Autumn Walks Luxury Scotland



Autumn Forest Trails & Woodland Walks in Scotland

A kaleidoscope of stunning landscapes, countless woodland walks, and an explosion of colour awaits ramblers lucky enough to be walking in Scotland this Autumn.

Written by Linda Jackson

Red Squirrel in Autumn

September in Scotland brings a succession of breathtaking colours into the Scottish andscape. The trees and forests glow with gold, ochre, russets and deep red foliage and the gardens of our hotels, castles and mansion houses reflect these warm tones right through till November.

September and October are exciting months to go walking in Scotland, to be immersed in a palette of amazing colours, to be surrounded by magnificent scenery, and to discover the diverse range of Scotland’s forest trails and woodland walks where you can enjoy this bonanza of colour and nature.

Forest Walks in Scotland's Big Tree Country - Perthshire
Laich Loch, Gleneagles


How enchanting forests can be: captivating at day, mystical at night. The Forestry Commission Scotland’s Faskally Wood at Pitlochry is a prime example where autumn in Perthshire is announced by an explosion of colour.

From 28th September through to 29th October, the forest at Faskally Wood acts as a natural backdrop to the award-winning light and sound show called The Enchanted Forest, an annual event in Perthshire that attracts over 20,000 visitors of all ages. Each year the forest is transformed into the creative backdrop for The Enchanted Forest ‘Force of Nature’ show (usually in October) and will depict nature’s forces - earth, wind, fire and water. It promises spectacular sounds, amazing visuals and interactive displays and presents a great opportunity to explore Scotland's ‘enchanted’ forest which has a paved walk fully accessible to disabled visitors.

>> Recommended hotel:
The Gleneagles Hotel

A misty morning on the Dukes Pass
A misty morning on the Dukes Pass


Boasting richly forested lochs and considered by many as the ‘highlands in miniature’, the Trossachs (homeland of Scotland’s famous 18th century outlaw Rob Roy) promises spectacular autumn colours - and even double the splendour as they clone themselves in the still lochside waters. Here you will find a plethora of walks, from gentle strolls to strenuous hikes, all accompanied by breathtaking scenery.

To explore the very heart of the Trossachs head for Loch Achray; take the Achray Water circuit - it’s a well marked forest circuit that meanders along the banks of Achray Water and offers good views up to Ben A’an, across the forest, and of Ben Venue.

Dragon Fly Sculpture Lochan Spling
Dragonfly Sculpture

The largest dragonfly you’ll find in Scotland, sits in the water at Lochan Spling deep in the forest near Aberfoyle. It is one of three sculptures on a way-marked track that hugs the attractive shores.

Sit awhile on the carved wooden bench overlooking the Lochan in which a metal sculpture of a pike sits proud, and keep your eyes peeled for a large osprey - the third sculpture on this forest loch-side walk.

An easy-going trail on forest tracks and offering superb views is the Kinlochard and the Crannog circuit at Loch Ard. The narrow track passes through dense rhododendron and native trees before rising steeply. Climb the hill and your reward is an incredible view of the loch and mountains, particularly scenic when cloaked in autumn colours. It is a characteristic Trossachs vista.

>> Recommended hotels:
One Devonshire Gardens, Crinan Hotel,

Pressmennan Woods copyright attributed to Richard Webb
Pressmennan Wood


Just south of Edinburgh you will find Pressmennan Wood. One of East Lothian’s larger ancient woodland areas near the village of Stenton, it offers panoramic views from the slopes of Gallows Law and good public access to its four miles of different grade paths through the conifer dominated forest of Norway spruce, Douglas fir, European larch and Scots pine.

Small in size but large in wildlife, Pressmennan is also the domicile of roe deer, hare, badger, bats, vole and otters and an abundant birdlife including tawny owls, tree creepers, woodpeckers and buzzards.

>> Recommended hotel: Greywalls

Falla Brae, Glentress, Peebles, Scottish Borders
Falla Brae, Glentress, Peebles, Scottish Borders


Some of the oldest Douglas fir trees in Scotland are to be found in the Glentress Forest, one of the most varied forests in the south of Scotland and the top visitor attraction in the Scottish Borders.

Located in the heart of the Tweed Valley Forest Park in a glen sitting just above the River Tweed, Glentress Forest offers sheltered conditions in which to explore the variety of tracks and paths which provide scenic views over the renowned Tweed Valley.

The forest is part of an extensive tangle of trails that stretch over more than ten square miles in the area.

Dawyck Botanics copyright attributed to Richard Webb
Scrape Burn, Dawyck Botanic Gardens

With a history of planting that dates back over three centuries 60-acre Dawyck Botanic Garden near Peebles, a tranquil arboretum in the scenic Scottish Borders, contains some of the tallest and oldest trees in Europe. Here you’ll find a succession of colour from early September until November, such as the vibrant foliage of Japanese maples, the bright yellow leaves of the North American yellow birch, and the rich brown of the towering trees along Beech Walk.

The Swiss Bridge, ornamental urns and the Italian stonework that links woodland paths to garden terraces are attractive features at Dawyck. Not to be missed.

Galloway Forest Park: Graham Thomson
Galloway Forest Park


With rugged landscapes, craggy and heather-clad hills, and referred to as the ‘highlands of the lowlands’, Galloway Forest Park in southwest Scotland is the largest of its kind in the United Kingdom, covering 300 square miles of forest, mountain, rivers and lochs.

The forest is visited by around 850,000 people a year, is inhabited by red and roe deer, contains some of the most ancient woodland in Scotland, and has won an award for its night skies which offer unsurpassed conditions for stargazing and viewing distant galaxies.

Galloway Forest also offers excellent examples of oak woodlands, exotic fir species and fantastic vistas over lochs within a variety of woodland and forest trails such as the Loch Trool Circular (5 ½ miles); Glen Trool to Martyrs’ Tomb (4 ½ miles); River Cree & Water of Minnoch (7 miles); and Penninghame circular forest walk (¾ mile).

Walking near Knockinaam lodge
Knockinaam Walks

>> Recommended hotels:
Knockinaam Lodge,

What better time of the year than right now to go walking in Scotland, to explore Scotland’s kaleidoscope of landscapes, to appreciate its fantastic sunsets, to explore its ancient forests and magical woodlands... and to be immersed in an explosion of colour called ‘autumn’.


COPYRIGHT NOTICE: All photos used from wikimedia commons attributed in ALT tags.

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