So where to go? For blazing autumn splendour, head to New England in the US to see its celebrated fall, and to Japan to see its maple trees transformed to a rich red mist: this is autumn as you see it in children’s books. Take a trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights, which are at their most visible from now until April.
Elsewhere in the natural world, it’s whale season in South Africa, particularly around the south coast where the town of Hermanus offers the best land-based whale watching in the world. Or for extravagant national celebrations, now is the time to book a trip to India for Diwali, the festival of light (17 to 21 October 2017), or to Mexico for the Dia de los Muertos – the jubilant Day of the Dead festival (31 October to 2 November).