5 Autumn Must-Do’s in Scotland

Oh, autumn, how we love thee!  The season of wrapping up, conkers, fireworks, bonfires and, of course, the gorgeous fiery colours that ignite the landscape.

Here are 5 suggestions for things to do during your self-catering holiday in Scotland this autumn – and ideas of where to stay to enjoy these highlights.

Go for a woodland walk


Woodland near Craigellachie, Speyside


There are many beautiful places to soak up the autumn scenery in Scotland but you can’t beat a woodland walk.  From the ancient pine forest of Rothiemurchas in the Cairngorms National Park to Glen Affric in the Highlands there are a number of incredibly scenic forested areas that beg to be explored in the autumn months.  Known as Big Tree Country it’s no surprise that Perthshire is a popular destination for autumn breaks.  Make sure to visit the Hermitage, in the care of the National Trust of Scotland and home to one of the country’s tallest trees, as well as hidden gems such as Glen Lyon – described by one of our holiday cottage owners as ‘one of the most scenic glens in Scotland… the autumn is a special time, with colours rivalling New England’.

The Hermitage, Rothimurchas Forest and Glen Affric are also ideal for exploring by bike.

Time to really switch off – Check out our properties for a ‘Digital Detox”

Visit an Enchanted Forest

It’s true that Scotland’s woodlands are a magical place to be but one forest is particularly enchanting in autumn.  The Enchanted Forest is an award-winning light and sound show near Pitlochry in Perthshire and a wonderful event for all the family to enjoy.  This year Faskally Woods are set to Shimmer, transformed as always into an illuminated world that dances and sings with colour and sound.   Book your tickets to this year’s event – tickets sell quickly so make sure to book early to avoid disappointment.


Accommodation idea: Dalshian Scottish Chalets, 1.5 miles from Pitlochry, still with availability for October at the time of posting, please check availability with owners.  Sleeps 6.

Check out our Family Cottages – Ideal for Scottish holidays together

Turn your eyes to the skies

Aurora at Fionnphort, Isle of Mull

Aurora at Fionnphort, Isle of Mull


Scotland is a great holiday choice if you love stargazing, with some of the darkest skies in Europe.  The Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park is the UK’s first Dark Sky Park and there are Dark Sky information points at the park’s three visitor centres as well as a number of other sites.  You will also find the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory near Dalmellington on the edge of the Forest Park.

In the Cairngorms National Park the Tomintoul and Glenlivet – Cairngorms Dark Sky Park Is one of the best places in the Cairngorms National Park to discover the wonders of the night sky.  Not only does this remote area have stunning dark skies but it also has easy access allowing everyone to enjoy a night sky brimming with stars.  Find out more here

You don’t need to be in the countryside to enjoy the dark autumn skies – in Dundee you’ll find The Mills Observatory, Britain’s first purpose-built public observatory, where you can view stars and planets through the computerised telescope.

Check out Holiday homes within Scotland’s National Parks 

Get up close with wildlife

Galloway Forest Red Deer Centre, Dumfries and Galloway

Galloway Forest Red Deer Centre, Dumfries and Galloway


Experience Scotland’s wild side during your self-catering stay – you may even be lucky enough to spot some local wildlife from your holiday accommodation.  One of the autumn highlights in Scotland is the red deer rut, with various tour providers running red deer safaris, such as Glenlivet Wildlife and Fort William based Wild West Safari.  You can get up close with red deer at the Highland Safaris Red Deer Centre, the Galloway Forest Park Red Deer Centre and at a ranger-led activity at the Rothiemurchas Estate (where you can also go on a Red Squirrel Safari).

In Dumfries and Galloway a number of events will take place as part of the Wild Seasons Autumn Festival, such as Stars and Stripes Badger Watching and Autumn Migration.

Stay on a working Scottish Farm – Watch, visit or join in! – find out more about Scottish Farm Cottages

Savour Scotland’s autumn larder


The colours of autumn are not just restricted to the landscape, of course; why not eat your way through an autumn palette of redcurrants, plums, brambles, squash and pumpkin?  There are plenty of farm shops and fruit farms across the country where you can pick your own home-grown autumn produce (perfect for a self-catering holiday) such as pumpkins, brambles, gooseberries, red/blackcurrants, tayberries, apples, plums and pears.

