Things to do in Scotland in October 2024

The weather is cooling down and the days become shorter but there are still plenty of things to do in Scotland in October. Autumn colours begin to take over the countryside as greens turn to golds and reds and the heather and bracken darkens.  The Rut begins in the Red Deer population (you will hear the stags doing battle for the hinds even if you don’t see it). The countryside is stunning at this time of year, perfect for a woodland walk. As the days shorten and the sky darkens you can expect some stunning starscapes and possibly a glimpse of the Northern Lights.


The Enchanted Forest is a choreographic creation of dramatic light shows set to an original musical score. A night time spectacular set in Faskally Wood near Pitlochry in Perthshire’s Big Tree Country. This sound and light show in a woodland setting is a breathtaking family experience that attracts over half a million visitors each year. It is open from 3rd October to 3rd November 2024 in Pitlochry. Tickets are now on sale and you are advised to book early.

Things to do in Scotland in October Enchanted Forest
Things to do in Scotland in October the Enchanted Forest

Music Festivals

Callander Jazz & Blues Festival Scotland’s largest rural jazz and blues festival returns with another amazing line up set in Callender in the beautiful Trossachs. There will be over 50 gigs over three days in this spectacular Autumnal setting. Perfect to combine with a visit to Loch Lomond and the other beauty spots of the Trossachs National Park.  Runs 3rd to 6th October 2024. The Bute Manouche Jazz Festival, Scotland’s Gypsy Jazz Festival, usually takes place on the Isle of Bute at the end of October. We are awaiting confirmation of dates from the organisers.

Ceud Mile Failte (One Hundred Thousand Welcomes) takes place on 11th – 19th October 2024 in Oban.  The Royal National MOD is Scotland’s premier celebration of its Gaelic language, history and culture. There are numerous events – ceilidhs, concerts, sports events, childrens events and an exhibition.

Book Festivals

Portobello Book Festival October, Portobello, Edinburgh

This is a locally organised book festival on the coast in Portobello, 3 miles from Edinburgh city centre. Portobello’s Victorian and Georgian architecture provides a charming setting for the festival, along with a vibrant high street of independent businesses and 2 miles of golden, sandy beach.  Entrance is by ticket only but tickes are free.  

The Bookmark Festival in Perthshire has established a reputation for attracting top authors and running events to cater for a wide range of literary interests.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival celebrates the oral tradition of storytelling. Enchanting performances, panel discussions, workshops, talks and events centred around traditional storytelling between 11th – 27th October 2024 in Edinburgh. Whereas the Orkney Storytelling Festival focuses on the oral tradition in Orkney with guest storytellers and events celebrating the stories, history and heritage of the Orkney islands.

Samhuinn Fire Festival in Scotland in October
Samhuinn Fire Festival in Scotland in October

Halloween Festivals

Paisley Halloween Festival has dramatic night time displays of aerial performance artists, street theatre, sword swallowers, music and dance between 5pm and 9pm each night.

At the top of Calton Hill in Edinburgh, you can take part in the Samhuinn Fire Festival. This immersive event is hosted by the Beltane Fire Society and celebrates the Celtic New Year. There are acrobatics, storytelling, fire dancing, drummers and a costumed parade as part of the performance where the Winter Kings overthrow the Summer Kings. You will need to register to attend as the numbers are limited. Check the Beltane Fire Society website for how and when to register.

Halloween in Scotland

Woodland Walks through the Autumn Colours

Walking in Scotland in Autumn is a delight. No crowds, wildlife and birdlife spotting and most of  all, you are immersed in the golden hues of Autumn. Take one of the recommended woodland walks in Perthshire, also known as “Big Tree Country”.

Food & Drink

Feeling thirsty? Edinburgh Cocktail week runs between 11th and 20th October, with events at venues around the city. The Edinburgh Gin & Rum Festival returns on 12th October at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh.

Dornoch Whisky Festival in the Scottish Highlands takes place between 25th and 27th October. This annual festival celebrates the national drink with a series of events, tastings, masterclasses and dinners. You will be able to try whiskies from all over Scotland and it aims to attract people new to whisky as well as the more experienced and connoisseurs.

Dornoch Whisky Festival in Scotland in October

Big Sky Campers Campervans for Hire


Immerse yourself in the golden hues of Autumn in Scotland. Rent one of our VW campervans for hire in Scotland and explore the autumnal landscape and wildlife. If you want something more cultural, there are lots of things to do in Scotland in October. From book festivals, autumn festivals, light shows and musical events. Our campervans are fully insulated and equipped with all you will need for a comfortable and relaxing road trip through Scotland in October.

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