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Top spots for autumn colours on Argyll's Secret Coast

Top spots for autumn colours on Argyll's Secret Coast
What a beautiful September we’ve had! Glorious sunshine, incredible sunsets and a nice wee breeze to keep the midges at bay. And now the leaves are on the turn, and we’ll soon be treated to a blaze of reds, golds and yellows. So this October, why not explore our woodlands and see the seasonal colours? Here are our top three places to enjoy the autumn leaves on Argyll’s Secret Coast.

Glenan Wood
Argyll's Secret Coast has some of the finest remaining Atlantic oak woods in the country. Glenan Wood near Portavadie is a lovely example and is easily accessible as there’s a well-marked path running through it. It’s a misty, woody, mossy vision of lichened, gnarled broadleaf trees and stunning at this time of the year. Follow the forest path up the hill for a fabulous view across the forest canopy to Loch Fyne beyond. Keep going and you’ll reach the deserted village at Glenan. As the bracken dies back the buildings can clearly be seen. The coastal path will bring you back to the car park at Portavadie.

Kilfinan Community Forest
There’s a short circular path within the community forest which starts by the car park and winds up through the mixed woodland to the waterfall. Check out the willow look-out point. The view from here across the Kyles of Bute is fantastic. If you’re walking this route, keep an eye out for local primary school pupils’ forest-inspired artwork, as well as bird and squirrel boxes nestled high up in the trees. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can follow the Kilfinan Way through the forest to the old reservoir. The oak woodland near the primary school at Tighnabruaich is another lovely place for an autumn stroll.

Caladh Estate
This Estate has wonderful woodland to explore in autumn, with easy coastal walking or more strenuous rambles up in the oak woodland. The Estate is privately owned, but public access is actively encouraged with interpretation panels and signposted walks. For the more intrepid, follow the signs for the Cowal Way which leads walkers on to Ormisary and beyond. You’ll also see all sorts of fabulous fungi around the estate at this time of the year.

Fancy striking out a bit further? Benmore Botanic Garden near Dunoon is well worth the effort. Check out the autumn colours on the Younger Memorial Walk, the approaches to Benmore House and borders around the pond and Formal Garden where the deciduous azaleas are especially effective, showing every autumnal shade imaginable.

Wherever you go, don’t forget to look out for red squirrels. Autumn is the best time to see them with fewer leaves on the trees making them easier to spot as they gather food ahead of the winter.
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