Following on from the colourful and extraordinary luxury autumn escapes in part I, we now bring you autumn escapes part II…
Going For Gold In Utah
When anybody thinks about an American autumn it is always New England that rolls off of the tongue, but no longer! Don’t get us wrong, New England is beautiful in the autumn and we did previously feature it in part I, but the autumnal colours are just as vivid in the American Mountain West; specifically Utah. Each September Utah’s deep forests and sprawling national parks erupt into a riot of colours to rival anything the East Coast has to offer. The state is home to 5 of the most beautiful national parks – Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion – but also has vast meadows, mountainsides, peaks and valleys, nature’s paintbrush turns Utah into a kaleidoscope of colours until well into October. The good news is that there are multiple ways to enjoy the exquisite fall foliage – from hiking and biking to horse riding. For those who’d prefer to enjoy the spectacular natural canvas from behind the wheel of a car (and who doesn’t love a roadtrip in the US?!), Utah boasts more than 27 scenic byways – winding through some of the state’s most epic scenery as the colours turn. Chief among these is Scenic Byway 12 – “The All American Road”. A legendary 150 mile route (with 120 miles in extra options) connecting two of the ‘Mighty Five®’ – Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef – via a number of breathtaking natural wonders, including Red Canyon, Boulder Mountain and Dixie National Forest. And this, of course, is just a tiny part of the enormous network of scenic byways criss-crossing America’s boldest, most vivid outdoor state.
Bon Voyage has a 14-night fly-drive to Utah from £1,795 per person, valid for travel during September and October 2016. The price includes nonstop Delta Air Lines flights from London Heathrow to Salt Lake City, 14 nights’ accommodation in Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo, Bryce Canyon area and Moab plus car hire for the duration. The price is based on two adults travelling, sharing room only accommodation. For more information please visit bon-voyage.co.uk
For more information on Utah, visit www.visitutah.com/uk
Admire The Birds Of Prey In Wales’ Elan Valley
In the heart of mid-Wales, the Elan Valley is a peaceful wildlife haven known for its bird life including red kite, osprey, goshawk, kestrel, peregrines and more. Grab your binoculars and take a peaceful break away to admire the beautiful birds of pretty that the Elan Valley has to offer. Autumn is by far the best time to visit because the beautiful watery reflections of the autumn hues that spread across the surrounding woodlands reflect in the dams. Autumn is perfect for walking, soaking up the peace and quiet, and retreating to a cosy tea room or pub at the end of a long day.
Quality Cottages offers seven night stays at Spring Hill Cottage, a two bedroom cottage in a beautifully remote location overlooking the Elan Valley, from £462, based on up to four sharing on self-catering basis in October. For more information please visit www.qualitycottages.co.uk
Explore Ancient Temples Shrouded In Fall Foliage
The viewing of “koyo” or autumn leaves has been a popular activity in Japan for centuries. Visitors to the city can take part from November into the beginning of December when colourful leaves paint the city’s stately maple trees in a collage of reds, oranges and golden yellows. A great base to view the autumn spectacle is at The Ritz- Carlton, Kyoto to make it the ultimate luxurious getaway. Places to see the foliage away from the crowds include the Shinyodo Temple, The Kyoto Gyoen in the Imperial Palace Park and the Kurama-dera Temple just north of the city.
Rooms at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto are from JPY70,000 (approx. £515) per night. This is based on double occupancy and includes breakfast. To book, visit www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/japan/kyoto
Cornwall’s Autumn Gourmet Break
Cornwall is fast becoming the hottest foodie destination and with that in mind The Scarlet is celebrating the best of local autumn produce with a luxurious two-night Scarlet Gourmet Break – the ultimate foodie indulgence getaway, overlooking the surf of Mawgan Porth in Cornwall. The views are spectacular and provide the perfect vantage point to watch the fierce waves crashing against the shore from a romantic hot tub. This two night break will celebrate the freshest seasonal produce that The Scarlet’s suppliers provide each day: freshly caught seafood, seasonal fruits and vegetables and locally reared meats.
