As the days become colder and shorter, you may want to sit comfortably in front of the fire in front of a crackling fire, but it would be a waste of the more than 30 impressive nature reserves located right on our doorstep.

Autumn is a good time to gather the whole family for a day of discovery of jewels such as Ouse Washes and Wicken Fen, which are full of majestic birds and other wildlife.

After all these exercises, you probably want a cup of steaming tea. So we found the best local walks, including a coffee.

1. The Grafham Water

What will I see along the way?

Wild and wind-swept, the Grafham Water Reservoir is a spectacular place to visit in autumn and winter.

Nine kilometers of coastline with about 170 species of birds enumerated each year make it one of the country's leading birding sites, with rare and rare birds such as Osprey and the occasional Slavonian grebe alongside the more familiar mallards and geese.

If you love wildlife, there is always something to see here.

Can I bring my dog?

Yes, dogs are welcome, but they must always be on a leash. Keep them out of the water because blue-green algae, which can grow along the margins, can be harmful if ingested.

How is coffee?

You will have your choice of coffee here because there are two on site. The first is attached to the Grafham Visitor Center located near the Marlow car park. There is a large selection of hot and cold snacks.

The second place, the Harbor View Café Bar, offers magnificent views from its balcony above the fishing pavilion.

Coffee address: Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 0BX



Visit Wicken Fen

2. Wicken Fen Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire

What will I see along the way?

Although Wicken Fen may not have vast expanses of wood, it is still possible to see some beautiful autumn colors during a walk in the reserve. During this period of the year, the sedge turns into a beautiful chestnut color, which becomes golden in the evening, as the sun sets and illuminates the leaves.

Can I bring my dog?

You are more than welcome with a dog, but you will have to keep it on a leash. Several bins allow you to throw your dog's waste along the footpaths.

How is coffee?

The coffee at the nature reserve is the Docky Hut café. It's the perfect place to relax and admire the sights and sounds of the Fen while savoring the delicious treats available indoors.

The coffee staff asks guests to bring their own cups to reduce waste, but you can also buy bamboo EcoCups if you need them. You will get 25 pence from your cup of tea if you bring your own cup.

In October 2019, a temporary coffee will be opened during the renovation of the existing café. Click here to see the revised opening hours.

Coffee address: Unnamed Road, Wicken, Ely CB7 5XP



Milton Country Park

3. Milton Country Park

What will I see along the way?

Milton Country Park is located a few miles north of downtown Cambridge.

Created from old gravel pits, the 50-hectare site offers a varied natural habitat composed of forests, lakes and turf.

There are also more than three kilometers of trails suitable for bicycles and wheelchairs.



We can say that this is going to be a success with the locals

Migratory birds increase as they settle in winter, especially on Dickerson Lake's Pit. Look for cormorants, tufted ducks, crocodiles, widgeon and the loud call of greylag geese as they dive into the water in small groups.

Can I bring my dog?

Yes, you can walk your dog anywhere anywhere north of the 13th public drain, which runs along the park. Dogs must be on leash in all areas south of the drain.

How is coffee?

The on-site café called Grounds was redesigned last year with copper fixtures, whitewashed tables and chairs and even a cozy woodstove to warm you up after a cold walk in the park.

Coffee address: Cambridge Road, Milton CB24 6AZ



Starling can be seen at Fowlmere

4. Fowlmere

What will I see along the way?

The nature reserve is an ideal place for a relaxing walk and bird watching. Reed beds and ponds are fed by natural sources of chalk and a chalk stream runs through the reserve.

In the late afternoon, the reeds take on a golden glow. If you stay until dusk, you have a good chance to watch the owl hunt scared.

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs registered on a leash are welcome. Other dogs must be on a leash only along the private trail along the eastern boundary of the reserve.

How is coffee?

There is no coffee on site, but a short drive will take you to The Checkers Restaurant and Cafe. It has a beautiful open fireplace, creating an ideal atmosphere to warm up after a brisk walk.

Coffee address: High Street, Fowlmere, Royston SG8 7SR

5. Shepreth, Cambridgeshire

What will I see along the way?

Starting from the train station, the beautiful circular walk takes you through Barrington and Harlton and cross Upper Cam Valley.

You will see a combination of brush areas, a chalk stream and pollard willows along the boundaries.

It is also close to the Shepreth Wildlife Park, where you can see all kinds of animals, including Egyptian fruit bats, tigers, otters and much more.

Can I bring my dog?

Yes

How is coffee?

A good stop would be the Teacake at Shepreth. This is an adorable traditional teahouse set in a 1660 thatched cottage where you can warm up with a cup of tea and a scone.

Coffee address: 8 Meldreth Road, Shepreth, Royston SG8 6PS

6. Lakenheath Fen, Suffolk

What will I see along the way?

The RSPB has turned ancient carrot fields into a magical wetland for kingfishers, cranes, otters and watervoles. The reserve includes a mix of wetlands and woodlands south of Little Ouse in Suffolk.

Fall is the best time to spot an elusive otter and you can also see Barn Owls hunt silently in the meadows at dusk.

Can I bring my dog?

Registered assistance dogs are welcome and other dogs must stay on the public trail along the shore.

How is coffee?

The Bloomsberries Farm Cafe is the closest place to warm up after exploring the nature park. The husband and wife's restaurant is housed in an old barn on the Christmas Hill farm, an ideal setting for a casual lunch. All food is made from scratch and changes seasonally.

Coffee address: Christmas Hill Farm / Roadway, Brandon IP27 9AB



Ouse is washing

7. Ouse Washes

What will I see along the way?

Ouse Washes, the largest lava heath area in the United Kingdom, offers trails of varying length for people of all ages and abilities.

The real action begins in late October with the return of migrating migratory birds and the return of the first of the Bewick swans. Cranes are another regular feature of autumn, which can be seen easily in the late afternoon.

Can I bring my dog?

Registered assistance dogs are welcome. Other dogs must be under close control because of the presence of cattle. Call before your visit for advice.

How is coffee?

Hot drinks are available in the visitor center and for a more complete menu, visit the Bridge House Cafe. You can enjoy everything from pancakes and bacon to full tea in the afternoon.

Coffee address: 15 Bridge St, Chatteris PE16 6RJ

8. Lodge Nature Reserve, Bedfordshire

What will I see along the way?

For this you will have to venture out of Cambridgeshire, but the trip takes less than an hour. The beautiful nature reserve has forests, heathlands and acid meadows to explore. Among the most popular bird species of the reserve are the large spotted woodpecker, the green woodpecker and the nuthatch.

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs are only allowed on bridle paths, strictly not on other trails due to the sensitive nature of the wildlife.

How is coffee?

After a lively stroll, unwind with a cup of tea at The Lodge's on-site cafe. It offers hot drinks (in a vending machine) and a range of delicious sandwiches, wraps, salads and locally produced cakes.

Coffee address: The Lodge, Potton Road, Sandy SG19 2DL

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