According to the meteorological season, the great British summer is officially over… right when it felt like it was just getting started.
If you hate dark mornings, the more challenging road conditions and being surrounded by colleagues with colds, chances are you’ll be daydreaming about an escape.
Fortunately, autumn is a fantastic time of year for a getaway. Not only can you still find late summer sunshine elsewhere, but both prices and tourist numbers tend to be lower outside the peak holiday season.
But where’s good to go?
1. Sail the Greek Islands
While Britain is coming to terms with autumn, summer is still in full swing in many European destinations.
Greece is a classic example, with its southerly islands enjoying temperatures of around 25°C during September and October. But before you stuff that suitcase and jet off to one of the Greek islands, why not discover several of them on your own boat?
It sounds expensive, but sailing holidays can actually work out cheaper than a hotel or villa. Some tour companies sell them as package deals, others tailor them according to experience and preference.
You can often cut costs by sharing a yacht with other shipmates, or you may decide to base the entire trip around achieving your sailing qualifications. Skippers can also be employed to charter the boat for you, or if you’re licensed why not captain your own?
The huge range of choice means there’s no need to feel daunted. You get to choose how involved you are with the helming, navigating and sail trim… before dropping anchor in the little bays to snorkel, indulge in fresh seafood and explore hidden coves difficult to access by land.
2. Spend Halloween in New York
When it comes to Halloween, the Americans really go for it… and we’re not just talking about kids trick-or-treating.
One place guaranteed to be memorable around this holiday is New York. Yes, there’s all the sightseeing, but half the fun is in bumbling around the streets to witness the sheer effort residents go to with their festive decorations, costumes and celebrations.
Our advice is to embrace the culture and dedicate the entire day to all things spooky. And perhaps nothing is stranger than starting the day at Brooklyn’s largest Halloween costume competition for dogs.
Once that novelty wears off, cross over to Manhattan and check out the building that many believe to be the island’s most haunted. It’s also a good idea to spend some time working on your own Halloween costume – simply putting on some pussycat ears or draping a white sheet over yourself will not suffice. Luckily, there are countless professional stores and makeup artists in the city willing to help. Once you look the part, get yourself to Sixth Avenue (from String Street) to grab a lookout spot for the famous Village Halloween Parade rolling out at 7pm. That should get you in the mood for one of the many Halloween parties dotted around the city throughout the night.
Just be prepared to see a lot of Donald Trump impersonators roaming the NYC streets this year.
3. Find culture in Jordan
A lot has been written about the world-famous lost city of Petra, yet nothing really prepares you for seeing this archaeological site with your own eyes.
Half-built, half-carved into the rock, Petra is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. But being situated in Jordan’s south-west desert can also be a problem for some.
Temperatures easily reach a scorching 40°C during the summer months, meaning the daytime heat can be unbearable if you’re not used to it. By holding off a couple of months for both temperatures and tourist numbers to drop, a few days sightseeing in Petra becomes far more manageable.
If you’re thinking about combining the trip with other activities in Jordan, it’s worth noting that September to November is also one of the best times to dive the Gulf of Aqaba – the warm waters are home to an abundance of marine life including eagle rays and turtles.
4. Party in Ibiza
If you’re a little disappointed that Ibiza’s legendary club Space is closing for good this year, or maybe even frustrated that you’ve never been before… there’s still time. Tickets for its final party are currently on sale and the club promises to end its legacy on a high.
But it’s not the only closing party on the island at this time of year. Ibiza’s other big club names are all rounding up the season with even bigger nights…
If you’re keen to start early, head to Ushuaïa for their closing pool party which kicks off at noon on 1 October 2016. A week later, Amnesia throws its last party of the season. The line up is currently a secret, but you can be sure to expect something exclusive… as well as a deafeningly crisp sound system.
At the glitzier end of the spectrum is Pacha, more of an icon than just a mere nightclub. Hosting a series of closing parties in October, you’ll find yourself in the company of trendsetters who could effortlessly pass as supermodels (and that’s just the bar staff).
Or if you like your music a little more underground, a grittier choice would be Tribal Sessions at Sankeys on 29 October. Presented by the team behind Sankeys Sabados, you can expect an alien-themed setting to lose yourself in.
Although each club has a different look and feel, Ibiza is ultimately the place to go for a clubbing experience like no other. And that’s part of its appeal; you know exactly what you're going to get.
5. Soak up the Lake District
If all that partying seems like far too much hard work then there is another option. Embrace the change in season and head to one of the most beautiful and celebrated places in Britain; the Lake District.
If you ask a dozen visitors to name their favourite walks around the Lake District, chances are you’ll receive a dozen different answers. The lakes themselves usually steal the show, but Grizedale Forest during autumn is up there with the best; the burnt oranges and yellows providing a perfect backdrop for the sculptures scattered throughout it.
Autumn is also a good time of year to spot red squirrels, although you might have more luck seeing red deer and red kites thanks to Grizedale’s recent reintroduction project.
2016 marks 150 years since Beatrix Potter was born. To celebrate, the National Trust has been putting on special events, activities and exhibitions throughout the region, so it’s an excellent time to visit the place that inspired so much of her work.
You can then feed your imagination further with some theatre by the lake in one of the most beautiful locations at the edge of Derwentwater.
And if you still need convincing, then how about finishing a day of hiking or sightseeing with a roaring fire, some good ale and a hearty meal? The Lake District has some of the best country pubs around, giving you that warm, toasty feeling that’s often needed during the colder evenings to get you in the mood for Christmas.