Off-season travel holds its own charms for cozy Celtic trips
While the Celtic Isles are known for Ireland’s glowing green shores and the heathered Highlands of Scotland, they’re also some of the best places to see autumn leaves. Brilliant fall foliage abounds in forests, along streams and throughout parks when you visit in the cooler off-season, after the height of tourist travel.
We have a few favorites when it comes to the most brilliant and beautiful outdoor spots to cozy up to in sweater weather season. Pack your boots, warm sweaters and get ready to see the changing of the seasons in an entirely new way!
Killarney National Park
Ireland’s crown jewel for protected parklands puts on a grand show with some of the best autumn leaves. There’s 39 square miles of gorgeous hills, woods and iconic forested lakeside to explore. And, to add to the sense of autumn adventure, you can do more than hike this park. There is biking, electric bikes too, horse riding journeys and even a charming ride through the park in an open jaunting cart.
Tollymore Forest Park
Tollymore Forest park combines the richness of Scotland’s natural settings and the whimsy of well-placed, manmade accents. It’s hard not to picture yourself in front of its iconic arched gates, especially with the brilliant and fiery fall leaves surrounding you. This beautiful Scottish park, featured in the George R.R. Martin HBO series Game of Thrones, is overflowing with fairytale-like charm. Stands of trees, picturesque streams and cascades and bold rocky outcroppings all combine to make you feel like you’ve entered your own fantasy world.
Powerscourt Estate & Gardens
Step back in time at this beautiful estate and see how the changing of the seasons shifts your focus in elegantly styled gardens and grounds. The Powerscourt Estate & Gardens are voted third best estate gardens in the world. Known for its balance, whimsical structures and accents, a visit here takes you on a strolling path journey to a bygone age when beauty of gardens was reaching its peak as a noble pastime. Culturally themed gardens, lily pad laden ponds, sweeping open fields and quietly wooded hills with charming fantasy structures - this is a truly luxurious experience you cannot miss.
Can’t make it to Scotland in autumn without a trip to perhaps see its most famous feature, a resident for all seasons. Captivating year round, come take a visit to the shores of Loch Ness and see the seasons reflected on the waters of this infamous place. While boating tours are subject to seasonal availability, hiking, trails and biking are available to get the most out of the stately shores and gorgeous parklands that surround this storied place.
Feeling like you’re warming up to cool weather travel?