The trees have stopped producing green chlorophyll, making the yellows, oranges and reds come through. But don’t moan about the chillier weather causing this as it can increase the red hues as the chemicals in the leaves break down. Now is the time to get out there and enjoy one of the best displays in nature. Here are ten of the best walks for all the family to see the autumn in all its glory, from Glasgow to Golspie, the Borders to the Highlands.

BIG BURN, GOLSPIE

DISTANCE: 2½ miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED: 200ft.

TIME:  1½ to 2 hours.

MAP: OS Landranger 17.

PARK:  From the A9 at the north end of Golspie, after the Sutherland Arms and Sutherland Stonework, go left before a bridge. A narrow track leads to a car park.

IN SUMMARY: The Big Burn Walk from Golspie in Sutherland is one of the best short walks in the country. A wooded glen, narrow gorge and tumbling waterfall combine to make for a perfect stroll. Views include the 100ft monument built in 1834 to the First Duke of Sutherland on top of Ben Bhraggie. The Duke, and the Countess of Sutherland, oversaw the eviction of an estimated 15,000 tenants during the infamous Clearances.

BIRKS OF ABERFELDY

DISTANCE: 2 miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED: 600ft.

TIME: 1 to 2 hours.

MAP: OS Landranger 52.

PARK: From the centre of Aberfeldy, take the A826 Crieff road. After a few hundred yards you reach a stone bridge where you should turn right to enter a car park for the Birks of Aberfeldy.

IN SUMMARY: Immortalised by Robert Burns, the Birks of Aberfeldy have inspired countless visitors. Again, a mix of burn and a wooded gorge provides a great sight and keeps the legs working as you ascend to a bridge over a waterfall which throws water straight down below you. The recent wet weather means this walk is at its very best because the Moness Burn is running high, making plumes of spray from its waterfalls billow up into the sky.

FALLS OF CLYDE, NEW LANARK

DISTANCE:  6 miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED: 820ft.

TIME: 3½ to 4½ hours.

MAP: OS Landranger 71.

PARK: Reach the main car park for New Lanark World Heritage Site by following brown signs from the A73 in the centre of Lanark.

IN SUMMARY: New Lanark, is one of the most interesting industrial sites in Scotland. This World Heritage Site preserves the cotton mills of the 18th century. Beyond it are the Falls of Clyde, surrounded by huge trees currently displaying an array of vibrant colours. Many just walk up one side of the river and return the same way but it is possible to make a six mile circuit.

THREE BRETHREN, BORDERS

DISTANCE: 9 miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED: 1,300ft.

TIME: 4½ to 5 hours.

MAP: OS Landranger 73.

PARK: The Lindinny car park is just before Yair Bridge on the A707, 4½ miles from Selkirk.

IN SUMMARY: Misty mornings in the Borders are a regular feature of autumn. Walking up the rolling hills you can emerge out of the gloom and be rewarded with a sunlit carpet of cloud. Even without the mist, when the sun is low in the sky the view of the seemingly endless Southern Uplands from the summit of the Three Brethren is something to be savoured. The three 9ft cairns which stand over the trig point were erected at the start of the 16th century by the lairds of Yair, Selkirk and Philiphaugh to mark the boundary of their land.

GLEN TANAR, DEESIDE

DISTANCE: 5 miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED: 310ft.

TIME: 2 to 2½ hours.

MAP: OS Landranger 44.

PARK: Near the Glen Tanar Estate visitor centre, just over three miles from Aboyne.

IN SUMMARY: Glen Tanar has wonderful pinewoods which are home to the capercaillie and crossbill. Mixed woodland also abounds and is filled with the song of other birds. A number of waymarked routes lead you round the estate which means you can pass the old St Lesmo’s Chapel, the Knockie Viewpoint and the Water of Tanar – try the longest, “Old Pines”, route for the full experience.

CALLANDER TO FALLS OF LENY

DISTANCE: 5 miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED: 150ft.

TIME: 2 to 3 hours.

MAP: OS Landranger 57.

PARK: Callander Meadows car park is off the main street, opposite the Dreadnought Hotel.

IN SUMMARY: The Callander to Oban railway stopped running in 1965 but the track bed is now a great way to get enjoy some easy walking amid wonderful scenery. Once Callander is behind there are fantastic views of Ben Ledi ahead before the turbulent Falls of Leny are reached. The gorge through which the foaming water is forced is bordered by woodland which is currently putting on an autumnal display to match the performance of the river, aptly named Garbh Uisge (Gaelic for rough water).

POLLOK COUNTRY PARK, GLASGOW

DISTANCE: 2¾  miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED: 115 ft.

TIME: 1½ to 2 hours.

MAP: OS Landranger 64.

PARK: From the country park’s entrance on Pollokshaws Road follow the main drive all the way to the end to reach the Riverside Car Park, near Pollok House.

IN SUMMARY: This beautiful wide expanse of open space is covered in deciduous trees, creating a vibrant show at this time of year. It is also a good place to find conkers, meaning little ones can be occupied as you head up an avenue of limes and round to a wood and pond which once formed part of the Old Pollok Estate.

RIVER NORTH ESK, EDZELL

DISTANCE:  6 miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED:140 ft.

TIME: 2½ to 3½ hours.

MAP: OS Landrangers 44 and 45.

PARK: You should find a space on Edzell’s High Street, near the Post Office. Otherwise, head for the north end of the town to find a car park on the left, just over a mini-roundabout.

IN SUMMARY: A riverside stroll amid huge, gnarled trees in the the Angus Glens culminates in the dramatic rapids and waterfalls of a deep gorge. The poetically named Rocks of Solitude is a good place to watch salmon – but do watch out for the drops if with young children. Red squirrels can also be seen scurrying about as they prepare for winter.

KILMARTIN GLEN, ARGYLL

DISTANCE: 3¼ miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED: Negligible – one slope leading in and out of Kilmartin village.

TIME: 1½ to 2 hours.

MAP: OS Landranger 55.

PARK: At the Kilmartin House Museum in the centre of the village, 8 miles north of Lochgilphead on the A816.

IN SUMMARY: Kilmartin Glen has a tranquility which makes it a perfect place for a stroll as the light begins to get lower in the sky. The ethereal beauty is enhanced, especially when a light mist lingers, by ancient chambered cairns which can be explored along the way.

INCHEWAN BURN AND THE HERMITAGE, BIRNAM

DISTANCE: 6 miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED: 750ft.

TIME: 3½ to 4 hours.

MAP: OS Landranger 52 or 53.

PARK: There is plenty of parking in the centre of Birnam but you can also arrive by train – the walk starts at Dunkeld and Birnam Railway Station.
IN SUMMARY: The Hermitage near Dunkeld is a popular autumn destination, especially when the River Braan is full and waterfalls pound the rocks below a canopy of trees. By starting at the Inchewan Burn, flanked by beech outside Birnam, the anticipation of ever dramatic scenery is increased. After the Hermitage, the aptly named Rumbling Bridge is crossed before farmland gives views over Strath Tay.

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