Top 10 Autumn Walks in Perthshire Scotland
A colourful adventure – local autumn walks to refresh and revive.
Autumn Tours in Scotland… Top 10 Autumn Walks
Walking outdoors during autumn can help restore a sense of calm and help relaxation. The freshness of the cooler air, birds sing in the trees as the leaves rustle beneath your feet and a colourful transformation as the season changes. Everyone needs nature to feel calmer, escaping to a world of colour and peace during autumn.
What’s the best time to see autumn leaves in the UK?
Officially, the autumn equinox is 22 September (find out more about the equinox and solstice). The best time to start looking for that first tint of autumn is mid-September, and depending on where you are autumn colour often reaches its peak from mid-late October.
Take a look at my Top 10 Autumn Walks below – the perfect collection to enjoy the colours, sights, smells and sounds of Autumn.
Top 10 Autumn Walks in Perthshire Scotland
The Dunkeld Hermitage
The Hermitage is impressive any time of year, but autumn is when it truly comes into its own. The banks of the River Braan become a kaleidoscope of autumn colours, giving sites along the water like Ossian’s Hall a dreamlike feel. This is also the time of year to witness the salmon leaping up the river’s rapids to their spawning grounds – a spectacular natural sight to behold!
Lady Mary’s Walk, Crieff
Opened to the public in 1825 and a favorite of Lady Mary Murray, Lady Mary’s Walk is a peaceful stroll beside the River Earn along an avenue of mature oak, beech, lime, and sweet chestnut – some of which are over 150 years old. The canopy of trees provides one of the most quintessential autumnal colour scenes in Perthshire. Take a seat on one of the many benches to take it all in – it is a site that simply must be seen to believe (find out more about the walk here).
Faskally Woods is home to Scotland’s premier sound and light experience, The Enchanted Forest, and is a spectacular woodland comprising old estate paths around the small but picturesque Loch Dunmore, with its timber bridge and boathouse. The autumnal colours shimmer off the loch during the day, and The Enchanted Forest, from 28 September to 29 October, takes over at night, lighting up the entire forest.
The Birks of Aberfeldy
Famous for its connection with Robert Burns, the Birks of Aberfeldy is a steeply wooded gorge on the Moness Burn with several spectacular waterfalls flanked by a variety of trees hosting a wealth of wildlife.
The Upper Birks is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its importance for the diversity of plants and animals, some of which are rare. It is also within a wider Special Area of Conservation (SAC) relating to the Moness Burn and river species such as otter, lamprey, and salmon.
The Falls of Acharn
The Falls of Acharn walk has some really fabulous views of the falls while walking up through large established trees that fill the banks of the falls. Most importantly great views out over Loch Tay. The falls are viewed through the Victorian Hermit’s Cave and are quite beautiful, especially after heavy rainfall – they are quite spectacular.
Weem Woodland Walk
Weem wood cascades down a steep, rocky hillside, a fine backdrop for Castle Menzies. The Menzies family – supporters of King Robert the Bruce – helped create and shape Perthshire’s forests, leaving us an impressive amount of woodland and forests to explore and enjoy (further details on the Weem Walks).
In the 1400s, David Menzies who built The Old Kirk of Weem, left the family home to live as a hermit at St David’s Well, a cave in the forest – look out for the sculpted head on your way to the Well.
Carie (The Black Wood nr Kinloch Rannoch)
Highland wildlife, a stunning gorge, and loch views relax above the shores of Loch Rannoch or hike up the stunning gorge. Look out for stands of ancient Scots pine, and views over the nearby Black Wood of Rannoch.
Carie is a great place to watch for wildlife. As well as red squirrels, you might see red deer and pine martens as you explore the woodland trails (find out more here).
Glen Tilt is a long glen, leading some 11 miles from the broad valley of the River Garry at Blair Atholl, 7 miles north-west of Pitlochry on the A9, up into the hills around the Falls of Tarf, where the river divides into a number of tributaries. Why not spend the day walking in the serenity of such a glen and to enjoy the beauty of the hills, woods and waterfalls for which this area is renowned.
There are a variety of walks all starting from the Glen Tilt car-park, with a map and waymarked routes from a wee wander to a day’s exploring.
Killin Nature Path
The River Lochay and Loch Tay Nature Path is a 3.1 kilometre loop trail located in and around Killin, that features a river, open grassland surrounded by mixed native trees, leading you past castle ruins, and a wide beach at the head of Loch Tay and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips (further details here).
River Garry and Linn of Tummel circuit
A leisurely walk starting at the Garry Bridge car park. The walk will follow the Garry and Tummel rivers downstream to Loch Faskally and return via Faskally Forest. Woodland paths and road walking, mostly level with several short climbs of steps (further details here).
What causes the leaves to change in autumn?
These autumnal colours don’t come about by accident — behind the hues lies a careful balance of natural environmental reactions, resulting in the palette you’ll see in special places this autumn.
The development of autumn colour begins its process according to the conditions of the seasons that come before. It’s the steady decrease in sunlight hours during September and October that triggers green leaf chlorophyll to break down, revealing dazzling autumn tones below – the perfect time to enjoy my Top 10 Autumn Walks in Perthshire.
Throughout the year, factors like temperature, moisture and sunlight all contribute to the vibrancy of the autumn colours. A wet spring, a hot summer, followed by sunny autumn days and frosty nights usually makes for a dazzling leaf display.
Interested in finding out more?