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As the summer season draws to a close, the days become shorter, and the weather makes a change.  There is still good reason to head to the Highlands for a wee autumn break though and here at the Lovat, we have pulled together what we think are the 5 best reasons to visit the Highlands in Autumn.

1.   Beautiful surroundings.

Autumn is that time of year where mother nature brings out the light show.  All the beautiful colours on the trees and foliage highlight the beauty in every corner turned.  The landscape is at its most photogenic, for anyone with a keen photography passion, or just a romantic selfie with you and your partner.  All routes, whether that by vehicle or by foot, have changed from the month before.  You’ll see the slight snow dusting at the top of the mountains, while the leaves slowly start to colour the ground in a patchwork pattern.  The smell of log fires coming from the chimneys of cottages, fog gently kissing the surface of the lochs.  How poetic!  It’s a beautiful time to visit the Highlands.

2.   Local walks.

As stated in reason 1, it’s beautiful in Autumn.  The local walks are individual works of art, the colours, the fog and the snow caps.  Many of the walks are surrounded by untouched nature, the paths lined by foliage.  A slight chill in the air and the low sun makes a wonderful experience whilst trekking through woodland.  As the main tourist season has come to an end, you’ll find the local walks quieter, the undergrowth is less trampled. Which in turn means you’ll have a higher chance of seeing more wildlife and to top it all off…there are no midges!

3.   Foraging.

Due to the weather, autumn is the season for mushrooms, berries, nettles, and herbs.  Our chefs forage all year round to find and add ingredients to our ever-changing menus in our Brasserie. We’ve also been known to forage for cocktail decoration at our Waypoint Bar.

Before you start your foraging adventure, you must research on how to forage responsibly and safely.  It is vital to avoid damaging wildlife habitats or rare species, please check you’re allowed to forage in your chosen area before you start to pick.  Ensure you leave plentiful behind for the wildlife and only take what you plan to eat.  Be careful as you forage not to damage the roots or plants in which you pick from.

There are many guides and books available to purchase on foraging if this is your first time, always positively identify the plant before picking and never eat any plant you’re unsure of.  There are many foraging wonders to find in the Highlands but also many dangers.  Make sure you research before you start.

4.   Special deals.

During the Autumn months everything starts to wind down from a busy summer, the roads are empty, the towns are quieter. This also means that Autumn is an ideal time to catch a great accommodation deal in one of the many hotels and B&B’s in the Highlands.  Always research the local chosen area to see what deals are available.

There are many search engines and websites that you can book accommodation through but to find the best deals it worth contacting the hotel or B&B directly.  Here at the Lovat, you’ll find our best deal on our website or contacting the hotel and speaking to our reservations team.

5.   Wildlife.

Saving the best reason for last. The wildlife in its natural habitat.  There is less footfall through the towns and villages in the Autumn months so the chances of seeing wildlife is greater.  Autumn is the breeding season for deer so there will be many viewing opportunities and sightings of these beautiful charming animals.

Due to the forests being quieter, the sightings of red squirrel and pine martin increase.  But you’ll have to be quick because they won’t stand around posing for your camera.  Also, birds of prey such as kites, falcons, and eagles will be governing the skies in search of food.  Please remember to be respectful of the wildlife and their surrounds, this is their home, not yours.

Here at the Lovat, we truly believe there are many good reasons to visit the Highlands in the autumn months, our top 5 are just a small selection.  We recommend that you come for yourself and find your top 5 reasons!

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Post by Dan Mitchell

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