A golden autumn in the heart of Scotland

I love that we have seasons. They might be a little bit out of season these days, but we’re still lucky to see the changing landscape around us here in Scotland. I think of it as a natural magical changing land.

The once green leaves on the trees are showing us their true autumn colours. They fall off their branches and carpet our land in red, gold, brown and yellow.

The autumn colours where I live in Ayrshire are still finding themselves though … so many green leaves and fern are still lingering in the hope that they can stay a little longer. Don’t they know that winter is coming! It has been really mild weather, so possibly this is confusing nature a little.

At the beginning of October we drove up north to Perthshire for the day.Β I’d heard that Perthshire is a must see place, especially in autumn. This shire is also known as big tree country.Β  Autumn wasn’t quite ready for us, so we returned at the end of October to capture its stunning magic. I’ll show you a mix of photos from both trips.

Watch a video of Perthshire

You can also have a wee look at a video I made of our visit to Perthshire. I hope you enjoy it along with my story andΒ photos below.

Perthshire, Scotland from Love Exploring Scotland on Vimeo.

The Hermitage

The Hermitage in Dunkeld is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Scotland. It has been a popular place to visit for over 200 years and was designed as a pleasure groundΒ in the 18th century for theΒ Dukes of Atholl. This area is totally big tree country with Douglas Firs being some of the tallest in Britain. The woodlands are looked after by the National Trust for Scotland and it’s free to explore.

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As soon as we arrived I don’t know how many times I said the word ‘wow’. I planned to practise with my camera using manual settings and a tripod. Every corner I turned I had to stop and take photos.

There are a variety of walks to choose from with longer walks being an option if you wish. This part of Perthshire has over 30 miles of trails to explore.

As I walked through the woodlands, surrounded by the tallest of trees, I felt like I was in an enchanted wood. It reminded me of childhood stories I read by Enid Blyton about the magic faraway tree.

Autumn at The Hermitage is a contrasting mix of greens, yellows, golds and browns.

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As I wandered deeper into the woods it became even more beautiful.

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I walked under this magnificent bridge and couldn’t believe there was yet more breathtaking beauty in front of my eyes. I took far too many photos, but you can see why! My husband took many photos too, so it was a joint effort.

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As I approached the folly Ossian’s Hall,Β built in 1757, it looked like you couldn’t open the door at first.

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Then I walked into the most amazing real life picture of the Black Linn Falls.

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If I was living in Middle Earth I would have thought I’d found the Eleven Realm Rivendell. The powerful water was rushing down the River BraanΒ very loudly. There was going to be a wedding taking place here that day. I started to wonder if the couple would hear each other saying “I do” …

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If you’re lucky you might even see salmon jumping up the falls. I did see one but didn’t catch it on camera.

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I started to wonder who or what Ossian was? This year I’ve seen this name at a few places. There was Ossian’s cave at Glencoe, Ossian’s cave on the Isle of Arran, now Ossian’s cave at the Hermitage. There’s also Loch Ossian.

Dictionary.com has this definition:

“a legendary hero and poet and son of Finn, who is supposed to have lived during the 3rd century a.d., represented in Gaelic poems and in imitations of them written by James Macpherson in the 18th century”

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Can you see anything unusual about this tree stump?

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Look at all the coins wedged into the wood. So, money does grow on trees after all?

We followed the woodland path looking for Ossian’s cave next. Everywhere I turned the trees, fern, moss, water and rocks impressed me.

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When we reached Ossian’s cave I got a bit of a fright. I peeked my head into the cave window at the back and someone was inside.

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I walked round to the front of the cave and the sunlight was shining in, highlighting the back of the cave. Now, to me, the highlighted rock at the back looks like a face of a man with a beard, half closed eyes and smiling. Can you see it?

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ThisΒ artificial cave was built aroundΒ 1785. It was added to enhance the visitor’s experience.Β The rocks in the photo below are known as Ossian’s Seat. They are perched on the banks of the River Braan. A large high seat with a view!

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Rumbling bridge

We continued along the Braan Walk (green waymarkers) to the Rumbling Bridge.

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These woods were definitely starting to look like Middle Earth … the trees have faces!

