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Cosy Up to Autumn in Scotland
As temperatures drop in harmony with the leaves, it is time to revel in the fleeting season of autumn, the arrival of which brings the perfect time to slow down and bask in a variety of comforting and cosy experiences across Scotland.
Choose to walk through wilderness and admire the changing hues of foliage, and on rainy days, colsie in* and get immersed in history and heritage through an abundance of stories and folklore, best enjoyed by fireside. Or alternatively, opt to explore and indulge in seasonal delicacies and sustainably sourced produce: tuck into a bowl of creamy Cullen skink or a veg-packed broth, swiftly followed by the fiery warmth of a locally distilled dram of whisky or gin.
With a variety of autumn activities across the country to venture to, whether faced with a misty morning and showers, or a crisp afternoon in the low hanging sun, visitors can be inspired to embrace the season with Scotland’s range of themed activities.Autumn harvest
Celebrate the jewel in Autumn’s culinary crown and find a pumpkin (or turnip) at a range of dedicated pumpkin patches across the country. Alternatively, turn to the forest floor as Scotland is home to more than 12,000 species of fungi, with the best time to forage for wild mushrooms being up until late October, but be sure to be careful with what’s picked. Leave the forest and opt to wind down by the coast instead and take part in a sustainable, hands-on workshop to forage and discover the properties of seaweed for use in everyday life. https://www.kilduff.co.uk/“>Pumpkin, turnip and dahlia picking at Kilduff Farm, East Lothian near Edinburgh
Head to Kilduff Farm to pick a pumpkin from their patch ahead of spooky season and for the first-time visitors will be able to handpick a selection of seasonal dahlias to make a beautifully assorted bouquet to enjoy at home. Families will be able to relish in a host of fun and games on the patch as well as scrumptious seasonal food from local producers and the opportunity to buy produce from Kilduff’s very own kitchen larder. With ample photo opportunities and a bale maze, it is sure to be a wonderful day out. please see www.kilduff.co.uk for more information and booking.
https://www.ardkinglas.com/whats-on-at-ardkinglas.html”>Chutney’s pickles and preserves workshop, Argyll
Take part in a chutney, pickle and preserves cookery workshop in the beautiful setting of Ardkinglas House. Learn the basics, making the likes of fiery Korean kimchi to fresh pickle and fruity chutney, perfect to accompany some local cheese on an autumn evening. Please see www.ardkinglas.com for more information and booking.Seaweed Foraging
East Neuk Seaweed offer various hands-on workshops in coastal locations across Fife which highlight the healing properties and nutritional value of this sea vegetable. Respectfully, safely and sustainably identify, forage and store small harvests for use in daily life and learn how to cook with wild and shop bought seaweeds for health and wellbeing. Please see www.eastneukseaweed.com for more information and booking.Autumn eventsEnchanted Forest
29th September – 30th October
The Enchanted Forest is Scotland’s largest autumn event, held annually throughout the month of October in Faskally Woods part of the Tay Forest Park, near Pitlochry. The trees and water around Loch Dunmore, a beautiful small lochan, are set with lights, art and sounds. Visitors are taken to the forest by a shuttle of coaches, that depart from the centre of Pitlochry. Each year the Enchanted Forest of lights sometimes referred to as the magic forest, attracts in the region of 80,000 people of all ages, to walk around this beautifully lit forest. For more information and tickets, please see www.enchantedforest.org.uk for more information and booking.Festival of Folklore
21st - 25th September
A festival celebrating the world of folklore and set in the mythical landscape of Upper Nithsdale. Crawick Multiverse is hosting three events on Saturday 28th September. With clear skies predicted, and a new moon, it should be a great for stargazing, a sneak peak of events listed below:
26th October – 6th November
Early bird tickets are now on sale for GlasGLOW, created and produced by Itison, alongside a team of world-class creative sound, light and set designers, GlasGLOW is an immersive outdoor experience, with this year’s theme set to take guests on an exhilarating 60-minute outdoor route through Glasgow’s Botanical Gardens, where jeopardy lies around every corner, dinosaurs come to life, dormant volcanos threaten to erupt and only the brave will make it out, without being eaten alive.
