Getting out of the house and spending time outside is said to be good for mental health and making people feel better. For a lot of people this is probably true, however for some autistic people leaving the house is not as simple as it may seem.
During lockdown, the streets were quiet as you could only go out if it were essential, the downside to that was everyone being at home. So the once quiet gardens now became very noisy.
The one place you can almost guarantee peace and quiet is the countryside. Any noise you do get tends to be sensory and relaxing. Birds singing, rustling grass, water flowing and animals calling.
Beautiful flowers draw your eye with their many colour variations against the sea of green grass. Different animals to watch whether they be wild or farm. A slower pace of life where people have the time to wish each other good day.
Some people prefer the hustle and bustle of towns and cities; however, I am very much a country girl. Even if I did not have my sensitivity to sound (hyperacusis) it is still a place I would prefer to be.
A good thing about the countryside is that you do not have to go far to find small pockets of it however, if you are looking to get lost in the vast open countryside then you might be looking more at a national parks which are further away.
To make the most of being outside you should find somewhere you are happy and feel comfortable. So we can get the best feeling possible when we’re on holiday.
With the summer holidays coming up it was nice to have the option of day trips or staying for a longer vacation.
Finding The Perfect Place
During my research I wanted to look for places where autistic and non-autistic people could enjoy time together and feel that everyone was being catered for. It was also important that there were different landscapes some with easy walks and others with more rugged terrain for the more adventurous. Below you can see my chosen locations which all provide:
- A variety of activities you can do
- Easily accessible from South of England
- There is something for everyone, autistic and non-autistic people
- Copious amounts natural beauty
- The ultimate serene experience
- Variations of landscape
- Helpful for sensory needs
- You can stay for just 1 day or weeks at a time
Autistic Friendly Holidays in the UK
Broads National Park: Visit the Broads National Park – Things to do, Where to Eat and Accommodation
Dartmoor National Park: Home | Dartmoor
Exmoor National Park: Exmoor – Welcome to Exmoor National Park (exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk)
Lake District National Park: Home : Lake District National Park
New Forest National Park: Home Page – New Forest National Park Authority (newforestnpa.gov.uk)
North York Moors National Park: Home (northyorkmoors.org.uk)
Northumberland National Park: Northumberland National Park • Now & Forever
Peak District National Park: Home: Peak District National Park
South Downs National Park: Home – South Downs National Park Authority
Yorkshire Dales National Park: Yorkshire Dales National Park – Places to go and things to see in the Dales : Yorkshire Dales National Park
Cairngorms: Home – Cairngorms National Park Authority
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park: Home | Respect Protect Enjoy – Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park (lochlomond-trossachs.org)
Brecon Beacons National Park: Home – Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
Pembrokeshire Coast: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park – A Wonder Filled Coast
Snowdonia: Eryri – Snowdonia (gov.wales)
There are a variety of things to do from walking and cycling to fishing. If you like heights, there is climbing or if you prefer descending into the depths there is caving.
If you prefer transport, there are bus tours and steam trains. On bad weather days find a historic house or museum.
If you love animals and wildlife try horse riding or visit a farm park. Rock pooling on the coast or spotting deer on a country walk.
If you look around, there is something outdoors for everyone. Autistic people can enjoy time socialising with a variety of people whilst doing the same activities together. It’s important to stay safe this summer, and the quiet natural scenes of the countryside is the perfect place. Wherever you are visiting, have a great time.