of an individual tree goes at once while in other years its far more gradual. Between locations you can also have different rates or effects. We have looked at this and why it happens in our introduction article of autumn colours.

Finding the autumn displays to photograph can be undertaken in several ways. You can watch and visit looking for possibilities or you set out with a vision that you are attempting to photograph. The first is relatively easy while the second can be far more difficult and may not be successful, while it can give very special results.


As the autumn progresses, we will expect and see progression of colours and leaf loss from green through to bare twigs. Hillsides facing different directions, at different heights, will often go at different times and speeds, and more isolated tress often before highly packed ones. This means that we have a wider range of photographic opportunities than at first may be apparent.

In most areas if we were to go out and do a recce, looking at the state the trees are in now, we would find a range of situations, and at the same time spot a number of locations that would offer photographic opportunities. A few of these may be ideal today, many more we will feel could be better if we were to come back again. At first sight it may appear to be completely random, but if you start to note the locations by the direction they face, how open they are to that direction and if you are aware of it, the type of trees, you are likely to see a local pattern forming, with all similar situations acting in a similar way.

The advantage of this is that while you cannot constantly visit and check the progress at each location, once you have the local key you can just check some local areas every few days to get a good idea of when its worth visiting each location again.

While doing your recce, you will spot locations that you feel could be particularly good, and with each of these it may be worth creating a quick sketch, and marking the camera positions and even possibly the lens angles that you feel would work, as well as the time of day when you feel it would be best to photograph it.


See the article on how to photograph autumn colours as this may give you more ideas, as well as looking at techniques.

Other Sources

Some others sources of information on autumn colour locations can be found within our listings for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which are organised by county. However the websites of the following could also help you identify suitable locations:-

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Ordnance Survey maps show woodland, and have different symbols for deciduous trees that produce the autumn colours and the coniferous, fir tress and the like that do not. You can also see access methods such as footpaths, roads, car parks etc and from the contours, the hillsides. Lakes are also shown. You can see Ordnance Survey maps online by looking at:

  • Get a map a small area map, that can zoom into the scale where you can see individual field boundaries. It is draggable, but often quicker to zoom out and back into another location. You can print the section.

  • Bing either search for a place or take the Many Maps option in the left hand panel and an Ordnance Survey map is displayed, you can zoom in further and its fully draggable.

  • Geograph shows photographs within a grid square. You can search for a place, look at a photo and then using compass pointers move in any direction.  You then see an area page with small versions of photos for each area under the map section, you can often see what its like at locations, which even if at different seasons or slightly different angles may give you a good idea of what is there and if its worth a trip to investigate further. Town areas may have a lot of photos but in many country areas the number of images may be small.

You can also use the information from our listings or location guides on autumn colours and put the grid references shown on these into the above mapping systems to investigate further.

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See Larger Image Click on images to see larger versions

You may also find it worth looking at other location guides we have in the areas of interest to you. We haven't attempted to tie all location guides that have trees into the autumn colours indexes, and some of them may show more opportunities or an idea of what may be able to be seen. An example of the type of places you may find interesting are the Abbey sites, and Historic Houses many of these are country locations with trees around, and images involving stonework and autumn colours could go well together.

We also have an extensive Gardens section, that may also be worth exploring further.

See Also:

Autumn Colours

Autumn colours introduction   

Photographing autumn colours

Filters for autumn colours   l

Finding autumn colour locations

Autumn Colours in England

Autumn Colours in Wales

Autumn Colours in Scotland

Autumn Colours in Northern Ireland


By: Tracey Park Section: Nature/Flora/Countryside Key:
Page Ref: finding_autumn_colours_locations Topic: Autumn Colours  Last Updated: 09/2011

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