Jam-packed with photo opportunities, exciting displays, interactive installations, a street food village, GLOW bar and the return of Marshmallowland, please see www.glasglow.com for more information and booking.Badenoch Heritage Festival
18th – 25th September
With over 20 events, The Badenoch Heritage Festival celebrates Badenoch’s unique connections to landscape, highland community and the deep roots of storytelling. The festival has a number of activities on including walks, e-bike adventures and archaeological digs– as well as a concert with music from local musicians and schoolchildren.
Please see www.badenochstorylands.com for more information and booking.Bloody Scotland
15th– 18th September
Kicking-off with a torchlit procession, the leading Scottish International Crime Writing Festival returns in person and online, with events from authors: Sir Ian Rankin, Ann Cleeves, Saima Mir, Dean Koontz, Donna Leon, Irvine Welsh, Mick Herron, Helen Fields, Denise Mina, Peter May, Lisa Unger, Anthony Horowitz, Ambrose Parry and many more.
Priding themselves as the literary festival where attendees can let down their hair and enjoy a drink at the bar with their favourite crime writer, this festival strives to entertain and inform with talks covering a range of criminal subjects from fictional forensics, psychological thrillers, tartan noir, cosy crime and beyond.
Please see www.bloodyscotland.com for more information and booking.Wigtown Book Festival
23rd September – 2nd October
Wigtown Book Festival has unveiled a vibrant programme of more than 200 events for its annual 10-day annual celebration of all things literary in Scotland’s National Book Town.This year’s festival is supported by EventScotland as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, as ever there will be a superb line up with writers of fiction, non-fiction authors and poetry. They include household names, scientists, journalists and others, all sharing insights about their books, inspirations, careers and lives. Among them will be:
23rd September – 2nd October
The fourth Findhorn Bay Festival will present a spectacular ten-day journey of exploration and discovery for Scotland’s Year of Stories offering glimpses into the past and hopes for the future, and experiences of nature, culture and adventure. Communities in Moray and beyond will have a unique chance to celebrate and appreciate Scotland’s stories, heritage, landscape, and people. Set in unexpected spaces and scenic locations, and marking the 10th anniversary of Findhorn Bay Arts, the award-winning producer behind the festival, the programme boasts an eclectic, vibrant and wide-ranging mix of outstanding Scottish art, theatre and performance, storytelling and live music, alongside family-friendly events and a whole host of open and accessible creative activities. Please see www.findhornbayfestival.com for more information and booking.
Royal National Mòd,
The Royal National Mòd will showcase and celebrate the very best in Gaelic music and culture when it comes to Perth for the first time in 18 years this October. Audiences can expect a vibrant programme of fringe concerts, shows, ceilidhs and exhibitions across the city.
Please see www.ancomunn.co.uk for more information and booking.The Festival of Darkness
23rd – 30th October
The programme has been announced for the first ever Festival Of Darkness, a new film festival set to celebrate Dracula and creator Bram Stoker’s links to the north east of Scotland.
Marking the 125th anniversary of the publication of Bram Stoker’s gothic classic and 100 years since the Count’s big screen debut in Nosferatu, the festival will screen a range of vampire movies at unique locations around Aberdeenshire, some of which are not usually open to the public and have never been used as cinemas before. Please see www.neatshows.co.uk/festivalofdarkness/ for more information and booking.Witness wildlife in the wilderness
Tree nuts, seeds and berries are ripening and with the shorter days and cooler temperatures wildlife activity is avid and makes for great wildlife watching antics, with plenty of activities to see and do to heighten the experience. Top wildlife spots and activities include:Galloway Forest Park
The Galloway Forest Park is Britain’s largest forest park, often referred to as the ‘Highlands of the Lowlands’. The park is home to dramatic ancient woodland, magnificent scenery, and a huge range of local wildlife. Whether walking, cycling, or fishing, the Galloway Forest Park has something for everyone.Scotland big picture:
Explore Highland glens for golden eagles, red deer and mountain hares. Visit the Caledonian Forest, cloaked in autumn gold, home to crested tits and pine martens and get up close with leaping salmon and red squirrels. Running regular retreats, it’s a fantastic place to learn about the benefits of rewilding, observe wildlife, and connect with nature this autumn. Please see www.scotlandbigpicture.com for more information and to book.
