There is something fundamentally satisfying about closing your cottage door to the darkness of a lengthening autumnal evening and then pulling up a chair in front of a roaring fire. With the beautiful gold and orange tones already taking over the British countryside, this is a great time of year to ‘get away from it all’ and make the most of the empty roads and quiet trails before winter begins in earnest. We are going to take a look a two of Britain’s most stunning rural destinations, the Lake District and South West Scotland, two regions separated by the Solway Firth but united in their enduring appeal.
The Lake District
There are few places on these Isles which can be categorised as ‘wilderness’, though England’s stunning rugged North West reaches comes close. As the name suggests, it’s comprised of stunning mountainous vistas surrounded by lakes carved through millennia by ancient volcanoes, snow and ice. The result is a breathtaking National Park that boasts gloriously desolate valleys, challenging mountain bike trails and hundreds of miles of some of Britain’s finest walking country. Whilst this part of England offers splendid isolation for those who seek it, the Lake District is also blessed with fine culinary enclaves and fascinating attractions such as Brockhole and The World of Beatrix Potter. Many will be drawn to some of the more popular lakes, such as Windermere or Coniston, though perhaps some of the Lake District’s finest scenery can be found at Buttermere and in particular, the stunningly tranquil Derwent Water.
South West Scotland
It is no coincidence that Sir Paul McCartney choose the quiet of South West Scotland when seeking a retreat in the 1970s. He would later immortalise the region in the timeless classic, ‘Mull of Kintyre’. This bewitching part of Britain, much like its Lakeland cousin to the south, provides a rural haven from the rigours of our hectic modern lives. With a majestic coastline extending from the Solway Firth, meandering along peninsulas to Robert Burns’s country in the north, South West Scotland has some of Britain’s finest links golf courses. Perhaps the most iconic, the legendary Turnberry, looks out forever to the haunting island outcrop the ‘Aisla Craig’ and with Troon just a short distance to the north, this is truly hallowed golfing country. Once you have explored the expanses of beautiful rolling Scottish countryside, why not turn you attention to the exquisite harbour town of Port William or perhaps the historic artist haven, Kirkcudbright. Even boasting its own whiskey trail, South West Scotland will doubtless leave you with satisfyingly warm reflections on your next autumn cottage break.