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Published on : Wednesday, September 13, 2017
If anything stirs the heart and soul, it’s a walk through a woodland in Scotland: as the leaves turn rich red, gold and warm orange, as the crisp air moves in, before settling in front of a crackling fire for a comforting hot chocolate or wee dram.
Visitors to Scotland this autumn can follow in the footsteps of poets William Wordsworth and Robert Burns who felt inspired by the rich tapestry of autumn: from enchanted Perthshire forests, to the fairy glens of the Highlands, to the coastal trail of Aberdeenshire, among many other places to visit. Autumn in Scotland is a truly magical time.
28 September – 29 October 2017
Faskally Wood, Perthshire
The Enchanted Forest is an outdoor sound and light show which takes place at Forestry Commission Scotland’s Faskally Wood near Pitlochry. Visitors will be treated to a series of choreographed sound and light shows while they follow the path around the forest. Three times winner of Best Cultural Event at the Scottish Event Awards and recently crowned winner of the Rural Tourism & Hospitality Award at the 2016 Scottish Rural Awards, visitors can be sure of a warm welcome at this woodland wonderland that dazzles and delights.
Ticket cost: Priced from £10 (free for children under 3)
Scottish International Storytelling Festival
20-31 October 2017
Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh
Marking the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh as a Festival City, theScottish International Storytelling Festival goes global and demonstrates how the traditional art of storytelling is more vital than ever in connecting people worldwide, across cultures, places and generations.
Hosted by the storytellers of Scotland, artists from across the globe gather to guide us through the labyrinths of change and weave new narratives for a re-imagined earth.
The festival is twelve days of storytelling events, including immersive experiences for children & literary talks for grown-ups, in Edinburgh and beyond, plus a three day storytelling conference around the themes of the Earth Charter.
Ticket cost: Many events are free.
CowalFest Walking and Arts Festival
6 – 15 October 2017
CowalFest is Scotland’s largest and most exciting walking and arts festival. The ten-day programme offers various walks, arts and crafts, dancing and music and much more. The festival is focused around the natural landscape’s influence on creativity in Scotland.
Shetland Wool Week
23 September – 1 October
Shetland (various venues)
Shetland Wool Week is a world renowned celebration of Britain’s most northerly native sheep, the Shetland textile industry and the rural farming community on these islands. Events for locals and visitors include workshops and demonstrations; a place of pilgrimage for those in the know.
Aberdeenshire Coastal Trail
New for 2017, the trail covers 165 miles from St Cyrus & Stonehaven, heading north towards Balmedie and Cruden Bay, and then on to Fraserburgh and MacDuff. Take in coast, clifftop walks and beauty spots including Bannff beach, Dunnotar Castle, Pennan and the beautiful surroundings of Duff House in autumn. For more information go to:
Queen’s View, Perthshire
A drive through the Perthshire countryside is perfect for getting a taste of the autumn colours. And the B8019 road is ideal for seeing the Queen’s View. The Queen’s View is said to be one of the most photographed views in Scotland; its location on the North Shore of Loch Tummel in Highland Perthshire has everything – lochs, mountains and forests. The view was named after Queen Victoria visited there in 1866 and loved it.
Fife Coastal Route
Covering 85 miles, the Fife coastal route starts from Kincardine and goes to Newport on Tay. From Fife’s famous bridges, passing through historic towns and the picturesque fishing villages of the East Neuk with their distinctive pantiled roofs and unspoilt beaches, the Coastal Tourist Route gives a taste of all that Fife has to offer.
Fairy Glen, Rosemarkie, Black Isle
If spotting dolphins at Chononry Point off the Black Isle wasn’t magical enough, ‘leaf-peepers’ can indulge in the magic of autumn colours on a walk at Fairy Glen in Rosemarkie. With two picturesque waterfalls, the Fairy Glen was once the scene of a well-dressing ceremony, where the children of the village decorated a pool, next to a spring, with flowers. This was said to ensure that the fairies kept the water supply clean.
Access: The walk follows a clear footpath throughout, with steps, and is free of charge.
The Hermitage, Perthshire
Take a wander around this landscaped, almost cathedral-like, wooded grove of towering trees overlooking the spectacular falls of the River Braan. Perched high above is the delightfully restored Georgian folly of Ossian’s Hall, the perfect spot from which to spy red squirrels and salmon leaping up the falls.
Details: The Hermitage is open all year round and access is free of charge.
Killin, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
Fuelled by the autumn rain, the Falls of Dochart make for a sound and sight spectacular as the water cascades over the rocks and under the bridge. Follow part of the 12 mile route from Killin to Ardtalnaig, along the famous Rob Roy Way, for views over the head of Loch Tay towards the Tarmachan Ridge and Ben Lawers range.
Details: Access the Falls of Dochart for free all year round.
Dawyck Botanic Garden, Scottish Borders
Take in the firey colours at Dawyck Botanic Garden as well as the autumn fruits; from acorns to crab apples, maple keys to fir cones and everyone’s favourites, the conkers produced by the horse chestnut trees. The Garden is a feast for all the senses; take in the gorgeous caramel scent of the large Japanese Katsura tree.
Details: Open daily from 1 February to 30 November and free to access.
Glentrool, Dumfries & Galloway
Wanderers can get lost amongst the trees for an hour or two and gaze out across the tranquil waters of Loch Trool. Part of Galloway Forest Park, the UK’s only dark sky park, stay until night falls at Glentrool and wonder at the magic of a sky studded with thousands of stars.
Details: Glentrool is accessible at any time with Glentrool Visitor Centre open 10.30am until 4.30pm daily.