During the summertime Scotland’s woodlands are a hive of activity; teeming with wildlife and home to beautiful trees of all shapes and sizes. Scotland’s forests and woodlands are some of our country’s most diverse and important habitats. Some can be traced back thousands of years making them older than some of our most ancient castles and cities. They are the perfect place for those who enjoy walks in nature as well as families looking for a serene spot to stop for a picnic or some tree climbing action. Below we look at some of Scotland’s most magical and ancient forests as well as some fun activities on offer.
As a child I loved climbing trees, the thrill that came from getting higher and higher in the pursuit of getting a different view of my world from atop. Being up and amongst the tree tops is a pleasure that shouldn’t just be reserved for children though. Thanks to Go Ape you don’t have to be mindful of your footing on branches and worry about falling off as they have many tree top adventure courses for both kids and adults. At their locations you can zip line through trees, swing like Tarzan amongst the canopy as well as traverse rope bridges all whilst safely attached to a harness. All of the thrills without any of the danger! Go Ape have three different individual courses at three locations including Glentrees Forest, the grounds of Crathes Castle and Aberfoyle. Rediscover your inner child today by visiting the GoApe website to get full details and prices.
However if you’re not looking for anything to strenuous or thrilling, and your much more concerned about relaxation, there are plenty of serene and otherworldly forests to lose yourself in. A quiet amble in the woods is the perfect way to escape your modern hectic life. At the Hermitage in Dunkeld you can find such a place where you will feel as though you have crossed the realms of our reality into a bygone world that borders on the fantastical. The grove at Dunkeld is almost cathedral like with huge towering trees that overlook the spectacular falls of the River Braan. Sat high above is the gorgeously restored Georgian folly of Ossian’s Hall which offers the best vantage point of the falls and adds to the timeless, otherworldly ambiance of the place. The Hermitage is also home to the Stronardon Douglas Fir which stands at 209 ft; just don’t stare up at it for too long for the sake of your neck!
As I mentioned earlier the range and diversity of Scotland’s forests is not to be understated. You can see Britain’s wildest conifer, the Champion Redwood at Cluny House Gardens or marvel at other huge trees in Perthshire’s Big Tree Country. Believe it or not (I wouldn’t lie to you anyway) but Scotland also has its own equivalent of a rainforest in the Taynish Peninsula. Here you can find one of the largest and most ancient forests in the whole of Britain and, thanks to offshore Gulf Stream, it enjoys a humid climate which allows for an incredibly diverse range of plant life to thrive this far North in the hemisphere. Our very own rainforest is also a National Nature Reserve where you can find hundreds of flowering plants, including a rare orchid, as well as an abundance of insect life ranging from butterflies and moths to beetles and dragonflies. You can also spot a Beaver or two.
In Scotland you can also go straight from the forest and right onto the beach at Tentsmuir. Spend a beautiful day walking amongst the trees of the forest, soaking up the animal and plant life before heading out onto the beautiful golden sands which the neighbour the forest at Tentsmuir Point.
There really is an incredible abundance and variety of woodland in Scotland; whether its adventure you’re looking for, wildlife or just some peace and quiet. Scotland has a fine selection which caters to all experiences. You can check the availability of our campers and head out yourself! Just remember to leave a trail of breadcrumbs if you plan on going off the beaten path…