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  • Writer's pictureThe Highland Club Team

Best Places for Autumn Colours in Scotland

Updated: May 11, 2023

Autumn is a beautiful time of year to visit the Highlands; the landscapes are shining through the autumnal colours and the skies have a wonderful glow.

No wonder why Scotland is still the dream of many travellers, from September to November temperatures are moderately warm and the air is fresh and crispy and it smells of earth.

still water loch view
Loch view with fall colours

Peak season is over and that means crowds have thinned too, you can find a lot of things to do during your autumnal break without the stress of queuing to find a spot for a particular activity.

Whether you’re planning an autumn holiday to relax and recharge your batteries or are wondering where to go for a fun half-term break, Scotland is the perfect choice for one of the best places for autumn colours.

First of all, there are no midges. With winter approaching these creatures will leave you alone, able to enjoy the wilderness in peace and without having to spray yourself constantly.

And it is indeed through wilderness, uncontaminated woods and scenic glens that you could spot Scotland’s wildlife at its best with the rutting of red deers, the upriver migration of the Atlantic salmons and if you’re lucky, you could also see the barnacle gees and swans migrating from their cold nests and keeping away from predators.

As per Lonely Planet’s last nomination in the Top 10 destination country, Scotland is one of the best places to visit to see autumn foliage.

Loch with views of snow covered mountains behind
Snow capped hills in early winter

Some of the best sites to see autumn leaves in the Highlands are: • Glen Affric – Scotland’s most beautiful glen • The Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside • The hills of Assynt and Coigach • The oak woodlands of Ardnamurchan

The Woodland Trust’s website also provides a way to search for autumn foliage by postcode.

Clear fresh weather and longer nights make Autumn, and particularly November, the best month for seeing the Northern lights. The darker skies increase in fact the chances of the Aurora Borealis being visible. (Find out our tips on how to spot the Aurora here)

autumn view of the northern lights
Northern Lights

Last but not least reason to visit Scotland in Autumn is the assortment of seasonal local produce that you can enjoy after a day of exploring. Selection goes from fruit, vegetables, seafood and games offering succulent options for everybody’s taste.

“While Autumn, benefactor kind, By Tweed erects his aged head, And sees, with self-approving mind, Each creature on his bounty fed.” – Robert Burns, Address to the Shade of Thomson

This post was first published 23rd September 2019

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