They may be prickly or waxy, and you may need to rub some to smell their hidden scents, but in the autumn there is nothing more colourful in Scotland than the humble leaf.
Now VisitScotland is encouraging the country to become a nation of leaf spotters this autumn with an extraordinary new online guide.
Produced in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland, the Autumn Adventures in Scotland e-book is packed with information on the best spots in the country for ‘leaf-peeping’.
Whether it’s the vibrant reds of the Hawthorn in Tay Forest Park or the golden glow of the Oak in Craigvinean Forest, there is no better place to enjoy the vibrant autumn colours than Scotland.
From trees to telescopes, the e-book also travels into another galaxy and beyond, with information on how to become autumn stargazers.
Boasting some the most pitch black skies in Europe, Galloway Forrest Park, the UK’s first Dark Sky Park, is featured in the guide as a prime location to gaze at the twinkling stars of distant galaxies this autumn.
A recent report estimates that Galloway’s Dark Sky Park is taking in an additional £500,000 over the winter months purely related to dark sky tourism with the expectation for that to rise to around £1 million.
The e-book also includes downloadable activity packs on everything from how to make your own bird feeder to hints and tips for leaf spotting.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “With an abundance of forest parks, estates and renowned beauty spots, Scotland is among the best places in the world to enjoy the beautiful colours of autumn.
“Packed with inspiration and ideas on everything from star gazing at Scotland’s Dark Sky Park in Dumfries & Galloway to leaf spotting in the sprawling Tay Forest Park, the Autumn Adventures in Scotland e-book will ensure visitors get even more from their autumn trips this year.”
Research shows that that one in three visitors to Scotland make a trip to a forest or woodland park during their stay while 42% visit a country park or garden.
On average, visitors to Scotland from October to December stay more than 13 million nights and spend £955 million.
Laura Stewart, Marketing Manager at Forestry Commission Scotland, said: “As the leaves change to orange and gold, Autumn is the perfect time to explore Scotland’s forests and woodlands. From a gentle stroll to an exhilarating mountain bike ride, the new Autumn e-book will help you plan your perfect forest adventure.”
The Autumn Colours e-book can be viewed here: ebooks.visitscotland.com/forestry-commission-scotland-autumn/