With the woodlands full of brambles, berries and mushrooms it’s also an ideal time for wild foraging (make sure you stick to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and the Scottish Wild Mushroom Code).   Or you could book yourself a place on an Autumn Fungi and Wild Food Foraging Walk (in Caithness and Argyll at the beginning of October) with Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods.  The walks take 3 hours and provide information on identifying, harvesting (responsibly), cooking and preserving wild foods.

Accommodation idea: Taigh-An-Clachair Self Catering Cottage, 14 miles from Wick and close to Dunbeath, the location of the Caithness Foraging Walk with Galloway Wild Foods. Sleeps 3.

Let someone else take care of your catering requirements – Check out Self Catering properties that offer catering

Inspired? Browse these holiday offers for autumn breaks in Scotland.


Recent Posts

10 of the Best: Lesser-Known Castles

Wednesday 10th Jul 2019

There are hundreds of castles to explore in Scotland, from towering fortresses to atmospheric cliff-side ruins.   Aberdeenshire alone has over 300 castles and stately homes (little wonder if it is referred to as ‘Scotland’s Castle Country’) and there is even a dedicated trail around 19 of the area’s castles.  And why stop at simply visiting castles when you can […]

Life’s a Beach – Scotland’s Best Beaches

Saturday 15th Jun 2019

Scotland is currently in the midst of an incredible heatwave – we know, we can’t believe it either! Now that we can say we have officially hit the summer months, it’s time to look at booking a getaway and Scotland is the place to be! Don’t be fooled thinking you have to fly abroad for […]

Photo credit: Paul Hermans

10 of the Best: Hillwalking

Sunday 5th May 2019

Scotland’s reputation as a hillwalking destination spreads far and wide. From the Borders to Sutherland, from west coast to east, there are many spectacular routes for all ages and abilities. Here are ten of the best. Goat Fell At 874m (2,687ft), Goat Fell misses out on being a Munro* by a mere 5 metres. It […]

Celebrate the ‘water of life’ for the whole month of May!

Saturday 13th Apr 2019

“There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.” – Raymond Chandler.   Scotland is famous for many things such as Tartan Kilts, golf and of course – haggis! However, one of the most notable products Scotland is famed for is Whisky! Known also in Gaelic as ‘uisge […]

Easter Breaks in Scotland – Celebrate Family Time

Thursday 28th Feb 2019

  Easter is about family time, longer days, baby lambs and an over indulgence of chocolate! Celebrate Easter this year with a trip to Scotland, try something new with the kids and go explore in the fresh scottish air. Easter Availability and Special Offers Grab yourself a Bargain and Book Now for some great deals […]

Scotland’s Blooming in Spring

Monday 18th Feb 2019

Scotland bursts into life as Spring approaches & it is a glorious time to travel As the days get longer, landscapes come alive with new displays of flora and fauna and its a great time to explore the best Scotland has to offer:   Scottish Flowers in Spring Spring is a great time to see […]

Last Minute Valentine’s Offers – book your getaway & surprise your loved one!

Monday 28th Jan 2019

  Valentine’s Seasonal Offers Cosy up in front of a crackling log fire, enjoy some city sightseeing or go for long walks on the beach – if you’re looking for some inspiration, check out our Valentines seasonal offers “A cosy retreat to treat your loved one” Valentines Cottage – Sandford Country Cottages, Fife     […]

Celebrating 260 Years of Robbie Burns

Friday 25th Jan 2019

Burns Night is upon us and this year we celebrate 260 years since the Birth of Robbie Burns His birthday is celebrated throughout the world, with Burns Suppers, poems, songs and anecdotes about Scotland’s National Bard. But here’s why we think Robert Burns should be enjoyed all year round……. From traditional ballads and romantic songs […]

Walking into 2019!

Monday 31st Dec 2018

The New Year is almost here and we are sure you have already heard the phrase “new year, new me” a few times. At some point, we’ve all been guilty of promising to kick start the new year with a healthy regime after reflecting on festivities, without it carrying on past February. However, adopting a […]