https://www.glendyecabinsandcottages.com/school-of-wild-wellness-and-bushcraft”>Glen Dye School of Wild Wellness and Bushcraft, Aberdeenshire
Glen Dye is a private estate with various holiday cabins and cottages surrounded by wild forestry on the banks of River Dye. While staying in the stunning accommodation visit their School of Wild Wellness and Bushcraft which offers foraging, wild swimming, whittling, and adventure workshops in the great outdoors.E-Bike Safari
Looking to add some adrenaline to the wildlife watching experience? Wildlife Discovery offer the UK’s first wildlife safari on mountain e-bikes with guests being guided through the impressive Cairngorms National Park in search of the best of Scottish wildlife while reducing their carbon footprint.Fall for Lux…
Available from 1st September until 30th November 2022. Please see www.gaileshotel.com/si-spa for more information and booking.
Guided by their own private chauffeur, overnight guests of Prestonfield House and The Witchery by the Castle will offer the chance to enjoy a truly authentic taste of the coast and countryside within a two-hour drive time of Edinburgh city centre, including visits to Belhaven Lobster at Dunbar harbour, foraging with Buck & Birch in the East Lothian countryside, a quad bike or tractor tour at Old Leckie Farm near Stirling, as well as tour of the world’s first Michelin-starred distillery, The Glenturret Distillery in Perthshire, with the opportunity to enjoy afternoon tea at the distillery’s Lalique Restaurant. Please see www.sleigh.co.uk/taste-of-scotland-food-trail for more information and booking.
Discover a magical getaway in the tiny log https://dreamcatcherscabins.co.uk/“>Dreamcatcher Cabins hidden in the private secluded woodlands of Loch Lomond National Park. Delightfully rustic and sustainably minded, each cabin is designed to keep guests’ carbon footprint to a minimum – electrical sockets are not provided but mobile reception is available. Relax on the terrace beneath the glow of solar-powered fairy lights as the wood burning stove crackles away, soak in the outdoor bathtub surrounded by candles and fall asleep to the sounds of the forest in the snug but beautifully furnished en suite bedroom.
Priced from £197 per night for two people, August – November 2022. Please see www.dreamcatcherscabins.co.uk for more information and to book.
Four Bothies, each with their own unique setting and style. Whether looking for a romantic getaway for two or a home away from home for the whole family, there is an Eco Bothy to suit- dog friendly, too. Situated in the heart of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, Loch Ken Eco Bothies are beautifully equipped and furnished. Each with its own log burning hot tub and dedicated kayak, dwellers will have everything they need for a luxurious wilderness retreat.
Priced from £560 per unit per week, a two-person cabin for seven nights, August – November 2022. Please see www.lochkenecobothies.co.uk for more information and to book.For more information and inspiration on things to do in Scotland this autumn visit
ENDSFor further information or images please contact:Rachel HollowayNotes to editors
This copy was correct at the time of going to press. VisitScotland cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information and accepts no responsibility for any error or misrepresentation. All liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or other damage caused by the reliance on the information contained herewith, or in the event of any company, individual or firm ceasing to trade, is hereby excluded.
With autumn nearly upon us please find a roundup of activities and getaways to soak up the season - ranging from pumpkin and dahlia picking, pickle making workshops, a plethora of festivals/events and top spots for wildlife watching across Scotland.