Ask the experts: where to go in September
September. Surely one of most seductive times of year to travel. In much of the northern hemisphere, it represents the last sigh of summer, as crowds melt magically away but the warm days linger. Further south, flowers begin to bloom as spring shrugs off the chilly embrace of winter.
Mount Damavand, Iran
Timing is everything when planning a trip to Iran, a country with temperatures that range wildly from below zero to 50°C. You can avoid both extremes in September, which is an absolute delight by comparison, especially if you’re planning to tackle the mighty Damavand Mountain. At 5672m, it’s the highest peak in the Middle East, and the subject of many local legends – not least that three-headed dragon Aži Dahāka is chained there. Mythical sightings aren’t guaranteed on a three-day trek to the summit, but glimpses of remote villages, Iranian red sheep, and sunny mountain slopes should make the trip worthwhile.
Southeast England is beautiful but busy in July and August, when countless British and foreign visitors head to its seaside towns, rolling countryside and village pubs. In September the weather is still warm, but you’re much more likely to have some space to yourself.
Canterbury has one of England’s finest cathedrals (it was here that Archbishop Thomas Beckett was slain by Henry II’s knights), Chaucer connections, and some good restaurants. Immense Leeds Castle, ruined Bodiam Castle and Battle Abbey, the site of the Battle of Hastings, are tangible reminders that the southeast, sat snugly between London and continental Europe, has long been a place of power and ambition.
It’s not all history either – the Kent and Hampshire coasts boast plenty of beaches and coves to wander through and swim off. Margate boasts the splendid modern Turner Contemporary, and those in search of good times can hit the bar-packed Lanes of Brighton or Bestival, an Isle of Wight festival packed with party tunes and fancy dress-clad music fans, who celebrate summer’s end in fine style.
Unless you’ve had a compelling reason to do so, Canberra is probably one of those cities you haven’t visited yet. Well behold, spring is the excuse you need to discover – or rediscover -Australia’s underrated capital.
Plan your trip to coincide with Floriade , a vibrant festival of flower garden designs that is as gorgeous as it is relaxed. Beds of tulips provide a colourful backdrop for picnics, roving buskers, and a 35-metre ferris wheel to take in the spectacle from above.
There’s also plenty for children to do, including petting farmyard animals and learning circus tricks. At night, the festival caters to the adults, with live music, comedy and DJs under the stars.