August in Scotland is often summed up by the ‘Glorious 12th’. But it is not just the 12th that is glorious. The months of August and into September/October are some of the best times to experience Scotland’s rich and varied wildlife, as well as enjoy the spectacular landscape.
Insta-worthy landscape shots
The leaves start to change to a rich golden colour in early Autumn and by the end of October, are a spectacular russet red – giving you a big window of opportunity to see them in all their glory. Despite Scotland being known for its evergreens, forests and mountains are a stunning array of purples, oranges and golds, making them just breath-taking. Couple this with the deep blue lochs and rivers and you’re onto a winner.
Perthshire is particularly special – being know as ‘Big Tree Country’ as well as being home to the highest hedge in the world – measuring 30m tall. Delighted we’re not the ones responsible for maintaining that!
There is an abundance of wildlife throughout the year, but Autumn is particularly good for wildlife – including spotting the very cute grey seal. They’re most prevalent on the islands off the west coast but you’ll also find them all over. Ideal seal spotting areas include.
- Outer fringes of Shetland and Orkney
- The west coast of the Outer Hebrides
- Outer islands in the Inner Hebrides
- Outer sandbanks in the Firth of Tay and the Moray Firth
Large groups of pregnant grey seal females return to traditional breeding sites on rocky coasts in the autumn to give birth, so you may be in luck and see some new-borns too.
Red deer are Scotland’s largest surviving native wild land mammal. Generally, they are found in small groups, however the Autumn rut sees them become solitary animals while they fight other stags for control of a hind herd. They are found in their thousands in upland forests and moorlands throughout Scotland.
Recently released back into the Scottish wilderness is the hard to catch sight of, beaver. Found mostly in Argyll, they are nocturnal animals who, when they’re not building dams or foraging, are sleeping. So, if you are lucky enough to spot, make sure you get a picture!
The Highlands are a haven for red squirrels. You’re most likely see them first thing in the morning or early evening, as they’re not big fans of the heat (even although it’s Autumn in Scotland!). We recently learnt that they have rather bad memories which is why you will often see them trying to relocate their hidden stash!
One aspect of ‘wildlife’ you’ll not be sad to miss is the midge! They’re at their most irritating from early to late summer so you should be free from the wee blighters. (Top tip – should you encounter any, Avon skin so soft is the best anti-midge spray). There’s also the Midge Forecast site just in case you want to double check.
The team at Haggis do love their food and take every opportunity to enjoy it whatever the season!
Harvest time is weather dependent but throughout August and September there is a huge choice across every food category. The apples, plums, pears and damsons are at their finest and make wonderful jams and desserts. Although there is Spring lamb in April, as the season progresses, the flavour develops, and autumn lamb is delicious. Look for farm shops on your travels to stock up.
From game to squash, shellfish to blackberries, this is a brilliant time to explore Scotland’s natural larder.
If you would like to explore Scotland in the Autumn, get in touch and we can help you get the best out of your trip.