AUTUMN is almost over for another year.

It may not have the joys of summer, hope of spring and cosiness of winter but who does not enjoy a day out in October.

All around we are surrounded by colour, yellows, greens and browns, as trees and plants in varying stages of decay give up the ghost for another year.

We can all take hope and respite in the fact each will return full of colour in six months time - such is the circle of life.

In the meantime we share five of the best places to visit for a day out in autumn.

Lake Vrynwy

Lake Vyrnwy has become an internationally important nature reserve for wildlife and habitats.

Although the hillside makes for difficult terrain, one of the hides in the nature reserve is accessible by wheelchair. There's plenty for children too, including nestbox trails and bat and owl walks. Hire a back-pack and go on a creepy-crawly search; hire binoculars as you play bird bingo around the reserve.

Border Counties Advertizer: Lake Vrynwy. Picture: Mike Will Williams

Lake Vyrnwy. Picture: Mike Will Williams

Chirk Castle

This easy circular woodland walk has spectacular views of the parkland, and a little surprise in the middle. It is mainly on paths, but the last section is through open fields.

The car park, estate, garden, Home Farm play area and wild play area are open daily, 10am to 4pm.

Of course if walking is not your thing then Chirk Castle has one of the most action-packed histories of most castles along the border and the scene of many battles and legend says the graveyard of the defeated English in the Battle of Crogen.

Border Counties Advertizer: Chirk Castle. Picture: Hazel Smith

Chirk Castle. Picture: Hazel Smith

Ty Mawr

Ty Mawr Country Park lies on the banks of the River Dee in the beautiful Vale of Llangollen, part of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area out Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Whether it is to admire the view, to see the farm animals or to take a walk, you could bring a picnic and have a great family day out at Ty Mawr Country Park.

Bounded by the dramatic stone built Cefn Viaduct, the park looks out over the Vale of Llangollen and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which is within easy walking distance.

Border Counties Advertizer: Ty Mawr Country Park.

Ty Mawr.

Llanymynech Rock

The old quarries were designated a nature reserve in 1972 and much of it has regenerated as woodland; ash trees twined in wild clematis, or old man’s beard, as it is also known, on account of the smoky wreathes of seed-heads that turn bushes and trees white here in autumn.

But the greatest botanical treasures are found in the short grassland and old spoil heaps directly beneath the cliff. Bee and pyramidal orchids grow here, along with the bright yellow rock rose and a whole herb garden of aromatic herbs – thyme, marjoram and wild basil. Wild clematis becomes a problem here; only the determined efforts of the Trust’s volunteers and a small flock of Hebridean sheep prevent it smothering the flower-rich swards.

New glades are being opened up and small-scale felling carried out to open up a corridor of light for butterflies. Pearl-bordered fritillaries, re-introduced on the Welsh side of the reserve have been seen on the Shropshire side. These butterflies need sunlight and violets, food plant of their caterpillars.

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Llanymynech Rock. Picture by Andy Neeves


One of Shropshire’s most beautiful meres, Colemere is almost completely surrounded by mature woodland and has two very attractive hay meadows.

The site attracts a variety of wildfowl and waders, including snipe, curlew, goldeneye, and pochard. In fact with its diverse variety of wildlife habitats Colemere supports, with mature woodland, open meadow, hedgerows, and large expense of water, Colemere is rich in birdlife throughout the year.

Because of Colemere's wildlife interest, the site has several important designations, Local Nature Reserve, Site of Special Scientific Interest and RAMSAR Site. Many of these designations are due to the rare marginal wetland plants that grow around the edges of the mere, this is the only site in England where the rare Least Water Lily is found.

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Autumn views of Colemere. Picture by David Walker.