Autumn in Argyll is magical. Take a wander in Argyll’s woodlands and you’ll be treated to a blaze of red, orange, yellow and gold. With frost in the air and the crackle of leaves under your feet, enjoy a sensational seasonal display. Here are some of the best walks in Argyll to experience the autumn leaves in Argyll.
Argyll's Secret Coast on the Cowal Peninsula is home to Glenan Wood, one of the finest remaining Atlantic oak woods in the country. It’s a magical place in autumn, a misty, mossy vision of lichened, gnarled broadleaf trees with stunning autumn leaves. If you follow the forest path up the hill, you’ll get a great view across the forest canopy to Loch Fyne beyond. Keep going and you’ll reach the deserted village at Glenan. Autumn is the best time of year to visit as the bracken has died back and the old buildings can clearly be seen.
Part of Argyll Forest Park, Glenbranter is a spectacular place to visit. See tumbling waterfalls and towering broadleaved and conifer trees, which showcase all the wonderful colours autumn has to offer. Follow the Waterfall Trail for incredible views of the waterfalls, which are even better after some autumn rain! Look out for wildlife; red squirrels are out and about stocking up on food for the cold winter months.
If you love autumn colours, then you can’t miss Benmore Botanic Garden near Dunoon. Check out the autumn colours on the Younger Memorial Walk, the approaches to Benmore House and borders around the pond and Formal Garden where the deciduous azaleas are especially effective, showing every autumnal shade imaginable. You could also head to nearby Puck’s Glen and follow the Puck’s Glen Gorge Trail. This magical route winds along a Victorian walkway up the dramatic rocky gorge. You’ll see towering trees and plenty of autumn colours. Warm up with somelocally roasted coffee by Argyll Coffee Roasters and homemade cake in Benmore Café.
Barnluasgan in Knapdale is a lovely spot, offering a mix of walking trails, peaceful lochs and wonderful wildlife - including resident beavers. Follow the Barnluasgan Oakwood Trail and you’ll see peaceful lochs, ancient oakwoods and you might spot a beaver – or at least evidence of their work. The trail explores the ancient woodlands between Loch Barnluasgan and Loch Linne. Wander among the native broadleaves and glimpse great views over Knapdale Forest, which is ablaze with red and orange leaves throughout autumn. If you would like to find out more about the beavers and their activities (and maybe even see one) why not join the Heart Of Argyll Wildlife Organisation on one of its guided walks?
The woodlands along the shores of Loch Awe are stunning in autumn, with a blaze of colours that reflect in the loch. Inverliever Forest is the oldest public forest in Scotland, covering 12,000 hectares around Loch Awe. At Barnaline a network of forest walks and cycle trails awaits you. Follow the Dalavich Oakwood Trail to explore Dalavich’s ancient Atlantic oakwoods.
Taynish National Nature Reserve
Taynish is a wonderful nature reserve near Tayvallich. Ancient oak woodlands, grassy glades, heath and shoreline provide an incredible landscape that’s full of wildlife. The Woodland Trail will takes you through the oak woods, which come alive in a riot of colour in autumn. You’ll see the vibrant russets, reds and ochres of oak, birch, willow and alder. For a more strenuous walk, try the Barr Mor Trail. The steep climb is rewarded with fabulous views.