Couple walking a dog surrounded by autumnal trees

10 cheap autumn days out

author: Adele Kitchen

By Adele Kitchen

Falling leaves, longer nights and dropping temperatures mean leaving the house isn’t quite as alluring as it was during the warmer months, but it can be just as rewarding. Plus, it doesn’t need to be expensive.

1. Catch a fireworks display

The silver lining to darker nights is that it means Bonfire Night is just around the corner. You could check your council's website to find a bonfire local to you, or host your own party. You could even make some yummy food too, like homemade toffee apples, toasted marshmallows or honey-mustard hot dogs.

2. Pumpkin picking and carving

Of course, the best thing you can do with food is to eat it, but autumn throws up delightful alternatives. Not least, decorating pumpkins.

You can do the Halloween tradition, of course, with shop-bought pumpkins, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, spend the day roaming around a farm and adjoining fields to select the perfect pumpkin to adorn your house.

Bear in mind that entrance prices will vary from farm to farm. While some will only charge you for what you pick, others may offer a more expensive service with extras you might not need.

3. Get fruity by picking apples and conkers

Pumpkins aren’t the only foodstuff that has its uses in autumn. Apple picking is also a good day out. Orchards offer a litany of plump fruit options for either eating raw, baking in a pie or even brewing into cider.

Technically nuts are fruits too, so you could also embrace your inner child and go wandering for conkers. However, unlike their North American counterpart chestnuts, the conker isn’t edible. It can be toxic. So stick to battling them against each other rather than snacking on them.

4. Get boozy at an Oktoberfest

The Bavarian beer bonanza is an event that takes place in Munich every year. But you don't have to travel to Germany to get involved! There are now Oktoberfests held all over the UK, including:

  • Belfast
  • Birmingham
  • Edinburgh
  • Exeter
  • Glasgow
  • London
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle
  • Southampton

5. Go for a walk

While rain, wind and the biting cold are more than likely to make an appearance this season; chances are so too will sunshine and misty mornings; perfect for a stroll.

What makes walking this time of year all the more enticing? The dramatic impact the changing leaves has on the environment, introducing shades of brown, orange, and yellow to the landscape. You don’t need to walk it either; riding a bike through the same surroundings can be just as rewarding. 

6. Enjoy a harvest festival

Traditionally a pagan celebration, harvest festival occurs towards the end of the crop cycle and celebrates the food yield. The modern equivalent, which is likely to be any time during October, includes an array of activities. For example, farmers' markets, organic takeaways, and educational displays. It’s a fun celebration of food, irrespective of age. While some can have quite expensive food and entrance fees, at other events you can soak up the atmosphere with free entry. 

7. Take the kids trick-or-treating

Get your Halloween costumes ready and spend a fun evening collecting sweets and spooking the neighbours.

8. Watch a sunrise

The summer offers you plenty of opportunities for sunsets, but unless you're an ultra-early bird, watching the sunrise is a bit tricker. That all changes in the autumn though, when the dawn gets progressively later.

Try to do it as close to (but not after) the advent of British wintertime. For example, on Saturday 29th October 2022, the day before the clocks go back, the sun rises at 7:49 in London - that will get later the further north you are too.

Just allow for time to travel and walk to your vantage point, so you don't miss it. It might mean getting up a little earlier, but we'd recommend taking a warm flask of your favourite hot drink up a hill and watch from there. If you get a clear morning, the sight will be truly spectacular.

9. Stargazing

It’s not just the sun rising that happens at a more palatable time. An earlier sunrise means the stars are more impressive long before midnight. As long as you’re relatively far from the bright city lights and there’s little cloud in the sky, you should be able to see some impressive constellations and stars.

Technically, this isn’t a day out, but if you’re not lucky enough to live somewhere with the opportune conditions then you can drive to somewhere nearby. There’s also the moon to be impressed by at this time of year. October also has two full moons, the Harvest and Hunter’s moon, the latter of which can be blood orange.

10. Rock pooling

There are two misconceptions about rock pooling. The first is that it's just for kids (although they do love it), and the second is that it needs to be the summer.

Our seaside is generally less populated once August has been and gone, so there’ll be quieter spots that are perfect for spotting wildlife. The creatures, including crabs, shrimp, and fish, tend to prefer calmer, untroubled areas.

September is the time of year when the sea is warmest, so if the temperature is mild, you can do it barefoot. Otherwise, we’d recommend a good pair of wellies and some waterproofs. Here are some more rock pooling tips and top places to go from Countryfile.

Read on for 7 free rainy activities for the whole family.

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Couple walking a dog surrounded by autumnal trees Couple walking a dog surrounded by autumnal trees