The autumnal equinox will arrive today, marking the end of summer for the northern hemisphere.

At 8:21pm BST, the sun will illuminate both the northern and southern hemispheres equally, which is known as the equinox.

Usually as the Earth is tilted on its axis, it will illuminate one of the hemispheres more than the other.

What this means for us though is the temperatures will start to get colder and the leaves on trees will start to turn from green to brown.

This will allow for some beautiful scenery and for people to take walks to enjoy the picturesque surroundings.

In Essex there are a number of autumn walks which would be perfect for the season.

What are the 5 best autumn walks to take in Essex?

Hanningfield Reservoir

The first spot to enjoy a picturesque walk in the county is Hanningfield Reservoir near Billericay.

It’s a great chance to have a day exploring all the forest and green spaces it has to offer, including a route through the Essex Wildlife Trust nature reserve.

Renowned for its nationally important populations of wildfowl, there will be numerous opportunities to spot wildlife whilst journeying through.

However, it is due to it being a Site of Special Scientific Interest that dogs are not allowed on any part of the site.

Address: Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre, Hawkswood Road, Downham, Billericay, CM11 1WT

Thorndon Country Park

Another good place to stretch your legs is at Thorndon Country Park in Brentwood.

Open every day from 8am to dusk, the park has plenty of woodland and open areas to explore, plus a Gruffalo trail for families.

It’s also good for dog walkers too, and there’s over 500 acres to potentially get around.

Address: Thorndon Countryside Centre, The Avenue, Brentwood, CM13 3RZ.

Gernon Bushes Nature Reserve

Part of an ancient woodland which is the last remnant of the old Coopersale Common, the Gernon Bushes Nature Reserve is another great pick.

You’ll be able to follow paths to the north of the reserve, where old gravel working sites have been gradually transformed into bogs.

Then you can circle round to the south to witness the two springs that rise out of the edge of the plateau, which descends to another series of bogs home to the rare Marsh Fern.

There are 34 hectares to explore if you fancy and dogs are allowed under effective control.

Address: Garnon Mead, Coopersale, Epping, CM16 7RW

Belfairs Woodland

There are 1160 acres at Belfairs Woodland to explore near Leigh-on-Sea.

Some of woodland is over a thousand years old, making it some of the earliest ever recorded in Essex.

Several nationally-threatened species of flora and fauna can also be located here, and you may have the opportunity to spot wildlife such as the great spotted woodpecker around.

Address: Eastwood Road North, Leigh on Sea, SS9 4LR

Palace Walk

The final walk on this list is the Palace Walk in Chelmsford.

You’ll go past an ancient network of canal locks, which will see you venture through Danbury Country Park and Old Hare Wood.

It’s a five mile walk that promises some gorgeous sights, with even the possibility of spotting some kingfishers close to the water.

Address: Maldon Road, Danbury, Chelmsford CM3 4QG