With just 23 days until autumn officially arrives in the UK, it’s time to start looking at the best cosy days out in Buckinghamshire! Whether you’re looking for the best gardens to jump in crunchy leaves, the most aesthetically pleasing pumpkin patches or you’re in the mood for some spooky fun, you’ll find it all in this ultimate guide to spending a cosy autumn in Buckinghamshire.
What’s autumn without pumpkins? Thankfully, Buckinghamshire is in no short supply of pumpkin patches, whether you’re looking to pick the perfect pumpkin to carve or you want to make a day out of it.
Pumpkins at The Patch | The Patch MK, Milton Keynes
With over 80,000 pumpkins – and squashes – to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice at Pumpkins at The Patch. The patch offers plenty of photo opportunities and viewing platforms, as well as play areas for children. You’ll also find tasty food and drink – all sourced from local companies.
Pumpkins at The Patch runs from the 1st of October, with time slot tickets on sale soon.
Annual Pumpkin Patch Event at The Windy Willows | Houghton Regis
Before you start running off to buy your trees from this Christmas Tree Yard, make sure you grab some pumpkins first! The Windy Willow’s third annual pumpkin patch event has an amazing ghost pirate theme and offers more than just pumpkins to pick. You’ll also find a spooky treasure trail, fancy dress, face painting, tombola and photo opportunities. The on-site cage serves light bites and autumn-themed snacks like sweet cones and toffee apples.
The Annual Pumpkin Patch Event is open from the 22nd of October. Tickets are on sale now from £3.00.
The Pumpkin Barn at Farmer Paul’s | Aylesbury
The Pumpkin Barn is back for its 11th year this October, offering pumpkins for sale and picking (giant, small and funky!) and lots of great photo opportunities. There will also be hot drinks and snacks on sale, including pumpkin ice cream made locally.
The Pumpkin Barn is open from the 8th of October with free entry.
Lillingstone Pick Your Own at Stockholt Farm | Buckingham
Collect a wheelbarrow and pick homegrown pumpkins and squashes at Lillingstone Pick Your Own this year! With a variety of different sizes and shapes, you’ll be spoilt for choice for pumpkins. New for 2022 includes a Halloween trail around the Maize Maze too!
Tickets are on sale now from £6.50.
Wonderful walks and woodlands
Make the most of the limited daylight in these upcoming months by getting out and about in the crisp air whilst you still can. Wrap up warm and reward yourself with a tasty hot chocolate after autumnal strolls at the below autumn days out in Buckinghamshire. Many of these walks have plenty of pub stops on the way – or at the end – for some delicious grub too.
At 852 feet above sea level, The Chilterns the experience of wonderful views of the rolling hills and the Aylesbury Vale. On clear days, you can even see all the way to the Cotswolds. Try some of the National Trust’s guided walking trails such as Coombe Hill and Chequers trail, Chiltern Hills Three-in-One Walk, or German Forest walk at Hughenden, which is an easy route that’s perfect for beginner hikers.
Read more: 10 fun date ideas in Milton Keynes
A personal favourite of mine is the Explore West Wycombe Village walk (this is also included in the Chiltern Hills Three-in-One Walk above) which takes you past historical buildings, cute cottages and quaint shops. I’d recommend making a day of it by exploring grabbing lunch at one of the pubs along the cute high street and then visiting The Hellfire Caves afterwards.
Offering ancient trees and rolling chalk hills, Ashridge is a must-visit for an autumnal walk this September. The estate itself offers a variety of different guided walks (easily waymarked throughout), from the 3-mile Rangers’ Ramble to the more challenging 80-mile Wildlife Walk. There are also beautiful self-led routes you can follow from the National Trust: Duncombe Terrace walk (a mixture of woodland ideal for spotting red and orange leaves), Ashridge ancient trees walk (perfect for a spooky Halloween stroll!) and, the more challenging, 16 miles Ashridge Estate boundary trail walk.
One of my favourite things about Milton Keynes is all the beautiful greenspaces it has to offer, so naturally, this is my usual stomping ground for autumn walks come this time of year. Lodge Lake, Ouzel Valley Park and Linford Wood are personally some of my favourites for rich warming colours, but I also love going on the self-guided walks by The Parks Trust.
Other notable woodlands worth exploring:
🍂 Wendover Woods
🍂 Cliveden Woodlands
🍂 Penn Wood
🍂 Black Park Country Park
🍂 Finemere Wood
Magnificent Manor Houses and Autumnal Gardens
If the weather is a tad too cold and rainy on your days out in Buckinghamshire (let’s be honest, we’re going to get a lot of rain – it is England after all!), these lovely manor houses are perfect for miserable weather. Like all manor houses, they also come with beautiful gardens you can explore too if the weather permits.
Hughenden Manor | Hughenden
This National Trust property is the perfect place to visit if you want to take a seasonal walk after viewing the house, with 680 acres of grounds to explore and some of the best views of the Chilterns countryside. The Victorian home – with beautiful victorian gothic brick – has tons of history to learn about inside, with adjourning formal gardens. On the grounds, you’ll also find a cafe and stable shop, and a walled garden.
Tickets cost £13.00 to visit the house and grounds, or entry is free for National Trust members.
