Autumn in Scotland is a time for wow-factor views. In fact, Lonely Planet voted Scotland as one of the best places in the world to see autumn leaves last year. From mid September until early November, the Scottish landscape bursts into a riot of fabulous colours of red, orange, yellow, bronze and crimson.
The best locations for seeing autumnal foliage is where there is a mix of different kinds of deciduous trees, including oak, beech, birch, horse chestnut etc. Large groups of trees can look amazing, but a single tree contrasting against a backdrop of evergreens also looks fantastic.
And travelling by campervan or motorhome gives easy access to so many fabulous autumnal hotspots.
Here we suggest 10 places for seeing Scotland’s best autumn colours.
1) Meikleour Beech Hedge: This is claimed as the tallest hedge in the world and stands an impressive 30m high – and half a kilometre long. The hedge looks stunning in autumn and can be found on the A93 between Perth and Blairgowrie, in Perthshire.
2) The Hermitage: Another Perthshire hotspot, the Hermitage is located near Dunkeld and owned by the National Trust for Scotland. Take a walk along the River Brann to the Black Linn Waterfalls and feast your eyes on a mix of deciduous and Douglas fir trees. Beautiful!
3) River Ayr Way: Scotland’s first river source to sea walking trail, the River Ayr Way charts a gorgeous route through Ayrshire. Many sections of the route are stunning in autumn.
4) Crathes Castle: Head to Royal Deeside, and in particular Crathes Castle where you can walk one of the wonderful woodland trails and enjoy being surrounded by autumnal beauty.
5) Glen Finglas: This wonderful glen in an area known as the Trossachs, and part of the Loch Lomond national Park, offers a range of different walking options. For a shorter walk try Drum Wood, or for longer and higher-level hikes there’s Mell Circuit.
6) Glentress: Much acclaimed by mountain bikers, Glentress Forest near Peebles in the Scottish Borders is also a wonderful place for seeing autumn colours at their best. In fact, any one of the 7stanes mountain biking centres are great for walkers and cyclists.
7) Glen Affric: If you’ve not been to Glen Affric it’s a must see in autumn. The National Nature Reserve spends months ablaze in gorgeous autumnal colours.
8) Queen’s View, Loch Tummel: Also in Perthshire and close to the popular tourist town of Pitlochry, Queen’s View is a viewpoint made famous when Queen Victoria picnicked there in the 1800s. Choose a variety of walks from the visitor centre and take your time to stroll amid a treasure trove of autumnal colours.
9) Roslin Glen, Midlothian: Take a walk through this picturesque glen, close to Edinburgh, for a superb display of autumn colours.
10) Killiecrankie: Another Perthshire spot (after all, Perthshire is known as Big Tree Country) is the Pass of Killiecrankie which is renowned for its splendid autumn colours. A suggestion is to walk to Soldier’s Leap, some 600m from the Visitor Centre and continue on a linear path for 1.5km, which takes you to the southern end of the Pass where a green footbridge crosses the River Garry.
Tell us about your favourite places to see autumn colours in Scotland.