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“The lazy mist hangs from the brow of the hill,
Take a wander around the ‘forester’s classroom’, where some of the wide variety of tree species are over 200 years old. Within Faskally Forest and close to the car park and picnic site lies the wonderfully tranquil Loch Dunmore, with its boat house and picturesque timber footbridge.
Details: Faskally Forest is open all year round and access is free of charge. Parking charges apply, please plan ahead with the information at: https://forestryandland.gov.scot/visit/forest-parks/tay-forest-park/faskally Killin, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Fuelled by the autumn rain, the Falls of Dochart make for a spectacular sound and sight as the water cascades over the rocks and under the bridge. Follow part of the 12-mile route from Killin to Ardtalnaig, along the famous Rob Roy Way, for views over the head of Loch Tay towards the Tarmachan Ridge and Ben Lawers range.Details: Access the Falls of Dochart for free all year round. Please consult the Scottish Outdoor Access Code before visiting. www.visitscotland.com/info/towns-villages/falls-of-dochart-p662781 Dawyck Botanic Garden, Scottish Borders Take in the fiery colours at Dawyck Botanic Garden as well as the autumn fruits; from acorns to crab apples, maple keys to fir cones and everyone’s favourites, the conkers produced by the horse chestnut trees. The Garden is a feast for all the senses; take in the gorgeous caramel scent of the large Japanese Katsura tree.Details: Open daily. Ticket prices vary and pre-booking is essential.Go to www.rbge.org.uk/the-gardens/dawyck for further details. University buildings, Old AberdeenCheck out the New King’s building at the University of Aberdeen in autumn for something very special indeed: watch in awe as the ivy scaling the building turns a deep shade of red early in the season. Aberdeen city and elsewhere in the region have other great spots to check out the colours of the season, including Crathes Castle, located just outside the city, and the Falls of Feugh near Banchory. www.visitabdn.com/cp/autumn-che Family-friendly October break antics….Kids of all ages will be spoilt for choice when school’s out….Pumpkin-picking, across Scotland from October (pre-booking essential). Visit the brand-new pumpkin patch experience at Balgone Pumpkin Patch and Trail, North Berwick, including a haunted lakeside adventure and a witch’s lair located halfway round the trail, a perfect place to toast some marshmallows. Cairnie Fruit Farm in Fife has wheelbarrows on hand to help with the pumpkin haul, as well as providing a fun maze for wee ones. Kilduff Farm in East Linton, East Lothian will also have a pumpkin patch from October. Hot drinks and tasty treats will be available to buy, as well as a straw bale maze to explore and lots of opportunities to take autumn themed family photos. To pick turnips (which are traditionally carved in Scotland around 31 October) visit Pittormie Fruit Farm in Cupar, Fife.For other rural adventure ideas, farm shops and accommodation options, check out www.goruralscotland.comMary Quant, V&A Dundee, until 17 January 2021, tickets from £6 (free admission to museum, although advanced booking required)Mary Quant is the first international retrospective on the iconic British designer who started a fashion revolution that a whole generation wanted to take part in. Quant designed clothes that made people feel good, making quality designer fashion affordable through her playful brand, signified by the trademark daisy.As Scotland’s first design museum, V&A Dundee tells a global story, investigating the international importance of design alongside presenting Scotland’s outstanding design achievements. V&A Dundee features world-class exhibitions alongside the permanent Scottish Design Galleries, and a changing programme of commissions, events and activities.www.vam.ac.ukFreaky Forest, Kelburn Estate, Ayrshire10 – 18 October (£6 per ticket, plus £5 for parking).Visitors are invited to go on a mission to locate all of the Halloween jokes hidden within the Freaky Forest. There are also three self-led trails around the Estate:- Halloween Animal Trail- Room on the Broom Trail- Walled Garden Magical Plant WalkAll other areas of Kelburn - the adventure course, saloon play area, waterfall, walled garden, and glen walks, are all included in the £5 parking fee. Go to www.kelburnestate.com/freaky-forest/ for more information.Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Edinburgh17- 31 October 2020 (mix of virtual and some outdoor, socially-distanced events)With an eclectic mix of online events and small-scale face-to-face performances, the Scottish International Storytelling Festival celebrates Year of Coasts and Waters and Scotland ‘a nation shaped by water’, taking visitors on voyages at home and away. Engagement with audiences will be through live and pre-recorded broadcast events, and through small-scale safely distanced person-to-person events, including ones in outdoor locations (all subject to Scottish Government guidance in the autumn period). Festival organisers will collaborate with the Orkney Storytelling Festival and the Wild Geese Festival in Dumfries and Galloway, while the Scottish Storytelling Centre’s Café will hold safely distanced sessions as people rediscover the joy of ‘eye to eye, mind to mind, and heart to heart’. Please see www.sisf.org.uk for full details and to plan ahead.Chill-seeking….Often called one of the spookiest places to visit - with an abundance of thrilling stories around every corner - Scotland is the ideal place to visit in autumn, to experience the history (or for a good scare!) Incidentally, Scotland is arguably the birthplace of Halloween with its tradition of Samhain - a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter.Ghost tours, across Scotland, available now (pre-booking is essential)What would Halloween be without a good story under the cover of darkness? In Edinburgh, Mercat Tours offers various walking tours to tell tales about the darker side of the city, including its Ghostly Edinburgh tour, which shares tales of places where murderous spirits used to lie, their restless souls set loose on the city (tickets from £10, pre-booking is essential). In addition, check out the underground streets of the Real Mary King’s Close and experience 400 years of history in a walking tour (pre-booking is essential and check the website for important information for planning a visit).Alternatively, Dumfries and Galloway is home to the storytellers of Mostly Ghostly Tours, with experience of tours to places in the region such as Closeburn Castle and The Crichton in Dumfries. There is also the Stirling Ghost Walk, which takes guests on a tour sharing stories of characters both factual and mythical that have featured in the often dark history of Stirling.
Discover some autumnal inspiration in Scotland for an escape not too far from home