During the height of summer, visitors to Scotland can be found the entire length and breadth of the country, and it is a lovely time to visit. However, the canny travellers are starting to recognise that the period from October to the end of April may actually be the best time to experience this magnificent land.

Affric Autumn
Loch Affric early Autumn

The changing seasons bring drama to the Scottish Highlands. As summer fades and the days grow shorter there is a pronounced change in the landscape. During October the trees start to take on a

River Affric
River Affric

glorious golden hue, and by late October the colours can be truly spectacular.

One of our favourite locations is Glen Affric. Often described as Scotlands most beautiful glen, this is an area of wonderful natural beauty. This special location is within an easy drive from Inverness, and can easily be combined with a visit to Loch Ness.

It is popular with walkers and photographers as it delivers a classic landscape with perfectly-placed lochs, towering mountains and a mix of pine, birch and oak trees.

It is an excellent example of the Caledonian Forest that once covered much of Scotland. Wildlife thrives and the whole glen is protected as a National Nature Reserve.

As much as we like Glen Affric in the Summer, we truly believe it shows its best during the Autumn, Winter and Spring months.

The Autumn colours usually start to appear in early October and over a period of about 6 weeks the landscape is a riot of golden hues.

Trees in autumnal colours beside the river Ness
River Ness In Autumn Colours
The view over Loch Ness
Loch Ness View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn colour in the woodland in Cawdor woods
Cawdor Burn
The sun is setting over Loch Ness
Sunset at Loch Ness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Autumn gives way to winter, so the landscape changes once again. Snow appears on the mountains and as temperatures drop so more of the landscape is covered in a beautiful white blanket.

Snow covered mountains at Glencoe
Snow at Glencoe

Close to Inverness is Cairngorm National Park. The UK’s largest National Park is located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands and in addition to stunning scenery it is has everything from castles and distilleries to family attractions and endless outdoor fun. It is also home to several snowsport centres such as The Cairngorm Mountain, The Lecht and Glenshee.

As you would expect, this winter season can prove spectacular and highly rewarding. Here are just a few images from The Cairngorm National Park taken over the winter months.

A small river running through the snow covered valley
The Lecht with early winter Snow
Aviemore Sled Dog Rally
Aviemore Sled Dog Rally

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen Lochan
A winters day at Loch Morlich
Loch Morlich

 

As winter fades and spring takes hold, so we are blessed with longer warmer days (although snow is still a possibility through to the end of May). The Gorse is one of the first flowers to bloom providing a vibrant yellow backdrop to the countryside. It is also a time of year that can bring fantastic sunrises and sunsets, and a viewing of the Northern Lights is also a real possibility. 

Here are a few images captured during the spring months.

Bow Fiddle Rock
Bow Fiddle Rock
Red Barns at East Croachy
Red Barns at East Croachy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gorse at Hopeman Bay
Gorse at Hopeman Bay
Chanonry Point Lighthouse
Chanonry Point Lighthouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, there is plenty to see and do in the Highlands during the Autumn, Winter and Spring Months. The temperature may be a little chilly on occasions, but we enjoy many crisp sunny days when the countryside literally sparkles. Photographers, in particular, will enjoy these months as the soft light is superb for glorious landscapes. 

It is also generally a quiet time of year for tourists so there are bargains to be had on accommodation. At Inverglen Guest House we have some great offers running over the Autumn, Winter and Spring Months. Not only do we have lower rates generally, but for those staying 2 or more nights, we are offering additional discounts that make staying with us even more affordable. Do check out our rates to see how affordable a stay can be.

Autumn, Winter and Spring – A Great Time to Visit (and great rates)