The clocks are changing. The weather is cooling. The leaves are changing from a green to golden brown through reds and orange sunbursts. It's a wonderful time of year to enjoy nature in all its splendour. Here are Here's a list of awesome road trips you can take this Autumn and catch the last of these magnificent colours.
Glendalough, Co Wicklow: Only 40 minutes drive from Dublin, Glendalough will blow you away at this time of year. Resplendent all year round, the lakes, valleys and views come into their own with bright colours reflected on the waters below. The trails will take you off the beaten track deep into the Wicklow countryside where bracken hide deer and wildlife furrow for the last of the winter sustenance. The Glendalough landscape is particularly beautiful owing to the prominence of broad leaved deciduous trees. Pack the car with a picnic and enjoy!
Killarney National Park, Co Kerry: Where mountain meets lake as far as the eye can see. On a clear day there is nowhere in Ireland more serene nor majestic than Killarney. Truly humbling, the amber covered woodlands and breathtaking waterfalls are at their most spectacular this time of year. The forest is lit up with the low setting sun. The crisp crackle of leaves underfoot and pine scented aroma makes it all the more surreal.
Raven Loop, Co Wexford: A trail walk like no other, the Raven Nature Reserve takes you off the beaten track deep into wooded glen. Valleys undulate beneath coniferous and deciduous trees with the bright orange, reds and golden twinkling in the last of the sunlight. Venture deep into the forest and you will find yourself on the shores of Curracloe Beach. The sea breeze and crashing waves awaken the soul and make you wish for the embrace of a warm fire.
The Dark Hedges, Co Antrim: Winter is coming...Made famous by Game of Thrones, the intertwined branches along the Bregagh Road have grown in spectacular formation to take on an almost eerie life of their own. The trees are at their most spectacular in the Autumn turning a beautiful shade of golden brown, orange and red.
At the time of writing, the Northern Ireland Tourism Board have just banned cars from the road due to the rocketing tourist numbers. But the scene is replicated throughout Antrim's winding country roads with brilliant bursts of yellows and red all round.
Gougane Barra National Park, Co Cork: Take the car for a drive through more than 1,000 acres of wild, rustic beauty. Set amongst the hills and valleys of three interlocking mountain ranges, it's easy to lose yourself in the wild and winding trails. Find a quiet place to reflect by the shores of the River Lee or by the ancient monastic ruins of St Finbar’s Oratory. The foliage is resplendent with deep reds, oranges and yellows reflected in the waters below. Pine, spruce and larch all side by side jostling for your attention. A truly wonderful day out. Wrap up warm, enriching your life, enliven the senses.
If you're taking one of these trips by car, just a quick reminder to check your car's oil and tyre pressure before you set off. For a comprehensive look at your car, contact the Joe Duffy Service Centre on 01 864 7777 for a car service. Your car will thank you for it.