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We eventually came out of the woods and into the open land. The trees and fern were slightly changing colour. I felt lucky we had this lovely day to explore, especially in October!

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The Rumbling Bridge very was high. I felt dizzy looking down both sides of the bridge, but liked watching a little leaf floating down towards the water.



We found yet more beautiful woodlands near the Rumbling Bridge.

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Our last stop was the breathtaking Killiecrankie woodland gorge to take some photos of the little green footbridge over the River Garry.

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There’s a car park at the Garry road bridge then you have access to a beautiful river and woodland walks.

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This area is known as the Linn of Tummel where the River Garry and River Tummel meet. There was a signpost under the bridge listing the following walks:

  • Killiecrankie visitor centre (25 mins)
  • Soldier’s Leap (5-10 mins from the visitor centre)
  • Coronation Bridge (40 mins each way)
  • Falls viewpoint (20 mins each way)

Sadly we didn’t have time to explore these walks but we did walk down to the green footbridge. That was an experience. There was a sign saying no more than 10 people at a time on the bridge. I was standing taking photos and four people walked past me, I could feel the bridge bounce.Β Beautiful though!

The Garry road bridge is a popular place to bungee jump or drop and swing. Bungee Jump Scotland is the place to visit if you fancy trying this. It’s a long drop down …

A group of people were dropping and swinging off the bridge and I recorded someone dropping:

It looked so scary but also fun, I think. Could this be a new peak challenge for me next year?Β I’m not sure if I could do it. Would you?

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I loved it here, it was so calm and peaceful (after the screams). It was mesmerizing sitting on the rocks and watching the golden leaves float down the river.

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We had to leave though as it was a two hour drive back home again.Β You can also visit theΒ Enchanted Forest in autumn. Faskally wood in Pitlochry is transformed into a magical experience of light and sound and well worth seeing. We’ve been twice before and loved it.

This post is a small snapshot of two day trips to this beautiful shire, there’s so much more see. Check out the Visit Perthshire website.

The heart of Scotland has totally captured my heart.

Thanks for reading.

Dawn-Marie x

156 Replies to “A golden autumn in the heart of Scotland”

    1. Thanks for reading Ellen! Sorry to hear you can’t explore the woods now. I’m happy that my story, video and photos helped you feel it again πŸ˜ƒ


    1. Thank you! Glad you liked it Evan! Keep at your blog, it’s a great way to get your thoughts of your head. I love that you’re having a social media detox! Find something that you’ve always wanted to do and make it come true. It will open new doors for you and you’ll meet new friends too. Then you can also blog about it. YouTube is fine, it’s like watching the TV πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I’m pleased that you like it. The fact that you’ve commented is a great compliment. It’s nice to know I’m doing something for everyone else to enjoy as well πŸ™‚


  1. I played the video while reading the blog, and I must say I feel mesmerized. Thank you so much for recreating your moments for us to experience the same. The pictures seem surreal, I am sure it was magic in reality.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks so much for reading and watching. I’m so happy that you liked the video and photos. I’m still learning about video and I’m trying to share Scotland in its most magical way. It certainly feels magical to me and we all need that little bit of escapsim. I felt exactly the same way as you feel when I visited here πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing, The walks mentioned here are defiantly on my bucket list now πŸ™‚ I shared this post on my Facebook. Great photography.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Wow” These pictures and the heart of Scotland are so beautiful. Now I know why the Scottish settled my neck of the woods. I was hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, between Tennessee and North Carolina in the USA. I feel as though I would be totally at home in the woods in Scotland. Of course, the tree species are different, but the feel, the soil, the rocks in the streams, the trees are so similar.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hello! Thanks for reading πŸ™‚ It was the first time I’d seen this place and I was overwhelmed by its natural beauty. Even though I live in Scotland, I’ve a lifetime of exploring still to do! I’d read that North Carolina and Scotland were similar in landscape. Have you heard of the TV series Outlander? The story takes you to North Carolina, but they are filming these scenes in Scotland. The beautiful landscape is similar and easier as the filming studios are in Cumbernauld, near Glasgow in Scotland. I love walking in the woodlands, listening to wind through the trees, so peaceful and relaxing. Have a lovely weekend πŸ™‚


