The turning of the seasons shows the power and majesty of Scotland’s landscape. Rain makes the rivers roar while woodlands glow red and gold and autumn offers the nation’s most rewarding walks.
Crisscrossing mountains, woods, ancient forests, coastlines and hills, the walks showcase Scotland’s most beautiful autumnal scenes.
We have picked out five of the most memorable and spectacular walks cared for by the National Trust for Scotland.
Long after the salmon – and soldier – have leapt, Killiecrankie takes on a new light. This stunning wooded gorge and scene of Scotland’s greatest escape, as Donald MacBean jumped 18ft across the River Garry to evade pursuing Jacobites, becomes a riot of autumnal hues.
Watch for red squirrels, woodpeckers and pine martens getting ready for winter, gathering fungi which flourish beneath the red and gold canopy.
Given that this is the time of year for spooks and spectres, there can be few more atmospheric walks than beneath the haunting ruins of Castle Campbell. The stronghold looms over the glen while the beautifully named Burns of Care and Sorrow create cascading waterfalls.
Dollar Glen’s wildlife and biodiversity have made it a Site of Special Scientific Interest and, with paths leading into the Ochils, it’s among the most stunning walks in the Central Belt.
Grey Mares Tail
One of the UK’s highest waterfalls plunges 60 metres from Loch Skeen into the Moffat Water Valley.
The breathtaking scene provided inspiration to one of Scotland’s most celebrated writers, Sir Walter Scott, and was later immortalised in his poem Marmion.
Strolling deeper into a dramatic upland landscape you will find views extending as far as the Lake District.
Scotland’s most southerly Munro offers a range of mountain and low-level walks which take you over crags and peaks and through forests and fields. And there are few better views than the changing of the season around Loch Lomond.
This Highland treasure is one of Scotland’s greatest misnomers, taking its name from the Gaelic for ‘ugly hollow’. What you’ll find at Corrieshalloch is anything but.
The awesome Falls of Measach thunder into a spectacular gorge surrounded by woodland trails. You can also cross the River Droma via a Victorian suspension bridge.
This Ross-shire traditional working crofting estate,includes 17 miles of walking routes which take you through hills, lochs, woodlands, and crofting settlements.
The estate includes the ancient oak woodland of Coille Mhòr which forms part of “Scotland’s rainforest”.
This 800-year-old stronghold is surrounded by walled gardens, lawns, ornamental drives, acres of forests and an 18th-Century man-made lake. The lake is surrounded by over a mile of paths and there’s a bird hide for twitchers.
The forests are perfect for spying red squirrels and watching as autumn brings depth and warmth to the Fyvie palette.
Linn of Tummel
Taking its name from the Gaelic for “deep pool”, Linn of Tummel is in the heart of Perthshire’s Big Tree Country.
The woods, where the rivers Garry and Tummel meet and are home to red squirrels, otters, kingfishers and, if you are lucky enough to spot one, pine marten. Walking through the woods you will encounter a peculiar site, a giant obelisk commemorating a visit by Queen Victoria in 1844.
Beneath one of Scotland’s oldest tower houses lies the Old Wood of Drum, one of Scotland’s ancient forests which boasts oak trees dating back to the 1700s. The Royal Forest and Tower of Drum were given to the Irvine family by Robert the Bruce in 1323 and the castle has a storied history, as well as beautiful gardens and grounds.
There are many walks and trails which also highlight the vital conservation work being carried out by the National Trust for Scotland rangers.
You can easily spend days exploring the grounds around this stunning Ayrshire castle.
There is an array of different habitats and environment, from the woods and forests to the rocky clifftops and shorelines. I
n the case of the latter, there are few better places to see the autumn sun set. NTS staff can provide maps showing the different trails around Culzean while the rangers will be happy to give you hints on where to spot local wildlife.
Even if you have little ones in tow, there are plenty of family friendly walks at nts.org.uk, full of adventure which kids will love. Collect leaves, twigs and acorns to make a collage when you get home.
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