Walk of the week: Four best autumn walks

Falls of Clyde, New Lanark. Picture: Nick Drainey
Falls of Clyde, New Lanark. Picture: Nick Drainey
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AUTUMN provides a great spectacle, but where to enjoy it at its best? There are many places to savour one of nature’s most spectacular shows, so rather than only describing one walk, this week there is a choice of four of the best spots to get out and enjoy the colourful displays.

BIG BURN, GOLSPIE

DISTANCE 2 1/2 miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED 200ft.

TIME 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

MAP OS Landranger 17.

PARK From the A9 at the north end of Golspie, after the Sutherland Arms and Sutherland Stonework, go left before a bridge. A narrow track leads to a car park.

IN SUMMARY The Big Burn Walk from Golspie in Sutherland is one of the best short walks in the country. A wooded glen, narrow gorge and tumbling waterfall combine to make for a perfect stroll. Views include the 100ft monument built in 1834 to the First Duke of Sutherland on top of Ben Bhraggie. 
BIRKS OF ABERFELDY

DISTANCE 2 miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED 600ft.

TIME 1 to 2 hours.

MAP OS Landranger 52.

PARK From the centre of Aberfeldy, take the A826 Crieff road. After a few hundred yards you reach a stone bridge where you should turn right to enter a car park for the Birks of Aberfeldy.

IN SUMMARY Immortalised by Robert Burns, the Birks of Aberfeldy have inspired countless visitors. A mix of burn and a wooded gorge provides a great sight and keeps the legs working as you ascend to a bridge over a waterfall which throws water straight down below you. The recent wet weather means this walk is at its best because the Moness Burn is running high, making plumes of spray from its waterfalls billow up into the sky.

FALLS OF CLYDE, NEW LANARK

DISTANCE 6 miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED 820ft.

TIME 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours.

MAP OS Landranger 71.

PARK Reach the main car park for New Lanark World Heritage Site by following brown signs from the A73 in the centre of Lanark.

IN SUMMARY This World Heritage Site preserves the cotton mills of the 18th century. Beyond it are the Falls of Clyde, surrounded by huge trees currently displaying an array of vibrant colours. Many just walk up one side of the river and return the same way, but it is possible to make a six-mile circuit.

THREE BRETHREN, BORDERS

DISTANCE 9 miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED 1,300ft.

TIME 4 1/2 to 5 hours.

MAP OS Landranger 73.

PARK The Lindinny car park is just before Yair Bridge on the A707, 4∫ miles from Selkirk.

IN SUMMARY Misty mornings in the Borders are a regular feature of autumn. Walking up the rolling hills you can emerge out of the gloom and be rewarded with a sunlit carpet of cloud. Even without the mist, when the sun is low the view of the Southern Uplands from the summit of the Three Brethren is something to be savoured. The three 9ft cairns which stand over the trig point were erected in the 16th century by the lairds of Yair, Selkirk and Philiphaugh to mark the boundary of their land.