Highland Perthshire: a fantastic fall getaway

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

Traveling once fall hits is ideal, as the offseason has begun. The changing leaves, idyllic weather, lack of tourist throngs and shorter lines are just some of the many reasons you should venture out for a trip once fall begins. Highland Perthshire is tucked away in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by scenic mountains, deep glens and an abundance of trees in the midst of changing colors. 

Highland Perthshire is made up of five towns: Aberfeldy, Blair Atholl, Dunkeld, Pitlochry and Rannoch. They are all within a 30-minute drive of each other and are a great place for a vacation. Get in touch with nature and marvel at the various wildlife in the area, including eagles, woodpeckers, deer, squirrels and more. 

Take a hike near Dunkeld on the Atholl Woods Path. Start at the Cally car park and get ready for some stunning scenery. On this three and a half hour hike, you’ll see the waters of Mill Dam and the loch. Ducks and herons can often be found here. Venture through the forest and marvel at the towering trees. At just under seven miles, this hike is a great way to spend part of your day. 

For some indoor fun, head to Bells Blair Athol Distillery in Pitlochry. It’s one of the oldest in Scotland, founded in 1798 and located at the foothills of the Grampian mountains. Here you’ll find whiskies created from a select blend of grain. Then the distillery adds flavors like smoky sea salt or sweet malt to make the perfect flavor. There are various tours available, starting at 9.50 pounds per person. 

If you’d like to see a castle on your trip, and I’d highly recommend it in this area, head to Blair Castle & Gardens. This ancient seat of dukes and earls originated in the 13th century. Today you can explore 30 rooms and journey through the history of the Atholl family. Collections of furniture, china, clothing, weapons and portraits tell a tale of the lives of adventurers, politicians, entrepreneurs, soldiers, and agriculturalists, all who lived within the castle. Outside the castle, you’ll find a gorgeous walled garden that spans nine acres, a wooded grove, ruins and a gothic folly. Open daily, tickets are 13 pounds per person or 7.70 pounds for only the gardens. 

If you have a sweet tooth, head to Iain Burnett The Highland Chocolatier. Learn about how cocoa is turned into delicious chocolate and if you’re hungry, take an audio-guided chocolate tasting tour. Don’t leave without stocking up on dark velvet truffles, cocoa nib pralines and sea salted caramel hearts. This chocolate lover’s paradise is a perfectly planned stop on your fall adventure. 

If you have the pleasure of visiting between Oct. 3 – Nov. 3, don’t miss The Enchanted Forest, a magical autumn woodland in Faskally Wood. Immerse yourself in a whimsical land where original music score, dazzling lights and nature come together creating the perfect ambiance. This year’s theme is “Cosmos - Look up and be inspired.” While you enjoy your surroundings, grab a bite to eat from local catering firm Lov Events. They will be on-site with pizza, burgers, sweet treats and more. Tickets should be purchased in advance online and cost 20 pounds per adult or 10 pounds per child. 

With so many delightful options to choose from, how can you say no to a trip to Scotland? Stroll through the forest, admire a beautiful castle, drink some whiskey or indulge in some chocolate while exploring Highland Perthshire. There’s no better time to travel than when there’s a distinct nip in the air and gorgeous red, orange and yellow trees on the horizon!

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