Relish autumn leaves on a walk to Fulford Orchard

This lovely walk starts at Millennium Bridge to the south of the city and heads along the riverside path by the Ouse. It passes through the wetland wilds of Fulford Ings and Naburn Marsh, to Fulford Community Orchard. The Orchard lies just the other side of York Designer outlet.

You walk past some beautiful natural and built heritage sites on route. There’s Danesmead Wood, St Oswald’s Church (now private), Gate Fulford Manor House, and Bishopthorpe Palace (on the other side of the river). And there’s an abundance of interesting trees, plants and – if you are lucky – wildlife. Look for Roe Deer feeding on Fulford Ings and, in the summer, Tansy Beetles at the half-way picnic spot.

You can see the new Exploring York map of the route at

Thanks to Guy from I-Travel York for this lovely walk leaflet – new for 2020!

Tuning into nature

At this time of year, the colour and fall of autumn leaves draws our attention. Look for and listen to leaves fluttering in the breeze and gently falling to earth. Relish the crunch of leaves beneath your feet as you walk. Enjoy sauntering through the colourful leaf pools.

At the end of November, some maples still have their brightly-coloured leaves. If you are struck by the colour, shape of feel of a particular leaf, you could try to identify its owner. Try an ID app like PlantSnap, or take a picture or the fallen leaf itself home and look it up in a tree book. Tree knowledge is a great way to impress friends and family on your next trip out. 🙂

When you get home, it’s worth a moment of reflection to recall what you enjoyed on the walk, and how you felt. It may well prolong your feelings of wellbeing. Did you feel like a child again crunching through and kicking up leaves? Did you feel at peace watching the last leaves flutter in the breeze? Why not share your feelings and images with family and friends?


It’s an easy walk or ride from the centre and south of the city to get to the start at the Millennium Bridge – there are cycle stands either side of the Bridge. From elsewhere in the city, you can take any bus to the centre, then walk along the river to the Bridge.

For a walk of about 1 – 1.30 hours, you can walk the whole route one-way. You could treat yourself at a cafe at the Designer Outlet, and then catch one of the regular buses back to town. Alternatively, you could walk part of the route and turn back at the half-way picnic spot.

Giving something back to the natural world

How about volunteering with Friends of Danesmead Wood to help look after this special place?

If you have a garden or other green space, you could leave the leaves this year to help wildlife get through the winter and improve the soil. Have a look at

You can find other Nature Time routes across York through the seasons from us here. Enjoy time in Nature on a green route walk or ride – all year round!

#relishthelastleaves #naturetimeroutes #walkcyclelife #exploringyork #wellbeing