What better time to embrace Scotland than when its landscapes are wrapped in autumn’s fiery cloak? Here are just some of the spellbinding sights you could experience this October in Scotland.
1. Soak up the scenery on foot or by bike
Make sure you get out in the great outdoors to really experience the beauty of Scotland’s landscapes in all their autumn glory.
There are wonderful cycle routes along the coast and through quiet countryside, as well as fantastic mountain bike trails to discover. Scotland’s mountains, woodland and rugged hills are ideal for mountain biking enthusiasts, and hopping on a bike means you can see a great deal of scenery in a short space of time.
You can, of course, walk the tracks and trails for a slower-paced way to immerse yourself in the autumn landscapes; discovering tranquil forest circuits, challenging hill walks and captivating coastal routes.
2. Enjoy a round of golf
With over 550 golf courses from which to choose in the Home of Golf you could enjoy soothing seascapes from a traditional links course, discover a hidden gem or play a championship course – all with the backdrop of a blushing landscape. For recommendations on golfing in the Highlands take a look at this guest post by a former Ladies’ European Tour star.
3. Visit an Enchanted Forest
Perthshire is known as Big Tree Country so when shades of autumn sweep through the forests it is truly a sight to behold. The forest at Loch Faskally, just outside Pitlochry, is transformed every October into The Enchanted Forest, an award-winning light and sound show. This year’s show is called ‘Elemental’ – why not see this magical forest in a whole new light?
4. Go to an autumn festival
There are a number of fantastic festivals happening in October in Scotland, including the Perthshire Amber Festival, Wild Seasons Autumn Festival and the Highland Homecoming 2014.
Perthshire Amber – the Dougie MacLean Festival is a ten day music festival, packed with toe-tapping and uplifting concerts including performances by its founder, Dougie MacLean. Some of Scotland’s best musical talent will perform at 25 venues across Perthshire, from village halls to Dunkeld Cathedral to an Iron Age Crannog on Loch Tay. As one of the Homecoming 2014 events, and its 10th anniversary, you can be sure that this year’s festival will be extra special – and with Perthshire adorned in its finest autumn colours, Perthshire Amber is a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.
In Dumfries and Galloway, the Wild Seasons Autumn Festival takes place from 11th October to 2nd November with a host of wildlife events such as guided walks, open days and activities for children. One of the highlights in the autumn wildlife calendar is the return of the Barnacle Geese, and another is the red deer rut (see below).
For a celebration of Highland culture head to Inverness for the Highland Homecoming 2014 from 12th September to the 18th October to enjoy everything from the Highland Clans Gathering to the Inverness Homecoming Highland Games.
5. See the red deer rutting
The sound or sight of red deer bellowing and jarring during the rutting season is surely one of the most amazing autumn spectacles. The peak of the rutting season is from October to early November, and there are locations across Scotland where you might be able to experience the sound, and sight, of rutting deer.
To view rutting deer safely, you could book onto an organised tour such as the Red Deer Rut Safari in Glenlivet, the Autumn Watch Safari with Highland Safaris in Highland Perthshire or the Wild West Red Deer Rut Safari around Loch Quoich in the Highlands.
At the Red Deer Range in the Galloway Forest Park you can get up close with red deer for free. A great way to enjoy the autumn rut is through their ‘Roaring Stags‘ event on Sunday 5th October (starts at 10am, costs £5 for adults, £3 for children and £12 for a family ticket).
One last idea? You could always just soak up the views from a cosy cottage, and curl up in front of a log fire with a good book…
You can also browse our list of properties with availability during the October Holidays.
What do you love about autumn in Scotland? Leave your comments below.