Available Sunday to Thursday between 2nd October and 24th November 2016. Prices start from £370 per person based on two sharing a Just Right room for a two-night break. Prices include a two-night stay, breakfast each morning, a five-course tasting menu with welcome glass of fizz and wine flight and a three-course dinner. For more information please visit www.scarlethotel.co.uk/
Walk Amongst The Glorious Colours Of Scotland’s Autumnal Highlands
Scotland’s landscapes are at their most vivid and colourful best in the Autumn. Here at H&L we think that there is no better way to explore the Scottish Highlands and all of the autumn splendour than to walk. Join Wilderness Scotland’s Autumn Highlands small group guided short break which explores the brilliant fall colours of the Central Highlands at a gentle pace, taking in Glen Affric, the Great Glen and several others to seek out the most vibrant autumn colours. Highlights include a visit to Plodda Falls, a wonderful 40m high cascade; a point to point trail through the Great Glen along the remote eastern shores of Loch Oich; and discovering the ancient woodlands and solitude of Glen Affric. Accommodation is at an eco-friendly boutique hotel in the village of Fort Augustus, at the southern end of Loch Ness.
Prices start from £975pp based on two sharing, including four nights’ accommodation, most meals, all transport starting and finishing in Inverness and the services of a walking guide throughout with Wilderness Scotland. For more information please visit www.wildernessscotland.com/adventure-holidays/wilderness-walking/autumn-highlands/
A Very British Affair
Nestled in the heart of the Royal Forest of Dean is a beautiful rural retreat named the Tudor Farmhouse. Once a working farm, the Tudor Farmhouse bases its menu on a 20 mile ethos; what they can’t grow in the kitchen garden is sourced locally. This beautiful restaurant with rooms is formed from a charming cluster of buildings, some dating from the 16th century. They’re all set around a pretty courtyard garden and surrounded by 14 acres of protected grassland, housing a kitchen garden that supplies the restaurant, and a paddock – home to sheep, ponies, hens and ducks, who kindly lay eggs for guest’s breakfasts. Celebrating the natural autumn bounty of the Forest of Dean, the Tudor Farmhouse has created their own take on the traditional Macnab challenge. A new package including shooting, fishing and foraging will be available to guests staying between mid-September and November 1st. All the activities will take place in and around the idyllic Forest of Dean, during its most colourful time of year. There are at least a half dozen takes on the Macnab, but the one thing they all have in common is the ‘prize’ must be retrieved in 24 hours.
Two nights DB&B with afternoon tea on arrival, dinner both nights & the 24 hour Forest Macnab: Early morning foraging, breakfast, clay pigeon shoot, packed lunch, guided fly fishing on the Wye or Usk* costs from £825 per room, based on two sharing
*Fishing permits are not included (Trout & Grayling £20-35pp, Salmon £40-100pp) For more information please visit www.tudorfarmhousehotel.co.uk/
Wine Tours At The Hotel Arts Barcelona
Hotel Arts Barcelona is encouraging guests to discover Catalonia’s vibrant viticulture scene, by launching a new series of tours, tastings and winemaking sessions in the nearby Penedès Region, where over 95% of all cava is produced, and just an hour’s drive south of the city. Taking advantage of the upcoming Autumn harvest season and showcasing one of Spain’s most beloved exports, “Spanish Champagne”, or cava, Hotel Arts Barcelona’s new package will enable participants to visit multiple wineries, taste the sparkling wines served at the hotel’s Enoteca restaurant, and make their own sparkling wine, which will be bottled and sent to them once fully matured; what could be better than that?
