A riot of autumnal splendour has broken out across the country - and it'll never look better than it does at the moment.

Mount Stewart (National Trust / Bernie Brown)

Mount Stewart (National Trust / Bernie Brown)

“Summer’s end is eagerly anticipated in ever more gardens,” wrote Mark Griffiths in the November 9 edition of Country Life, in an article about this handsome time of year.

“Between the garden and nature, autumn is becoming our most magical season of all.”

Mark’s in-depth piece explained everything from the cellular processes by which leaves turn golden to the flora explorers of the 18th and 19th centuries, who brought back shrubs and trees from North America and Asia.

Those pioneers brought an explosion of colour to British shores which persists even today: the species they planted continue to thrive, and have made autumnal Britain splendid in a way which would scarcely have been recognised a few hundred years ago.

Backlit red and yellow Acer leaves at Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey, in November.

Winkworth Arboretum (National Trust / James Dobson)

With the colours of the foliage roughly at their height in November, now is the time to get out and enjoy. We’ve teamed up with the National Trust to pick out some wonderful places across the country where you can go and enjoy what Albert Camus once described as “a second Spring where every leaf is a flower.”

Get more details, including opening times, prices and directions from www.nationaltrust.org.uk.

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