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Things to do in autumn

Family walking on an autumn morning

Looking for things to do in Scotland this autumn? To help you get the most out of this beautiful season, heres a list of things to see and do at Trust places. Weve covered everything from fun family days out to relaxing autumnal walks and the perfect spots for wildlife watching, along with our favourite autumn and Halloween events (plus a few ideas for those inevitable rainy days).

Family days out

From play parks to nature exploring, here are some fun family adventures to enjoy this autumn.

1. Fall into autumn at Brodick Castle on Arran, and enjoy the festival of colours among its beautiful gardens, forest trails and adventure play park. Indoors, the brand-new Victorian arcade provides hours of fun and games for the young ... and young at heart!

2. For stunning scenery, few places rival Glencoe. Start your adventure in the newly refreshed visitor centre to discover tales about the famous glen and the incredible flora and fauna that make their home here. Then, head out onto the family-friendly trails to see it all for yourself.

3. Let off steam in two fantastic play areas at Brodie Castle in Moray. Enjoy climbing and sliding in the popular adventure playground, or explore the Playful Garden, filled with quirky characters and interactive fun. Stroll along one of our woodland walks to see red squirrels, or meander around the pond looking at the variety of wildfowl and dragonflies.

4. Dip into Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, and search the beach for starfish, sea urchins and crabs - if you’re really lucky, you might even see semi-precious stones such as amethyst or agate. Afterwards, tuck into tasty treats in one of the many eateries in the country park, and admire the wonderful treasures inside the castle itself.

Best autumn walks

Whether you prefer chasing waterfallsMunro-bagging or gentle forest walks in Scotland, take a walk on the wild side this autumn, whatever your ability.

5. Surround yourself with a beautiful woodland ablaze with colour at the Hermitage, Perthshire. The glorious golds, yellows and reds of the autumn foliage will lead you beneath giant Douglas firs to the charming Ossian’s Hall folly, which overlooks the dramatic Black Linn waterfall.

6. For those who enjoy an autumn break with more altitude, Goatfell on Arran provides a challenging 874m ascent that’s rewarded with perfect views across the island and out to sea. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy walking, climbing, nature-spotting and, if you’re feeling brave, wild swimming!

7. Colourful towering trees, deep gorges, cascading waterfalls and a ruined castle make Dollar Glen the perfect forest walk to escape everyday life - and it’s less than an hour from Edinburgh and Glasgow. Discover the fascinating habitats and geology of the glen, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

8. Corrieshalloch Gorge in Ross-shire is one of the most magnificent examples of its type in Britain. Standing on the Victorian suspension bridge, be awed by the series of crashing waterfalls below, and let the roar of the thundering waterfalls and rushing river rumble through you.

9. Enjoy a truly wild autumn holiday adventure in Kintail. A Highlands haven for high-intensity hiking enthusiasts, its network of trails leads you up and around the mountains (including the iconic Five Sisters), glens, lochs and coastline.

Wildlife spotting

Fancy yourself as a bit of a David Attenborough? Then here’s where to see the best of Scottish wildlife up close!

10. Grey Mare’s Tail in Dumfries & Galloway isn’t just home to one of the UK’s highest waterfalls, but it’s also where wildlife enthusiasts will get a thrill out of spotting rare upland plants, feral goats, peregrine falcons, ring ouzels and, if you’re lucky, ospreys fishing in Loch Skeen!

11. Treat yourself with a trip to the largest National Nature Reserve in the UK: Mar Lodge Estate in Aberdeenshire. In addition to being a haven for birdwatchers, the most breathtaking display comes in autumn when the red deer stags start to rut - experience the roaring and clashing of antlers echoing dramatically around the hills.

12. Animal spotters won’t forget Balmacara in a hurry! This Highland crofting estate is home to a wide range of wildlife species and charming Highland coos. There’s even the chance to spot seabirds, seals, otters, whales and dolphins with boat trips leaving from Kyle of Lochalsh and Plockton.

13. A trip to Killiecrankie in Perthshire provides a fascinating nature spotting opportunity. During not-uncommon wet spells (!), lucky ramblers will see leaping salmon in the falls beneath the famous Soldier’s Leap. With the leaves falling, you have a greater chance of spotting the elusive pine marten, as well as red squirrels and woodpeckers among the golden forest.

A stag in the Scottish Highlands

Rainy days

It wouldn’t be Scotland in autumn without a few (or numerous!) rainy days. And so, we’ve dedicated a whole page to things you can do when it’s teeming down out there. From stately homes and cliff-top castles to interactive museums and immersive battle experiences, there’s something to suit everyone.

Things to do on a rainy day

Autumn and Halloween events

Looking for a fun family adventure this Scottish half term, or a hair-raising Halloween experience? We’ve got you covered!

14. Families will love the Autumn Festival at Brodick Castle. You’ll enjoy a range of spectacular seasonal activities, including a scavenger hunt, scarecrow forest trail, historical ghost tour of the castle, and pumpkin carving ... perfect for Halloween!

15. Are you brave enough for Alloween at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire? Join our Ghostly Guided Walk around the Bard’s birthplace to Alloway’s Auld Haunted Kirk. Discover tales of hauntings, suspicious deaths, grave robbing and other ghastly goings-on.

16. Have a spook-tacular time with Halloween Crafts for Children at the Tenement House in Glasgow. Have a go at creating a scary mask or take home your very own gruesome ghost or petrifying pet spider.

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