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Looking for things to do in autumn near you? There’s no better time to put your wellies on, wrap up warm and head out with the family to explore all the North has to offer this time of year! Embark on an autumnal adventure with Northern Trains and discover five delightful autumn activities to enjoy.

Pumpkin Patches

Pumpkins sitting in a pumpkin patchPumpkin picking has become an essential autumn activity and there are plenty of pumpkin patches to choose from in and around the North’s great cities. If you’re looking for a dog-friendly pumpkin patch to include your furry family members too, try Reddish Vale Farm in Manchester, with seasonal events on throughout the year.

Looking for pumpkin patches in Liverpool? Head to The Pumpkin Patch Hightown, open daily throughout October with no entrance fee or booking necessary! Most pumpkin patches are open earlier in the season, so tick this off your autumn bucket list sooner, rather than later.

Autumn Picnics

Woman sitting on picnic blanket with autumnal spread in front of herAutumn offers the perfect backdrop for a picturesque picnic. Pack a wicker basket with your favourite comfort food – we’re thinking a thermos of soup and cinnamon-spiced pastries – and head to your local park on a crisp, autumn day. A picnic blanket is essential and don't forget to bring marshmallows for toasting over a crackling bonfire when the sun starts to set.

There are so many parks to choose from around the North for an autumn picnic. We recommend Jesmond Dene in Newcastle for a tranquil backdrop or the historic Heaton Park in Manchester with a host of activities to enjoy post-picnic.

Conker Collecting

Open conkers lying on the forest floorThe perfect free autumn activity, grab the little ones and make a game out of collecting conkers! As the leaves start to change, head to your local woods or park to hunt for horse chestnut trees and the treasures they drop – just be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from the jaggy spikes.

We recommend a few spots in the North for conker hunting. Head to the grounds around the iconic Alnwick Castle, famous for appearing on the big and small screen alike, for a great selection of trees. Marple Locks in Stockport is a stunning canal walk with plenty of conker trees to choose from or visit Knavesmire Wood in Yorkshire for a woodland wonderland.

Autumn Walks

A close up of two people's legs walking through the woodsOne of the best things to do in autumn (and the easiest) is to wrap up warm and go for a walk. Anywhere with trees is your best bet to take in the beauty of the changing seasons, whether that be a woodland walk or a stroll around your local park.

There are so many amazing locations in the North for an autumnal walk, such as Rising Sun Country Park in North Tyneside. Open all year long, the 400-acre park is a haven for wildlife with footpaths and trails for walkers, cyclists and horse riders alike. Further afield, Boilton Wood is another wonderful spot for an autumnal walk. The longest stretch of woodland in Lancashire, it's abundant with wildlife and paths to explore. It's also right next to Brockholes Nature Reserve if you'd like to make a day out of your trip.

Light Trails

Large decorative lightbulbs hanging from a treeAs the nights draw in, light trails are a wonderful evening activity for the whole family to enjoy. They're also a great way to start to get into the Christmas spirit, with many trails offering festive food and drink stalls along the way. 

Liverpool’s River of Light is an illuminated trail around the waterfront that showcases artwork from around the world in late October and early November. Botanical Gardens around the North also host a variety of showstopping light trails, such as Northumberland’s Alnwick Garden.


Looking for more things to do in autumn around the North? Discover our pick of National Trust Events to find one near you. Don’t forget, kids go half price on all Northern trains and under 5s go free, so you can take the whole family out on an autumn adventure to remember!

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Streamline your journey and get tickets straight to your phone. Making your journey contact-free.