Mesmerizing Fall Foliage
Nature flaunts her full beauty during the fall season in Scotland, when the wild landscapes become ablaze with color. Crimson red, rich green, fiery auburn, and golden yellow hues reflect against glittering lochs, and the scenery comes alive with an almost ethereal-like quality. The colors aren’t the only draw: It’s also the quieter season, meaning you can witness the fall foliage in true tranquility.
Scotland is home to some of the largest expanses of wilderness remaining in Western Europe, so outdoor adventures abound here, from hiking and mountain biking to sea kayaking, making it the perfect place for intrepid explorers to rewild and connect with the environment — an ideal tonic for the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Don the hiking boots, get outside amid the enchanting fall foliage, and let the sounds of nature soothe the soul.
Pair stunning fall scenery with hearty eats. Scottish cuisine has had a recent revival, with many restaurants and pubs striving to champion and serve local produce, from fresh seafood to organic vegetables. And a visit to Scotland wouldn’t be complete without a wee dram of whisky, Scotland’s finest spirit.
Must-Do: The Highlands are for exploring, and where better to experience the epic panoramic vistas than the top of Cairngorm Mountain. From the Coire Cas parking area, follow one of the various hiking trails to the summit. The Lower Cas Loop is perfect terrain for an easygoing family stroll, as it meanders alongside the lower slopes, while the aptly named Windy Ridge route is a steeper — and, you guessed it, somewhat blustery — trail with rewarding views of Loch Morlich and Glenmore Forest Park.
Eat: After a day of hiking in the stunning Scottish mountains, relax and refuel at The Winking Owl. The cozy restaurant is known for its Roast of the Day with all the trimmings and scenic views of the surrounding countryside. Before or after dinner (or both), enjoy an Aviemore-brewed draft beer at the connected Bothy Bar.
Day-Trip: Take a scenic road trip east of Cairngorms National Park to the Victorian village of Ballater and visit one of the area’s many Highland castles. The drive alone is worth the journey, but stopping in to some of these storied fortresses makes for a special autumn treat.