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Eight Reasons Why Autumn is the Best Season
Autumn. That guy Keats nailed it with his mists and mellow fruitfulness theme. This is the season of vivid foliage, soft scents and the hint of a chill. Veg patches, woods and fields overflow with nature’s harvest. It’s also a prime time to slow down, take up a new hobby and do like the Danes and get hygge. Here’s how.
Enjoy autumnal colour
Autumn is glorious. Trees that spent the summer looking nice but unnoticeable suddenly go all showy. From yellow ochre to Venetian red via burnt Sienna, nature’s palate is never more striking. Making a simple walk in the woods a feast for the eyes.
After a sometimes frantic summer, autumn is a chance to slow down. The warmer months make us feel we have to rise early and go to bed late. It seems a shame to waste the brighter weather, so we end up charging around. But the cooler, wetter days kind of give us permission. To ease up. To seek somewhere supremely cosy. To snuggle down.
Hygge hit the headlines a few years back. It’s a kind of all-enveloping, completely comfortable cosiness. The word is Danish and, according to Visit Denmark, it “goes far in illuminating the Danish soul”. But you don’t have to cart yourself off to Copenhagen to feel the effects. Autumn is an ideal time to enjoy good things with good people, get comfy beside a fire and create cosy. All you have to do is work out who to get hygge with, then share the idea.
Go for long walks
Snuggling down is always better after a burst of activity. It makes us feel virtuous. We’ve earned that seat by the fire, the spot on the sofa, the afternoon tea. And where better to wander this autumn than the Lincolnshire Wolds. Gentle hills, chalk streams, plantations of beech, ash, sycamore and pine. There are countless footpaths to explore.
Learn a new hobby
It might be the guitar, ballroom dancing, woodworking or baking – those longer nights are just made for perfecting new skills. The model airplanes you loved as a kid? There’s no shame in taking those up again. And what about knitting? The click-clack of needles is not just relaxing (until it goes wrong), it’s also creating a fine new winter hat.
Feed the senses
As well as being a riot of colour, autumn is a feast for all the senses. For every vivid leaf we see there’s also a wealth of things to smell, touch and hear. Feel the tang of winter in the air. Smell the first waft of woodsmoke. Notice the earthy scent of mushrooms and damp leaves. Hear birdsong in autumnal air that seems clearer. Rustle your way through freshly fallen leaves.
There’s more than a dash of mindfulness in engaging the senses when we’re active outside. It helps us connect and notice – linking three of the Five Ways to Wellbeing advocated by the mental health charity MIND. Slower-paced autumn is the perfect time to start.
Enjoy nature’s harvest
While nature puts on a fine autumn show, she also gifts us superb seasonal ingredients. The Head Chef at Washingborough Hall Hotel’s two AA rosette restaurant, Mark Cheseldine, adores using local autumnal produce. “Autumn gives us a chance to use a lot more robust flavours and heartier dishes,” he says. “Root vegetables, venison, wild mushrooms. Halibut poached in red wine with bourguignonne garnish and celeriac mash. Apples and blackberries are always good at this time of year. Personally it’s one of my favourite menus to cook!” And if the chefs are excited that’s great news for all of us. Time to think of someone who’ll appreciate it as much as you do, and book in for an autumnal feast.