Autumn in Edinburgh and Scotland is filled with nature's finest colors. As the leaves turn fiery shades of red, orange, and gold, the land of rugged mountains and serene lochs comes alive with a unique charm. In this blog post, you'll explore the beauty and celebrations during this season with my recommendations of the 9 things to do in Edinburgh and Scotland during fall, and discover some lesser-known gems, like the Uplands Roast Coffee stand in The Meadows, known for serving one of the best hot chocolates in Edinburgh, the Proper Hot Chocolate ☕️🍁
Exploring Autumn in Edinburgh
1) One of the things I enjoy myself and recommend is exploring Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden. It is a haven for nature enthusiasts, and autumn is an especially enchanting time to visit. Stroll through the colorful arboretum and experience the vibrant hues of the season. Make sure to visit The Chinese Hillside and the Woodland Garden for great scenery.
2) Hiking in Holyrood Park is always high on my list & I go at least once a week. The rugged beauty of the park takes on a different allure in autumn. Hike up to Arthur's Seat or take a leisurely stroll around St. Margaret's Loch while enjoying the swans, crisp air, & spectacular foliage. 🦢🚶♀️🍂
3) Of course, visiting iconic landmarks like Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Royal Mile, & the Princes St Gardens to witness the change of the seasons is always a great recommendation. Definitely enjoy the stroll in Princes St Garden’s, a great park in the middle on Edinburgh. The park provides great views of Edinburgh Castle and Ross Fountain. The historic architecture paired with autumn's colors creates a truly atmospheric experience. However, make sure to also check-out the National Museum of Scotland (it’s free to visit!). 🏰⛲️
4) And while exploring a nice large green space right below the Old Town, The Meadows, be sure to stop by the Uplands Roast Coffee stand. Their Proper Hot Chocolate is a delightful treat for the chilly autumn weather. Sip on this rich, velvety concoction while soaking in the park's autumnal beauty. If you stopped a little earlier at Söderberg by the Meadows, you can pair your delicious hot chocolate with one of their Swedish pastries (yum!) 🍁🥐☕️
5) Autumn is also great to enjoy Scottish food and drink. Indulge in hearty dishes like haggis, neeps, & tatties. Definitely savor a warm bowl of Scotch broth, which is usually made with barley, meat, root veggies & leeks. Cullen skink - a really good hearty soup made from [usually] smoked haddock, potatoes, and cream. Or (I should say ‘and’) enjoy a nip of single malt Scotch whisky to keep the chill at bay. 🥃🍲
6) Scotland is a paradise for wildlife watching. If you head to the Scottish Highlands, you just might spot red deer stags during their rutting season. You can also take a boat trip to see seals, dolphins, & migratory birds along the coast. Or head to the Cairngorms National Park to hang out with free roaming and the most friendliest reindeer. 🦌🐬
Unique Autumn Celebrations in Scotland
7) Samhain Festival: Celebrated on October 31st, Samhain is a Celtic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. It's a time when the veil between the living and the dead is believed to be thin.You can experience the magic of Samhain by attending events in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland. These events usually include storytelling, bonfires, and traditional music. For those who enjoy a good laugh and a scare, The Ghost Bus tour in Edinburgh is a must-try. It's a comedy tour that explores Edinburgh's dark side. Or if you are less faint of heart and rather be more active, join the Dark Side Walking Tour. 👻⚰️
8) St. Andrew's Day: November 30th is Scotland's national day, celebrating St. Andrew, the country's patron saint. Join in the festivities, which often include parades, traditional ceilidh dances, and a great sense of national pride. 🏴
9) Highland Games: though the Highland Games are more closely associated with summer, some events extend into early autumn. You can witness traditional Scottish sports such as caber tossing, hammer throwing, and tug-of-war in the stunning Scottish countryside.
🧣🧥🧤Something to definitely keep in mind is that the autumn weather in Edinburgh and Scotland is mostly cool and crisp. The average temperature in Edinburgh during this season hovers around 10-15°C (50-59°F). It can & does get cooler. It's also important to keep in mind that Scotland's weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for the occasional rain shower or gusts of wind. Dressing in layers is recommended to adapt to the changing conditions. And always, always have a waterproof jacket and gloves.
🍁🍂 Autumn in Edinburgh and Scotland is a time of magical transformations, both in nature and culture. So, pack your bags, prepare for the unpredictable Scottish weather, and get ready to immerse yourself in the warmth and beauty of this charming season in the heart of Scotland. Especially now that you know of the 9 things to do and see in Edinburgh and Scotland during this time. And don't forget to savor a Proper Hot Chocolate at Uplands Roast Coffee stand while you're at it! 😉
This blog has affiliate links to services and products I love, that I may make a commission from.