Watch as red deer stags fight for their place in the herd hierarchy during the rut and listen out for their roars as they echo round the glen. Look out for grey seals on Scotland’s coasts and islands in autumn when females arrive on land to pup. Head to sites such as Philiphaugh Estate to witness yet another marvel of breeding in autumn - salmon leaping upstream to spawn - and then turn your attention to the skies to watch the impressive winter migration of thousands of geese, swans and wading birds. Locations such as the RSPB Mersehead Nature Reserve on the Solway Firth are a hive of activity in the autumn months.
Image: Paul Tomkins for VisitScotland
The crunch of leaves under foot, the clean, crisp air and the colours of the trees are all refreshing sensations to enjoy at this time of year. Head into woodlands for a long or short autumn walk and be revitalised by the stunning red, gold and amber hues. Waterfalls often look at their most striking in the autumn when the rain picks up a little and the river levels are boosted. It’s an excellent time of year for spotting red squirrels too, as they forage on the woodland floor.
Image: AG Firth for VisitScotland
Autumn is celebrated at a host of seasonal events in Scotland, so there are plenty of opportunities to get out and make the most of nature. Woodlands, gardens and estates are lit up dramatically at night, accompanied by atmospheric soundtracks and enhanced by arts performances at events such as Botanic Lights in Edinburgh and Colours of Cluny in Forres. Walking festivals, including Crieff & Strathearn Drover’s Tryst, offer guided walks and a chance to meet fellow hillwalkers. Or you could find out more about woodland culture at Tweed Valley Forest Festival, where the Scottish Conker Championships takes place.
Image: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam
Scale a Munro
Where better to admire a panoramic autumn landscape than from up a mountain? If the weather is in your favour then an uphill hike is a rewarding challenge to take on at this time of year. Any mountain over 3,000ft can be classed as a Munro, but they vary in difficulty, with some being more suited to beginners then others. For seasoned walkers, or those heading out with a guide, the tougher ones can be tackled, and if you’re not sure how you’ll find it you could take a look at VisitScotland’s 360 Outdoor Adventures to watch videos before making up your mind.
Scotland’s historic castles and estates will provide the perfect backdrop to spooky tales this Halloween. Visit illuminated castle grounds and country parks and take ghost tours around old stately homes and castles and you’ll surely be in for a fright! Or perhaps you’d be interested in the Samhuinn Fire Festival on October 31 in Edinburgh? This pagan procession marks the changing of the seasons complete with bright costumes and fire displays.
Scotland’s castles, haunted ruins and moody lochs are full of spooky stories about Scottish ghosts, myths and legends that you can discover year round too.
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