Scotland in Autumn

Travel tips | 28 September 2020

Not many people realise that September and October can be the best time to visit Scotland. Smaller crowds and vivid colours all round are two obvious reasons why, but in this blog post we’ll dive deeper into why you should book your next Scottish trip for the fall.

One of the most common misconceptions about Scotland in autumn is that the weather suddenly becomes cold and wet. Although Scottish aura remains famously unpredictable for the whole year, autumns in the past few years blessed us with warm temperatures and rain-free spells comparable to the ones of summer. Don’t get us wrong – it’s always good to expect the unexpected when planning a trip to Scotland, but especially September and October should be seen as fully enjoyable months for travellers.

Why visit in autumn?

There are many factors that compensate for the summer warmth of the peak-season. Autumn days still last long, allowing us to pack them full of adventures under the clear blue skies. If you fancy exploring nature spots, the reds and yellows mix with the evergreen on hillsides and mountain slopes, and the air carries earthy smells unique to the season. The lack of midges is also an important factor – for us the temperature is still mild (and with a good jumper and rain jacket you should be good all the way into November), but the little guys give up when it gets slightly colder. But not only nature makes Scottish autumn special. Travelling in the off-season means smaller crowds at visitor attractions, lower accommodation prices and better chances to have the more remote places for yourself.

Scotland in Autumn - Callander
Scotland in Autumn - Bridge

What to do?

There are so many things to see and experience! You can embark on a hike along the West Highland Way and take in the autumn palette in the Trossachs and Highlands. In Galloway Forest Park you might want to look out for bright stars and Northern Lights in Britain’s first Dark Sky Park. And there’s no better time to try wildlife spotting and photography, for instance in the Cairngorms National Park where red deer stags compete during rutting season. Fall is also a great time for a city break, with changing colours providing a great background to inspiring events like the Stirling’s crime-writing festival Bloody Scotland and Scottish International Storytelling Festival held in Edinburgh every October.

There’s something for everyone in Scottish autumn: from a romantic getaway to a fun mid-term family break. With a bit of planning (or friendly guides who’ll do it for you) it can truly be the best time to visit Scotland!