It’s no secret that I’m a great lover of autumn. One of my favourite things to do this time of year is get out into the forest for a long walk – there’s nothing like being out in the middle of nowhere, tramping leaves and acorns under wellies, listening to the birds singing in the trees and creatures scurrying about in the undergrowth, knowing there’s a pub with a roaring log fire waiting for you at the end of the walk. Tom and I try and explore Great Britain as much as possible; much as I love a beach holiday there are so many amazing places to visit in this country and I really feel that there’s no time it’s quite as beautiful as in the autumn.
Being something of a seasoned autumn adventurer I thought I’d bring you my list of things to pack or prepare for the perfect autumn walk.
Of course no autumn walk would be complete without a pair of good quality wellies. I always try and buy my wellies from an outdoor shop so I can check out a few different brands and try them on. Over the last couple of years I’ve stayed loyal to Hunters – these colourblock Hunters were kindly sent to me by Blacks (£95*). They will definitely be accompanying me on all of my walks over the next few months (my old Hunters have now been relegated to the back of the cupboard!)
If you’re looking for some walking inspiration I’d highly recommend searching around the web or picking up a book like the 100 Greatest Walks in Britain. Once you’ve found an area or a walk you like the sound of you could also pick up an Ordnance Survey map just to make sure you don’t get lost. A friend of mine always ‘drops a pin’ on Google Maps on his phone at the car park before he starts a walk so he knows he can always find his way back. It goes without saying that you should always take a mobile phone in case you do get lost or need help.
Winter layers are a must – I’ve lost count of the times Tom has told me to wear something warmer and I’ve brazenly gone out in just a cardigan or a light jacket only to regret it about ten minutes into the walk. Finding a good waterproof coat is also a worthwhile investment; you might not be able to snap any outfit posts whilst you’re out but you’ll be thankful for it if it starts to tip it down! I always wear, or pack, my trusty Neff hat and a scarf just in case it gets really chilly.
I also highly recommend packing something hot and delicious in a Thermos – particularly if it’s my current hot drink of choice, ‘Peanut Hottie‘ from Sainsbury’s. I make it with hazelnut soy milk and it’s a bit of a treat! There really is nothing better than pausing a walk to sit on a bench and slurp something warm. I usually pack some snacks in my backpack (poet and I know it) in case the walks takes a little longer – I’m addicted to Frank bars at the moment and bought two big boxes last month so there’s usually some of these kicking around in my bag!
Of course I always take a camera with me to snap all of the wonderful sights the forest offers up this time of year. It’s a great way to practice your photography to take your camera out for the day and capture all the little details and beautiful views that catch your eye. I love using a macro lens, or the macro setting on my camera to get some close-ups of leaves, pinecones, berries, cobwebs and all sorts; the light is often absolutely perfect for photography on those crisp autumn mornings or late afternoons.
Of course the most important preparation is to make sure there’s a great country pub at the end of your walk to warm up and fill up on some good grub. No Sunday walk is complete without a roaring log fire and a good ol’ roast dinner to finish it off.
What are your autumn walk essentials?