The Autumn Equinox is approaching, the nights are fair drawing in and the leaves are beginning to turn, it’s time to look forward to conkers, jumping on leaf piles and enjoying the colours and wildlife. Here’s our recommendations for the best places in Perthshire for seeing Autumn Colours, Red Squirrels, the Salmon Leap and the Deer Rut

Autumn Colours

Lady Mary's Walk, Crieff

Perthshire is Big Tree Country there’s so much choice to see the trees and bushes put on their autumn attire.  Lady Mary’s Walk in Crieff is a great place to see the colours. The avenue of trees is an explosion of colours cloaking the whole route which takes you alongside the river with some quirky themed benches along the way. Starting in Taylor Park the circular walk will take you alongside the River Earn through an avenue of mature trees, and then on the old drove roads where cattle would’ve been taken to and from market, before returning to your start point.

The circular walk is about 3 ½ miles / 5.6 km and takes about 2 to 2 ½ hours. There are two access points: an all access route leading from Taylor Park up Milnab Street to Laggan Road on your left, follow this along for approx. ¼ mile/ 400m and you will see the signs to the path. The other route is directly across from Taylor Park that goes over a rough section not suitable for wheelchairs. There are a few steep slopes and resting places. An easier route is to go out & back alongside the river. There is parking in the village. Buses - no 15 from Perth and no 47 to Stirling will bring you to the town.

Red Squirrel

Cluny House Gardens, near Aberfeldy

Cluny House Gardens is the best site in Perthshire to spot red squirrels. These brightly coloured wee mammals are busy gathering food and storing it for winter (assuming they can remember where they left it!). Cluny House Gardens are a fantastic place to see squirrels scampering around the ground and dancing up trees, not too mentioned chattering at you if you disturb them! Watch them as they run through the canopy of this wonderful wild woodland garden and around Britain’s widest tree, a 130-year-old giant redwood. You can also enjoy the wonderful autumn colours around the gardens as the leaves and berries change their colours.

Cluny House Gardens are on the road between Weem & Strathtay. There is a small charge of £5 per person to support the upkeep of these beautiful grounds and donations towards squirrel food are much appreciated too. They're open 10am - 4pm mid February - mid November. Postcode: PH15 2JT

Salmon Leap

Killiecrankie Path

It’s that time of year when the salmon head back to their spawning ground and perform great leaps out the water to tackle tough bits of river. A great place to see them is where the Rivers Garry and Tummel meet and there’s an early example of a salmon ladder nearby. You can get there on the Killiecrankie path which then takes you past the Soldier’s Leap where you can wonder, could you have done it? It continues through the forests and villages of Moulin & Pitlochry and brings you alongside the River Tummel, Loch Faskally and River Garry.

A circular 18.5 km/ 11 mile walk which will take approx. 5 hours.  There are a number of car parks   - one at the Killiecrankie Visitor Centre which is run by the National Trust for Scotland and there are other car parks near Garry Bridge, Clunie Power Station, and Pitlochry. Bus no 23 goes from Perth to Pitlochry. The Megabus M91 also stops in the village.

Deer Rut

Carie & Rannoch Forests

The roar of a stag echoing through the woods is quite something to be heard. The male deer will spend his time in autumn roaming his area and giving the distinctive bellow to attract females and let other males know he’s there. Get two rutting males together and there’s likely to be a fight. You don’t want to get too close. You can hear (& maybe see if you’re lucky) the stags strutting their stuff in the Carie & Rannoch Forests. There are three walks to choose from the short Carie Trail, the slightly longer Kilvrecht Trail and the longer moderate going Allt na Bognair Trail. The trails take you through remnants of the ancient Caledonia Forest and gives great views of Loch Rannoch.

Carie Trail, a circular ½ mile / 800 m walk that takes approx. 15 mins

Kilvrecht Trail, a circular ¾ mile / 1.2 km walk that takes approx. 30 mins

Allt na Bognair Trail, a circular 5 miles / 8 km that takes 3 hrs with an uphill climb

There’s parking near the start of the walk. Buses – no 82 goes from Pitlochry to Kinloch Rannoch village.