How to describe autumn in Scotland? It is shady forests, landscapes painted with ocher, reddish and evergreen green where the fog and the squawking of crows sneak in.

It is mantles of wet leaves upholstering the paths, a hot tea to give respite to the cold, the deer rumbling between valleys and mountains …

But, above all, it is pure beauty. Will you visit the country at that time? Today we show you some of the best places and excursions to enjoy autumn in Scotland!


  • Baggage to travel to Scotland.  

Waterproof shoes and a good jacket will be essential if you travel in the fall. 

  • When do the leaves change color in Scotland? 

The change of the leaves depends a lot on the year: temperatures and rains, if there are frosts and gales …

  • Best Time.

If you want to get it right, the best time to enjoy the colors of autumn in Scotland is throughout the month of October and, especially in the middle of the month.

  • Beauty is in contrast.

 Although many Scottish forests are formed by conifers and evergreens. There is always other vegetation that stands out among the green: birches, beech, ferns … These contrasts make autumn in Scotland unique.

  • Find when the sun sets and squeeze the days from beginning to end.  

At this time, daylight hours are shortened at a dizzying pace, especially if you are on a route through the Highlands and northern Scotland.

Always look at what time the sun sets in the area where you are and start the days soon to squeeze them to the fullest


Do you have the boots, the raincoat, and the camera-ready

1. Campbell Castle and Dollar Glen

Near Stirling, in the lap of the Ochil Hills, the remains of an imposing medieval castle rise among forests: it is the Castle Campbell and the Dollar Glen.

You can start the excursion from the town of Dollar and ascend through the vegetation and waterfalls of Dollar Glen or start visiting the castle and then enter the forest.

In autumn, climbing to the top of the fortress and contemplating the green and golden landscape from there is spectacular.

2. Pitlochry, Queen’s View, and the Enchanted Forest

The Perthshire region, about 1:30 pm north of Edinburgh, is the favorite of most hikers to enjoy autumn in Scotland.

To start discovering it, head to the village of Pitlochry and Loch Faskally, where at this time you can have salmon swimming against the river.

A few minutes northwest of the town, the Queen’s View awaits you, an easily accessible viewpoint with wonderful views of the Loch Tummel that, with the autumn tones, fall in love even more.

A little further north, Blair Atholl and the Falls of Bruar are also a very popular destination at this time.

During October, a unique experience that you can live in Pitlochry is the Enchanted Forest. At nightfall, the Faskally forest is transformed into an enchanted forest with thousands of lights, sounds, and artistic installations.

3. Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and the Trossachs

The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is a fantastic getaway from Edinburgh or Glasgow at any time of the year.

But, if you visit it in autumn, one of the best options is to make excursions through the forests and lakes of Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, with the village of Aberfoyle as a base.

To soak up the tranquility and autumn colors, we recommend you take the Duke’s Pass mountain road to The Lodge and, from there, follow the Oak Coppice Trail. A circular route that crosses beautiful oak forests through a beautiful waterfall.

Or, if you dare, you can enjoy the autumn landscape between zip lanes and bridges between the trees in the Go Ape adventure park.

A little further north, a postcard place is the Loch Lubnaig, which returns the reflection of trees and reddish mountains.

4. Edinburgh

Sometimes we forget that it is not necessary to go far, or to remote places, to admire the beauty of autumn in Scotland.

And more if your destination is Edinburgh, a city where nature is within everyone’s reach. Get lost in the Royal Botanic Garden (free), stroll through the Princes St gardens until you reach the Ross Fountain, walkthrough Greyfriars Cemetery,  climb Arthur’s Seat or Blackford Hill …

Or choose any of these excursions among nature in Edinburgh and you will see how the autumn splendor can also be lived in the cities.

5. The valleys of Glencoe and Glen Etive

With the imposing mountains and the thousand and one streams running through the vegetation, the Glencoe Valley is one of Scotland’s most breathtaking landscapes and an essential stop on a route through the Highlands.

Although trees hardly grow in many areas, if you visit the valleys of Glencoe or Glen Etive in autumn, you will see how, after a summer of intense green,  the vegetation becomes tinged with copper until they are completely transformed.

It is not long before the snow covers the peaks again, so take advantage of any truce in time to get out of the car and do some excursion.

A nearby place to contemplate the mountains reflected in the water is the Loch Leven, especially from the west bank (for example, from the village of North Ballachulish).

6. Dunkeld’s Hermitage

If you can only choose a getaway to enjoy autumn in Scotland, the Dunkeld Hermitage forests in the Perthshire region are pure magic.

Through a simple excursion, you enter a universe of giant fir trees, reddish hues, and slippery squirrels where surprises await you like the Black Linn Fall waterfalls or the curious Ossian’s Hall of Mirrors.

After touring the woods, head to the town of Dunkeld to visit its cathedral and stroll along the Tay River soaking up the tranquility and autumn colors.

About 30 minutes south, in the city of Perth, another popular autumn excursion is Kinnoull Hill.

7. West of Loch Lomond and Rest and be Thankful

The Loch Lomond, in the Trossachs National Park, is another ideal destination for an autumnal excursion. In this case, we head to the west bank, home to picturesque villages like Luss.

A good starting point for hiking in the small town of Arrochar, on the banks of the Loch Long. It is wrapped in the mountains known as the Arrochar Alps, which mark the beginning of the Highlands.

From there, and from the neighboring town of Tarbet, you will find many excursions to enjoy the changing landscape.

If you have a car, we recommend you follow the A83 road and also approach the Rest and be Thankful viewpoint, with a beautiful view of the valley and the mountains.

You can visit the Loch Lomond on an excursion from Edinburgh or from Glasgow. But, if you have time, we recommend you spend two days and sleep in one of the hotels in the park

8. The Glenfinnan Viaduct

Glenfinnan is one of the most emblematic corners of the Highlands: the Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument share the stage with the viaduct, where the Jacobite steam train runs (or should we say the Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter movies ?)

Go up to the viewpoint next to the visitor center for a beautiful view of the lake and the mountains bathed in the autumn palette.

And, if you visit Glenfinnan before the end of October, check the Jacobite train schedules and try to see it pass through the viaduct, as we tell you here. It is an amazing experience!

9. The gardens and forests of the castles

When we think of Scottish castles, we usually imagine the constructions. However, many fortresses go beyond the walls and offer us extensive gardens and lands to lose ourselves.

In autumn, some of our favorites are the forests of Blair Castle, near Pitlochry; the forests of Culzean Castle, on the Ayrshire coast; the castle gardens of the town of Inveraray …

Another garden that is sure to be worth it in autumn is that of Drummond Castle. We have not visited it yet, but the region where it is located, very close to Crieff, is splendid at this time of year.

10. The Borders and Scott’s View

Perhaps the Scottish Borders are not one of the most typical autumns in Scotland destinations; In fact, this region south of Edinburgh is still a big forgotten by tourism.

But we will not get tired of recommending its placid villages, ruined abbeys and walks along the Tweed River, a picturesque getaway and bathed in tranquility.

The change of leaves comes a little later than to the north of Scotland, so it is a good destination to visit at the end of October or beginning of November. A must of the region are the views from Scott’s View.

We have many regions left in the inkwell, but we hope you find this collection of autumn excursions in Scotland useful.

Even so, at this time any corner surrounded by nature becomes magical, so do not hesitate to explore wherever you go! What is your favorite place to live autumn in Scotland?

You may also want to read:


The ten most beautiful national parks in Germany


The 10 best value for money destinations to travel in 2020

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