Au­tumn Breaks

The Oban Times - - Feature -

AS THE coun­try­side blazes shades of reds, golds and or­anges, au­tumn is the most colour­ful sea­son in which to visit the High­lands and Is­lands. Fall­ing be­tween the busy sum­mer and fes­tive sea­sons, fall breaks ten­der ex­cep­tional value for money, with many ac­com­mo­da­tion providers of­fer­ing spe­cial deals. An au­tumn hol­i­day prom­ises tran­quil­lity and un­crowded at­trac­tions, along with spells of lovely, crisp weather per­fect for fun ac­tiv­i­ties.

AVOID THE CROWDS

Cy­cling and hik­ing is a great way to be im­mersed in au­tumn’s pal­ette, es­pe­cially for those who want to avoid the crowds of sum­mer. Trails can be jammed with masses of peo­ple dur­ing the high sea­son, but of­ten the weather is just as nice in the fall, al­low­ing one to en­joy na­ture’s own slide show in peace and quiet.

Pho­tog­ra­phy buffs love fall in the High­lands and Is­lands. The vi­brant leaves make an al­ready fairy­tale land­scape even more ethe- real. Post­card per­fect photo op­por­tu­ni­ties abound. This is a won­der­ful back­ground for fam­ily or cou­ples por­traits.

Wildlife watch­ing is also prime at this time of year, as the red squir­rels, deer, ot­ters and foxes busily ready them­selves for the long win­ter sea­son ahead. Birds are mi­grat­ing at this time as well. All one needs is a pair of binoc­u­lars to en­joy the show.

MIDGIE FREE

Camp­ing with the fam­ily is a great ac­tiv­ity for the fall. Imag­ine drink­ing hot cho­co­late and toast­ing marsh­mal­lows as the fam­ily shares sto­ries around the campfi re. And thank­fully, in the au­tumn, those das­tardly mid­gies won’t ruin the trip!

Sight­see­ing in au­tumn is easy as the crowds of sum­mer have long gone. No wait­ing all night for a seat at restau­rants, or get­ting on the wait­ing list for that must-see at­trac­tion. Na­tional Trust for Scot­land gar­dens abound here, and the fall colour is spec­tac­u­lar. Oban and the sur­round­ing ar­eas are some of the world’s top hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions for va­ca­tion­ers from all over the globe, but those lucky enough to live here can take ad­van­tage of spe­cial deals and qui­eter at­trac­tions in the au­tumn, too. The ‘stay­ca­tion’ is the hottest trend in hol­i­days, when bud­gets and/or time are tight- or just for ex­plor­ing one’s own backyard. Head­ing out to a ru­ral lodge, is­land cot­tage, city ho­tel or camp­site just a few miles from home can pro­vide all the ben­e­fits and fun of a hol­i­day abroad- for less.

HIGH­LAND HOS­PI­TAL­ITY

Many top rate ac­com­mo­da­tions in the area of­fer uniquely Scot­tish ex­pe­ri­ences, from week­end jaunts to longer hol­i­days. Rus­tic inns, tour­ing parks or chic ho­tels- what­ever one’s taste, High­land hos­pi­tal­ity as­sures a mem­o­rable get­away. Imag­ine spend­ing the day strolling through an en­chanted au­tum­nal for­est, then the evening sit­ting around a blaz­ing fire­place en­joy­ing world class food and a dram of the globe’s finest whisky- per­fect!

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