Canons Ashby | Daventry
Just 35 minutes outside of Milton Keynes is this tranquil Tudor manor house. You can head inside the historic house which has lots to see or take a walk around the 18th-century terraced gardens which offer stunning views over the countryside. There’s a lovely coach house which sells local produce and seasonal decor, as well as gifts. If you’re peckish, there’s also the Stables tearooms. Just outside of the main grounds there’s also a small but sweet church too! You’ll find a lot of wonderful events running during this time of year, such as autumn creature trails and the opportunity to decorate a Halloween pumpkin holder. Personally, I’m looking very forward to the Apple Harvest weekend, which has Morris dancing, traditional harvest decorations and a small selection of stall holders.
Tickets cost £11.00 to visit the house and grounds, or entry is free for National Trust members.
Waddesdon Manor | Aylesbury
Beautiful all year round, Waddesdon Manor is a firm favourite for wonderful views and seasonal events. However, autumn and winter are hands down my favourite times to visit the Rothschild house and gardens. This year, you can visit inside the classic house which takes inspiration directly from French Renaissance châteaus on the outside and boasts glorious decor inside. You can also explore the grounds of Waddeson Manor to find colourful gardens, woodland walks and even an aviary and stables. Come this time of year, you can also find twinkling fairy lights amongst trees such as Horse Chesnut, London Plane and Sycamore. Discover this walking trail, which introduces you to each of the autumnal trees you can spot at Waddesdon. They do also run family events for Halloween but nothing has been announced at the time of posting.
Tickets start from £25.20 to visit the house and grounds, or entry is free for National Trust members.
Stowe House and Gardens | Buckingham
Stowe House is set within 250 acres of gardens, each offering different themes and monuments and points of interest, such as the Gothic Temple, the Eleven Acre Lake and the popular Palladian Bridge. There are three guided walks you can choose from to explore the gardens (and the wonderful changing colours of the leaves) or you can make your own way round. There’s also a cafe and places to shop, and you can even see inside Stowe House. This autumn, you can enjoy harvest stalls and fairground-style games on the Harvest Weekend or partake in a Wicked Witch Trail come Halloween.
Tickets cost £13.00 to visit the house and grounds, or entry is free for National Trust members.
Dorney Court | Dorney
This historical landmark is a grade I listed early Tudor manor house surrounded by a large estate with a working farm, stables and a garden centre. It’s also a wedding venue! The house is open to the public on limited dates throughout the year, but you are welcome to enquire about a visit outside of these dates too. The park and gardens are wonderful to visit this time of year, particularly for those beautiful fall colours!
Tickets cost £10.00 to visit the house and grounds.
Cosy pubs, seasonal food and warm tipples
Let’s face it: one of the best things about autumn is all the delicious seasonal food. Even better is when you’ve been on a long walk in the cold and find yourself getting cosy in a characteristic pub with a roaring fire and a well-deserved meal. Here are some of the best places to enjoy seasonal produce…or a mulled wine or two.
The Flying Fox | Woburn
Though Woburn is technically in Bedfordshire, I love The Flying Fox so much and at just a 15-minute drive outside of Milton Keynes, I can’t help but include it. This sweet pub boasts tons of character with roaring fires and oversized cosy armchairs, making it perfect for an autumn or winter stop for food. Why not combine it with a long walk at Rushmere Country Park nearby? Gorge on country pub classics, seasonal produce or rustic dishes with country charm. And if you need any recommendations? I always go for the duo of pâté starter, followed by Hunter’s chicken schnitzel for main.
The Rising Sun | Aylesbury
Fancy a pub with a cosy book corner? I couldn’t think of anything better on a cold day! This welcoming pub also offers six rotating real ales, craft beers and a large selection of gins, a crackling log fire and tasty food. The Rising Sun is the perfect addition to your autumn days out in Buckinghamshire.
The Kings Head | Little Marlow
This gastropub is another great stop on an Autumn walk with crackling fires, giant rugs and plenty of charm and character. Offering a mixture of seasonal dishes and pub classics, the menu also has a fair range of lunch bites too, should you want something lighter to break up a walk. Marlow is a charming village too, set on the River Thames and lots of nature walks nearby.
The Royal Standard of England | Forty Green
You won’t find a pub with more character than this. At 900 years old, The Royal Standard of England is said to be the oldest pub in Britain and has a decor of exposed beams, log fires, a medieval tiled floor and even taxidermy! Their site notes that when taking a seat, ‘you are encased in a world of candlelit rooms, filled with treasures, trophies and ghosts of the past’. It sounds absolutely magical. Choose from hearty dishes, ranging from old-fashioned comfort food (with vegan options too!), handmade pub pies and, of course, a Sunday roast. It’s also located right on the outskirts of the Chiltern hills, where you can find lots of sweet villages to explore. Why not visit the nearby villages: Great Missenden, Hambleden or Fingest? It’s also closeby to Hughenden Manor.
The Queen’s Head | Old Chesham
This traditional ale house and restaurant oozes charm and class. Although the food is more Thai than British grub, the warm and welcoming pub still gets an honourable mention. It’s also dog friendly and has a real fire, all set in that classic pub surrounding. Old Chesham is a beautiful village to explore too and is home to 23 Grade II listed buildings!
Interested in visiting some of the above recommendations but want to make a day of it? You can view them all on the map below!
Loved this guide? Please let me know! If you end up visiting any of these places on your autumn days out in Buckinghamshire or you feel that I’ve missed anything off, do feel free to tweet me at @Lady_Louise and I’ll be sure to add it on. I’ll be updating this guide throughout autumn too!