Best places to visit in the Autumn in the Highlands | Loch Ness 360

Best Places to Visit in the Autumn when on the Loch Ness 360 ° Trail

If you are looking for some of the best places to visit in the Autumn, when on the Loch Ness 360 ° Trail, then read on. Here we have pulled together a list of where we think you would love to visit when you visit us here in the Highlands. Crunching leaves, earthy smells and a canvas of red, gold and yellow… a Scottish experience to behold.

The Great Glen Way

No matter what time of year you visit, The Great Glen Way is truly spectacular. This fabulous trail forms part of the North Side of the Loch Ness 360 trail leading you through some of Scotlands most beautiful scenery. Connecting Fort Augustus and Dores you can walk run or cycle it and are guaranteed to have an experience of a lifetime. Given this side of the trail is high up you get magnificent views of the Autumn scenery and Loch Ness below. Furthermore, you can choose to explore the full length of this section. Or you can simply meander parts of it at your own leisure. Snaking through the dramatic landscape the beauty of this trail in Autumn is breathtaking. Absorb scenes, as you ramble along… golden trees licking the lochside and river, enveloping picturesque pathways and carpeting the landscape around you. High on the north side of the trail colours of yellow and gold blanket the valley, hugging the loch. As a result, making this one of the best Autumn destinations in Scotland.

The River Moriston surrounded br Autumnal trees on the Great Glen Way
The River Moriston in Autumn

Deer Rutting Season

Being one of our famous occupants in Scotland and drawing many visitors, this is a great time of year to spot deer. Autumn marks the beginning of the Deer Rutting Season. To explain, this is when red stags gather groups of female deer to mate with. And of course, with other stags to contend with, frictions rise for the female attention. Thus resulting in a battle. During this dramatic act the stags roar and lock antlers in an exhausting feat. Consequently, they can lose up to 20% of their body weight. And the winner then has the task of covering his ladies! If you are lucky, from September to early November, you can hear the sounds of this battle as it commences as you are unlikely to see it. But remember, if you do, stay safe, stay quiet, keep a distance, keep dogs on leads and respect these magnificent animals.

Two stags rutting with one another
Stags rutting

Invermoriston’s famous bridge

As you head north of Fort Augustus, 7 miles along, you enter the small village of Invermoriston. Arching across the River Moriston, and built-in 1813, is the Thomas Telford bridge. Formally, it was used to bridge the road between Drumnadrochit and Fort Augustus. Since a new bridge has been built and the public can now walk across the original and stand in awe of the dramatic scene that unfolds beneath you. As you can imagine this place is spectacular in the Autumn time. Trees cocoon the ravine and beneath the falls put on an exuberant display. Additionally, at this time you can watch the salmon leaping as they make their way upstream to reproduce. Early morning and evening, especially after rain are the best times to see this in action.

Invermoriston Thomas Telford bridge surrounded by Autumnal tress
Invermoriston Thomas Telford bridge in Autumn

Cruise your way along Loch Ness

There is no better way to absorb a large expanse of Autumn landscape than with a cruise along Loch Ness. Jacobite Cruises in Dochgarroch and Cruise Loch Ness in Fort Augustus offer a fabulous experience. As you cruise the waters the vista before you is dressed in Autumnal colours. Therefore, making this one the best places to see autumn leaves in all their glory. And if you are lucky you may spot our famous monster lurking beneath the dark waters beneath you trying to catch a glimpse!

A view up Loch Ness from a cruise boat
A view from a Cruise going along Loch Ness

Falls of Foyer

South of Loch Ness is the breathtaking Falls of Foyer. Here this dramatic gorge is home to a spectacular waterfall and is one of the best places to visit in the Autumn. A short walk along a well-maintained path guides you down a steep slope. Here you end up at a viewpoint overlooking the falls. Gasp in awe as this 140ft waterfall plunges to the deep, dark pool below. Trees and vegetation burst from the surrounding rocks and landscape, dressing this scene in colours of red, gold, yellow and brown in the Autumn. And a little drive on you can stop for refreshments in a magical tearoom. Cameron’s Tearoom serves up delicious food in a spectacular, secluded location and is well worth a visit.

The Falls of Foyer in the Autumn
Falls of Foyer in Autumn

Loch Tarff

Coming from Fort Augustus and just before the Falls of Foyer lies Loch Tarff which is stunning in the Autumn. Encased by rolling hills and lush landscape you find your own little piece of heaven. In Autumn the loch is swathed by Autumn colours creating a place of beauty and tranquillity to escape to. Here you can walk a section of the south section of the Loch Ness 360 trail. From here you have a spectacular view as the path meanders gently up the hillside. Blanketed beneath you is an array of bursting vibrant colour.

Loch Tarff in the Autumn with golden bracken in the foreground
Loch Tarff in Autumn

Dores

No trip is complete without a trip to Dores. Situated on the East side of Loch Ness this famous pebbled beach is home to the famous viewpoint up the loch. Additionally, it is home to the famous Nessie hunter Steve Feltham whose caravan nestles on the shores. Furthermore, you can have a go at some Nessie hunting yourself through the binoculars stationed on the beach. And if you want to stretch your legs you can follow a circular walk then enjoy some refreshments at The Dores Inn. Given its location the Autumnal views here are spectacular. Mountainous hills drop either side of the loch crowning it in flourishing colours of Autumn.

The pebbled beach at Dores
Dores beach with the famous view up Loch Ness

Wildlife

And of course, any location you visit this Autumn you can look out for some of our famous wildlife along the way. Red squirrels, deer, pheasants, salmon, Highland cows, otters, eagles are just a handful of what you can spot. As you meander the golden landscape and absorb the views keep an eye out for what may make a special appearance. Important to point out is respecting animals and their environment so they can live in peace while we enjoy seeing them.

A red squirrel
A red squirrel among Autumn leaves

Loch Ness 360 Trail

Much of the surrounding areas of Loch Ness can be explored via the Loch Ness 360 trail. And there is no better time than Autumn to explore when the landscape is at its most spectacular. Explore all six sections or simply sample parts. Whatever you choose to see and do we can guarantee that Autumn in the Highlands is an unforgettable experience. We look forward to welcoming you!

Running in the Scottish Highlands
The Loch Ness 360 Trail

Accommodation

So if you plan to come and visit this Autumn you will be looking for accommodation. And with an abundance of places to stay, you are spoilt for choice. Here you can explore a variety of options such as hotels, self-catering, camping, guesthouses, hostels and more. Wherever you choose to stay you are sure to have a memorable trip when you visit this stunning part of the world.

Loch Ness 360° Challenge

It is with much sadness that we announce that the Loch Ness 360° Challenge has been postponed and will now take place for the first time in 2021.

We have set provisional dates for the 28th, 29th and 30th of May 2021. Please contact us to transfer or amend your entry.

See here for more details >>