Where to see autumn wildlife on the National Cycle Network

Young child amongst hollow tree

Autumn is a lovely time of year to go for a walk and watch the leaves change colour

deer crossing a cycle path near a cyclist

See if you can spot deers this autumn in one of the parks or forests where they live

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park in autumn

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park in autumn

Autumn is a wonderful time of year to explore nature.

Just wrap up warm, get out onto the National Cycle NetworkUse our handy spotter guide to help you find wildlife you can’t see at any other time of year.

We've chosen these rides as some autumn inspiration for great days out, but you can also search our online map for routes near you.

Watch rutting deer

-The Tamsin Trail

The Tamsin Trail travels through Richmond Park, London, which is a perfect place to spot one of the 300 red and 350 fallow deers that roam here.

See the changing of the leaves

-The New Forest Ride

The New Forest Ride is a short six mile ride through the New Forest that has impressive displays of autumn colours due to its unique mix of ancient, ornamental and native trees.

-Cardiff to Castell Coch

Another option is the Cardiff to Castell Coch route that takes you through Bute Park Arboretum in Cardiff, which is awash with colour at this time of year.

-Ride to Windermere

Further north, our Ride to Windermere route is a feast for the eyes during autumn as the Lake District becomes a free-for-all of colour as a multitude of leaves change hue. 

-Aberfoyle and Callander

In Scotland the route between Aberfoyle and Callander lets you explore Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, providing wonderful views of lochs and forests.

Watch migrating birds

-The Exe Valley Ride

Throughout autumn look to the skies for signs of migrating birds. The Exe Valley Ride in Exeter is the perfect place, offering some fantastic views along the River Exe and Exe Estuary, a beautiful wildlife reserve. Surrounding the estuary are marshes, which provide a year-round haven for thousands of birds and are looked after by the RSPB.

Spot seal pups

-Inverness to Dingwall

Atlantic grey seals begin breeding in September and continue right through until November. See if you can spot seal pups using the Inverness to Dingwall route, it takes you past the Seal and Dolphin Centre at North Kessock, one of the best places in Europe to observe seals in their natural habitat.

Go on a mini beast hunt

-Greener Greenways

Choose one of our Greener Greenways routes and go on your very own beast hunt. These routes are part of our project to protect and enhance biodiversity along some of the traffic-free sections of the National Cycle Network, and there are many creepy crawling insects and bugs to spot in the undergrowth even at this time of the year. 

Go bat spotting 

-Perth to Almondbank

Our wildlife volunteers have spotted bats on the Perth to Almondbank route - head out at dawn or dusk and see if you can spot them too. You begin the ride on the North Inch in Perth alongside the River Tay, Scotland’s longest river, and follow it for nearly two and a half miles before turning alongside the River Almond.

More inspiration for walking and cycling adventures: