Autumn leaves

One of the things I really enjoyed doing when I lived in Canada was walking amongst the fallen autumn leaves in the parks. I loved kicking the bright red, gold, yellow, orange, and brown leaves and watching them lift up in the air, only to gently float back down to earth in a kaleidoscope of colour. How lovely they looked on the trees, and how beautiful they looked carpeting the ground.

High Park, Toronto – my neighbourhood park, and one which I loved to visit. Doesn’t that thick carpet of leaves look so inviting for a fun frolic? (Photo courtesy of

Since moving to the UK, I have missed seeing the brilliant volumes of autumn leaves that grace Canada’s majestic trees, and which fall to the ground as the season matures. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to discover during our first autumn in the Lakes that the woods at the back of the guest house glow with lovely shades of gold, yellow and red come October and November. As Blenheim Lodge has far-reaching views of Lake Windermere to the hills beyond from the front and side of the house, we also overlook stands and stands of woodlands with trees that display fantastic shades of caramel browns amidst a multitude of evergreens; thereby creating chameleon backdrops of gold, green and purple hues which are faithfully reflected in the waters of England’s largest natural lake.

Greens and golds greet the eye in this spectacular view from The Eyrie, our single en-suite room on the second floor of Blenheim Lodge.

However, whilst the autumn colours of the Lakes are attractive, there is nothing satisfying at all about kicking my heels into small scattered piles of damp leaves in the woods. This small bit of childish fun is something I do miss. I remember as a teenager play jostling with friends in the park near our high school and leafy environs of the university, throwing handfuls of leaves at each other in mock fights. Walking arm in arm or skipping along, we would kick at the leaves to see how high and far they would go, laughing with gleeful abandon as we tramped across luxurious carpets of dry organic matter as it crunched beneath our boots. It was fun! Good, clean fun!

I am, I’m afraid, more sedate now. Firstly, I haven’t had the chance to kick up at leaves the way I did as a youngster in Canada since I have yet to find any large dry piles to do so in the UK. However, the lack of copious autumn leaves on the ground does not affect the delicate beauty of their overall surroundings. I absolutely loved the vibrant autumn colours of Canada; but likewise do I appreciate the gentler spectrum of browns and golds of the Lake District.

The luminous quality of light in this photo lends a delicacy of touch to the pretty autumn leaves that grace the trees and forest ground at Grizedale, 20 minutes drive from Blenheim Lodge. (Photo courtesy of

This autumn, why not take advantage of our special offers and visit the Lakes to enjoy its colours for yourselves? Although most foliage is not in the first blaze of colour now, enough remains to present a good showing. Take a walk along country footpaths. Perhaps you will be luckier than I am and come across huge piles of dry leaves for that satisfying kick that disperses them into the air, only to rain gently down in a twirling display of many colours!

‘Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’

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