Considered to be one of the finest woodland gardens in England, Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens is a truly spectacular place to visit this time of the year.

The colours are breathtakingly beautiful at the moment with rich tones of vibrant reds, striking oranges and bright yellows everywhere you look – even the overcast skies can’t put the dampers on the vividness of these surroundings!

Wherever you chose to walk – and with 200-acres to wander through you’re spoilt for choice – there’s a profusion of flora and fauna to enjoy. Be sure to look out for the Maple tree on the lakeside route; it’s a truly stunning sight ablaze with burnt orange and yellow leaves right now.

With plenty of benches scattered strategically around, there’s no excuse not to take time out and absorb the beauty of the lakes and gardens. I spotted a fair few couples armed with flasks and sandwiches doing just that. And why not?!

If mobility is an issue, don’t worry; simply ask one of the drivers for a lift. Meet Michael, one of the volunteers at Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens. An ambulance driver for the NHS, he’ll happily help you out if the going gets tough. He’s also a gold mine of useful information – and very friendly too!

I found myself captivated by the big fellas in the photo below. Resembling giant rhubarb plants, they grow in huge clumps by the water edge. Quite an impressive sight.

As for the reflections, well, what can I say?

With the tranquillity of the water, the exquisite bird song and the wondrous earthy smell in the air, I could have happily zoned out here for hours. It’s such a peaceful, beautiful spot.

Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens are situated near Horsham in West Sussex. There are numerous routes to explore, each offering different delights depending on the season. As well as the glorious woodland walks, the grounds are home to deer, wallabies and vineyards too – not to mention Leonardslee Mansion, the courtyard cafe, restaurant, tearooms and more!

Entry tickets can be booked in advance online

For further information, check out their website: www.leonardsleegardens.co.uk