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Gardens: The best local places to see autumn leaves

Turning leaves are among autumn's greatest glories. Here are three of the best places to see them. . .

See autumn's turning leaves
See autumn's turning leaves

The yellow of birch and beech, the orange of oak, the red of maple: along with crisp weather, cropping fruit and berried hedgerows, turning leaves are among autumn’s greatest glories. One of the best ways to see the leaves is a visit to an October open garden - and some of our area’s most picturesque plots are poised to open their gates.

First on the list is Chippenham Park which, set just outside Newmarket and approached via a citrus-leaved avenue of limes, opens on October 14 and 15, 10am to 4pm (last entry 3pm). Evolving from a 300-year-old Anglo-Dutch landscape - masterminded by an admiral, who commanded trees be planted across the sweeping parkland in serried ranks to honour his greatest naval victory - it features wonderful woodland and a lake both ringed and reflective with specimen trees and shrubs.

The National Trust’s Anglesey Abbey in Lode, whose garden opens daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm, is another must-visit in autumn: the hornbeam-lined Jubilee Avenue turns into a tunnel of gold and the Temple, a sculpture of impressive columns, is backlit by turning beech, alder and sycamore trees. The Abbey’s grounds owe their year-round appeal to Lord Fairhaven, who bought the estate in 1926 and went on to develop its 114 acres.

Another Trust estate to see is Ickworth, the Italianate palace swathed in ancient parkland, near Bury St Edmunds, open daily from 10.30am to 4.30pm. Encompassing everything from formal gardens to wild woodlands, autumn highlights include the Albana Walk, where the maples, chestnut, beech and oak trees range from bright yellow to deep red, and the red walking route through Lownde Wood.

For more information, go to: chippenhamparkgardens.info, nationaltrust.org.uk or findagarden.ngs.org.uk

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