Experts recommend their favourite autumn walks

A COLLECTION of autumn walks in Scotland has been recommended by the country’s woodland experts.

Members of staff from Forestry & Land Scotland, the Scottish Government agency that replaced Forestry Commission Scotland in 2019, were asked to recommend their favourite autumnal routes.

Stuart Chalmers, the organisation’s national visitor services manager, said: “Autumn in Scotland is truly spectacular.

“Right now our forests and lands are glowing vibrant orange and yellow, making it a great time to visit our beautiful woodlands.

“Our extra warm summer should mean a particularly vibrant autumnal display.

“We have trails for all abilities so grab some warm clothes and head out exploring.”

Carron Valley in Perthshire

Carron Valley, Perthshire – Andy Gallagher, Community Ranger

Take a scenic waterside walk around the Carron Valley reservoir. This moderate trail has many play features, picnic spots, and spectacular autumn views.

Carron Valley is also home to the Red Route mountain bike trail. This single-track course is fast and fun all year round. Make sure to stop at the top and admire the stunning autumn views of the great Eas Dubh or Black Waterfall.

Find out more about Carron Valley

Falls of Shin

Falls of Shin, near Lairg, Highlands – Laura Turtle, Visitor Services Area Manager (north)

Ancient woodland, Atlantic salmon, and thundering falls – this woodland is a great spot to spend the day exploring with the whole family.

Near the visitors’ centre, you will find a short easy access route suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. From here, you can explore some of the longer trails that weave through towering spruce trees and native riverside woodlands.

The Falls of Shin gets its name from the River Shin. Though stunning any time of the year, it comes alive with vibrant colours and the crisp autumn air in the autumn.

Find out more about Falls of Shin

Autumn walk at Loch Faskally in Perthshire

Faskally, Perthshire – Robin Lofthouse, Area Services Visitor Manager (Perthshire) 

Faskally is in the heart of Perthshire, which is always a fantastic place to experience autumn. This site was once a school for young foresters and is home to a rich mixed forest and a calm loch where you can find kingfishers and herons.

The Dunmore Trail is one of our all-abilities trails that takes you through scenic autumn woodland. The Forester’s Trail loops you along Loch Faskally, where you can see the autumn colours in full force. You might want to head along the road to Queen’s View Visitor Centre for incredible views over Loch Tummel.

Find out more about Faskally

Stars above Galloway Forest Park's Dark Sky Park

Galloway Forest Park – Ben Askew, Visitor Services (South)

Galloway Forest Park is made up of a number of forests, each with its own unique features and attractions. No matter where you go, Galloway has something exciting for you.

Galloway Forest Park is a great place to visit all year long. However, autumn is one of the best times to visit Scotland’s first Dark Sky Park. With the days getting shorter, our stars become more visible, making this a trip you won’t soon forget.

Galloway’s Dark Sky Park is easily accessible from Kirroughtree Visitor Centre.

Find out more about Galloway Forest Park

Sycamore leaf

Garscadden, Glasgow – Carol McGinnis, Central Region Manager

Standing among the old oaks of this ancient woodland, you’ll have to remind yourself that you’re still in Glasgow.

Garscadden Wood is important because it’s one of the oldest semi-natural woods in Glasgow and one of only two woods in the city where you can find the purple hairstreak butterfly. It’s alive with colour and at dusk you can spot foxes.

Find out more about Garscadden Wood East and West

Wade's bridge at Little Garve

Little Garve, near Dingwall, Highlands – Paul Hibberd, Visitor Services Manager (Highlands)

This stunning riverside walk takes you through a gentle woodland stretching along the Black Water river. This now quiet forest was once bustling with the sounds of cattle and soldiers as its distinctive stone bridges were built by the army and cattle herders.

The Silverbridge and Wade’s Bridge sit along the Two Bridges Trail, a 3.3-km strenuous hike.

Find out more about Little Garve

Roseisle beach in Moray

Roseisle, near Findhorn, Moray – Fiona Robertson, Visitor Services Area Manager (North East)

This great woodland is complete with a beach, historic structures, and an excellent place for spotting seabirds this autumn. Take a stroll along the white sandy beach while you explore the historic defence structures built during WW2. These concrete remnants were once used as anti-tank blockades and pillboxes.

Roseisle is also home to some wonderful walking trails. Take a stroll down the Millie Bothy trail through a lovely coastal pine forest to an old fishermen’s bothy and the sparkling Millie Burn. Or, wander along the Wildlife Walk Trail. You might be lucky enough to spot a red squirrel or seal.

Find out more about Roseisle

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s outdoors pages.

Plus, don’t miss photographer Kevin Morgans’ puffin pictures in the November issue of Scottish Field magazine.