  4. I’ve driven past signs for the hermitage in perthshire a few times and always wondered what it was! next time I will have to stop

    Liked by 4 people

  5. My stomach plummets just watching that bungee jumping video! Beautiful place to do it though! My husband and I are planning a trip to Scotland hopefully a year from now, I will have to check in to your blog for ideas on where to go!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Hi Lingyun, I agree πŸ˜ƒ, tis a beautiful place to jump! I’m still not sure if I could do it though… There’s so much to see and do here. Remember and check out the VisitScotland website too for inspiration on where to visit http://www.visitscotland.com. Have a wonderful time when you visit πŸ˜ƒ


  6. Wow, absolutely lovely! As a nature lover, I really appreciate the lovely photo and videos in this post. Thank you for sharing. In gratitude from New Jersey, USA πŸ’–

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks so much for reading and liking Euphoric πŸ™‚ I was overwhelmed by its beauty too. There’s a whole Scotland out there for me to explore. I wish I could retire now and enjoy more of it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading! It was my first visit and I was in awe of its beauty. Sadly I didn’t get to sit on the benches for long … we were short for time and it was busy with people. I really wanted to though. Maybe the next time πŸ™‚


      1. Aha… i just felt the scene, how nice!!! surrounds by such beauty with no disturbance, as looked at the bench in the pic… it’s like feeling the life…right!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Scotland is my dream. I absolutely adore it from what I’ve seen in pictures and the show outlander. This post is a beautiful display of the country. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for reading and liking! I love Outlander too! Watching the series has shown me places in Scotland I’ve never seen before. Even though I live here I’m even more inspired to discover new places. I hope you get to visit one day. Make that dream come true πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! I love sharing Scotland and if others like my posts too then I’ve achieved something good and inspiring. I hope you visit Scotland one day, make it happen πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m so happy you like my photos. I’m still learning how to use my camera better, but Scotland really helps me capture her beauty. Have a lovely weekend πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The pictures were so beautiful! I miss the changing autumn colors. I grew up in New Hampshire and loved the seasons! Now I’m in Texas and don’t have that anymore. Thank you for sharing! I would love to visit Scotland one day!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for reading and I’m so pleased you enjoyed my photos. It’s sometimes difficult to capture on camera what you see with your eyes. The changing seasons are so amazing. I hope you visit Scotland one day, make it come true πŸ™‚


  9. The UK is so beautiful! I was in England last year (I’m Canadian) and I really wanted to go over to Scotland but I just didn’t have the time. I hope to visit one day πŸ™‚ Europe is amazing.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for reading Eunice! So pleased you like my photos. I love the contrast of the woodlands and then the open land too. I love sharing Scotland πŸ™‚


      1. I had a camping holiday in Scotland four years ago, staying first at a site at Luss on Loch Lomond. I took several lovely photos along the road before Glencoe but I found Glencoe itself rather foreboding in spite of the sunshine so I just drove through without stopping. I stayed at a lovely beach-side site just outside Arisaig, the views and white sand beaches in that area were gorgeous and I got some fabulous shots. I’m hoping it won’t be too long before I can get up there for another visit as there’s so much more to explore πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Sounds lovely! I’ve camped at Loch Lomond, once at Luss many years ago, then at the east side of the loch at Cashel campsite. Beautiful walks there! I love Glencoe but I know what you mean, the mountains tower over you. Arisaig is beautiful, I’ve camped at Camusdarach campsite a few times. So much to explore as you say, there’s a whole Scotland out there! πŸ™‚


      1. I love this kind of videos. Which makes me feel i am actually at that place.. Feel real ❀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, that’s the best compliment I could wish for! I love that you feel as if you’re there πŸ˜ƒ


  10. Lovely post.
    I feel so lucky to have all of these places within a 30 minute drive of the house.

    Liked by 9 people

  11. Hello. Really nice account. I went there not so long ago but there were so many people it was hard to squeeze myself in.
    Love this place, the ancient woodlands and the colours.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you! It was really busy for us too. We had to linger around and wait to take photos. Events were happening both times we visited too. The second time we arrived about 9am and it was starting to get busy even at that time! Beautiful place though 😍

      Liked by 1 person

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