Escape home: Cowalfest | Inshriach in the Cairngorms | Galloway Forest | Enchanted Forest

Experience the natural beauty of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park at Scotland’s biggest walking and arts festival.

Cowalfest, now in its tenth year, celebrates Scotland’s landscape and natural heritage with a varied ten-day programme around the Cowal Peninsula. The focus is on guided walks – there are 78 on offer – but there are plenty of other outdoor activities and a series of cultural events including exhibitions, art, workshops, talks, theatre and concerts. From £4. 5-14 October. Cowalfest


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Yurts and eco-pods are so passé – if you want to stay somewhere truly original, how about a vintage fire truck? The Beer Moth is a 1956 Commer Q4, rescued from the Manston Fire Museum in Kent and now converted to a cosy caravan for two. It sits in splendid isolation on the Inshriach estate in the Cairngorms, and is just the place for a quirky rural retreat. From £140.


A Stargazing Break at the Cally Palace Hotel in Galloway Forest (Dark Sky) Park is the perfect half-term family holiday. Led by astronomer Steve Owens, of the Glasgow Science Centre, the weekend is an educational hoot for all ages. On the first night he’ll give an after-dinner talk on the solar system, and on the second night you can put this knowledge to use when stargazing under unpolluted skies. 19-21 October. From £199pp/£90 per child. •


If you go down to these woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise. Enchanted Forest, the award-winning sound and light show, is returning to transform Faskally Wood near Pitlochry into a magical wonderland. This is the Enchanted Forest’s tenth anniversary, and there’s a new artistic collaboration to celebrate: lighting designer Simon Wilkinson, sound designer and composer RJ McConnell, and Dundee-based visual artists Dalziel + Scullion promise a spectacular show. Faskally Wood, near Pitlochry. 5-27 October. From £12.50. Enchanted Forest


If the summer of sport has inspired you to get moving, why not try a mountain bike tour of Scotland? Designed for intermediate to advanced-level bikers, the week-long coast-to-coast off-road adventure goes from Bonar Bridge to Applecross – a distance of 250km. While you’re cycling through the magnificent, rugged scenery of the Highlands, your luggage is transported by van to that night’s accommodation, leaving you free to enjoy the ride. £915. 15 September.