Great activities to do in autumn

It's not just a blaze of colour which makes autumn a treasured time outdoors. Right now the seas are at their warmest and the rivers are in full spate. So, make the most of your autumn break - come out to play.

  • A male surfer standing on Caswell Bay facing out to see
    Surfing on Caswell Bay, Gower Peninsula

    Though most tourists surf in summer, autumn is the season the locals live for. September and October is when the sea is at its warmest, they explain, and this is when mid-Atlantic storms pump more swell onto the beaches – the peninsula’s intricate coastline guarantees shelter from larger waves or winds for beginners. Better still, autumn means fewer visitors and more waves surfed. More fun, in other words.

    Search for surfing operators in Swansea Bay, Mumbles and Gower

  • Peiran Falls, Hafod Estate, Ceredigion in Autumn
    Peiran Falls, Hafod Estate, Ceredigion by Paula J James

    Beech trees look their best in autumnal coppers and the finest beech forests in Wales are on the Hafod Estate in the Ystwyth valley. That one massive tree on Allt Dihanog hill is 8m wide contributes to the fantasy atmosphere of a walk in one of Britain’s finest romantic gardens. There are five marked trails to choose from. Either way, expect a Hobbitty journey of waterfalls, cascades, rustic bridges and hidden tunnels. Magic.

    Find out more about Hafod Estate

  • Mountain Biking in Coed y Brenin
    Mountain biking at Coed y Brenin, Snowdonia by brian.phillips57

    The name translates as King’s Forest and it really turns on the colour in autumn. Whereas many mountain bike centres weave through pine woods, trails in the original bikers’ paradise slalom through mixed forest. Take the Yr Afon trail and you get flashes of gold and copper on a scenic ride above the Mawddach river. Choose the brutal Beast of Brenin trail and you’ll be glad if there’s a chill in the air.

    Find out more about mountain biking at Coed-y-Brenin

  • Group canyoning and about to walk under a waterfall

    Canyoning, Brecon Beacons

     by Henry & Jane Rios

    Canyoning without water is gorge-walking by another name. With waterfalls it becomes an adventure,  however, and there are plenty tiered in the Vale of Neath below Ystradfellte. So, while other walkers in the Brecon Beacons ascend our misty autumn hills, you will wear a wetsuit to slide down weirs and leap into plunge-pools while the river is at its warmest and fullest. And if you think that’s good wait till you hear it’s all downhill.

     Search for operators in the Brecon Beacons National Park

  • Four canoeists on the bank of the River Wye, Brecon
    Canoe trip on the Wye by

    A “wild secluded scene”, said Wordsworth and he was on the riverbank. On a Canadian canoe the River Wye is the stuff of poetry in autumn. Led by a guide, you slip downstream with the tide for a mini-expedition through a gorge that’s a patchwork of colour. Tintern Abbey and Chepstow’s whopper of a castle bookend the journey. In between is nature and peace. A chance to “connect the landscape with the quiet of the sky” the poet said. Spot on. 

    Search for canoeing operators in the Wye Valley and Vale of Usk