Hotel Arts Barcelona’s Harvest Package includes a Vintage Harvest experience at Mas Comtal, winetasting in the vineyard, led by a Hotel Arts Barcelona Sommelier and accompanied by a selection of gourmet appetisers, six bottles of wine created on the tour (these will be shipped to each participant’s home address, once fully matured), two nights’ stay at the hotel for one person and dinner at Enoteca paired with wine from the Penedès region. This experience is costs from approximately €1,760 + 10% IVA per person and will be available until the end of October, 2016. Rates at Hotel Arts Barcelona start from €245 per room, per night bed and breakfast. For more information please visit www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Barcelona
Cosy Autumn Break At Airds Hotel & Restaurant
This cosy little inn comprising of only 8 rooms and 3 suites is a cosy autumn escape not to be missed. Located in Port Appin (Argyll) on the West Coast of Scotland the hotel has a cosy ambience, elegant surroundings and magical waterside setting with beautiful views over Loch Linnhe to the Morvern Mountains. The area is shrouded in autumnal colours offering a breath-taking blaze of reds, golds and purples- perfect to enjoy by bike or on. Watching the sun go down from the hotel garden reflected in the waters of Loch Linnhe wrapped in a blanket is magical. Afterwards pop inside and warm up with a dram beside a roaring log fire before dinner. Airds final wine dinner of 2016 is to be hosted by Gordon Davidson/sommelier & ambassador for Corney & Barrow wine merchants on the 5th November.
Wine dinner is priced from £220 pp, based on 2 sharing a deluxe double room for the night of Sat Nov 5th. In addition to the accommodation, the price includes pre-dinner drinks and canapés in the lounge, a sumptuous 7-course gourmet dinner paired with Pinot varietal wines and full Scottish breakfast in the morning.
Airds’ 3-night Autumn offer is also available up to the end of October. Prices from £140 pppn based on 2 sharing for 3 nights, the offer includes dinner each evening and full Scottish breakfast each morning plus tea or coffee delivered to your room with the morning newspaper.
For more information please visit www.airds-hotel.com/
Go Kayaking Up The Helford To Frenchman’s Creek
It’s been 75 years since Daphne du Maurier wrote her best-loved romantic swashbuckler Frenchman’s Creek and for us that is the perfect excuse to take an autumn break. It is the ideal time for couples to make the pilgrimage to the secluded nook of Cornwall’s Helford River with a wildlife-watching kayak from the private foreshore of the Budock Vean Hotel. This is a luxurious, family-run country house estate on the banks of the Helford and on a guided trip with the team from Koru Kayaking you discover this beautiful waterway, taking in kingfishers and osprey, egrets and curlews, which leads to the oak-lined creek itself – the scene of passionate trysts between Lady Dona St Columb and her pirate lover Jean-Benoit Aubery! Go armed with the novel to this multi-award-winning hotel, set in its own 65 acres of sub-tropical gardens and parkland, with its large indoor pool, outdoor hot-tub-with-a-view, Natural Health Spa, tennis courts, James Braid golf course and fantastic, locally sourced food.
Book a minimum three night stay quoting Kayak16 and receive a complimentary two hour guided kayaking adventure. Beginning of October is from £112 per person per night in a Standard room including four course dinners, bed and full Cornish Breakfast. From the end of October on the same basis this goes down to £91 pp/pn, For more information please visit www.budockvean.co.uk
Madrid to Bilbao Road Trip via Wine Country
As you well know, autumn is the perfect time of year to head to Spain to explore the freshly harvested vineyards and sample exquisite local wines at world-class wineries. Wine Tourism Spain is offering an eight-day road-trip from Madrid to Bilbao inviting travellers to hit the road and discover the magic and beauty of Spain through food and wine. This autumn escape commences in beautiful and historic Madrid where travellers will pick up a car and then proceed to drive through the fantastic wine regions of La Rioja and Ribera del Duero before arriving at the coast in Bilbao. This enables you to discover rural Spain and admire the beauty of the landscape with visits to first-class wineries, which are hundreds of years old. You can sample a wide selection of fine wines accompanied with traditional dishes using fresh and locally-produced ingredients. As well as visiting Spanish castles and medieval fortresses, you will stay in boutique luxurious accommodation, including a stay at the authentic Ribera del Duero Castle.
Wine Tourism Spain offers an eight-day Madrid to Bilbao road trip from 1,055 Euros (£904) per person based on two sharing a double room. This includes seven-nights staying in 4* hotels on a B&B basis, a selection of evening meals, wine tasting experiences and car hire. Valid for travel year-round. For more information please visit winetourismspain.com