Scottish forests and woodlands

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  • Looking across the Caledonian pine trees at Coire Loch in Glen Affric, Highlands © FC Library
    Caledonian pine trees at Coire Loch in Glen Affric, Highlands © FC Library
  • Loch Trool, near Newton Stewart, in the Galloway Forest Park
    Loch Trool, near Newton Stewart, in the Galloway Forest Park
  • Looking through trees to Victoria Falls in the Slattadale Forest near Loch Maree, Highlands
    Victoria Falls in the Slattadale Forest near Loch Maree, Highlands
  • The wildlife hide at Sunart Oakwoods on the shore of Loch Sunart, Highlands © FC Library
    The wildlife hide at Sunart Oakwoods on the shore of Loch Sunart, Highlands © FC Library

Scotland is home to several stunning oak woodlands. Often referred to as ‘Celtic rainforests’, these dense oak forests are home to abundant flora and are carpeted in soft layers of mosses, liverworts and lichens.

The oak tree has deep roots in Scottish natural history and is believed to have grown in Scotland for thousands of years. Oak trees tend to live up to 500 years but there are some Scottish oak trees thought to be even older.

You will find oak woods in Taynish National Nature Reserve, Sunart Oakwoods in Argyll and the Wood of Cree in Dumfries & Galloway.

There is a reason why Perthshire is known as ‘Big Tree Country’ as you will find some of the most remarkable trees here, from the world's highest hedge and Europe's oldest tree to the widest conifer in Britain and the sole survivor from Shakespeare's Birnam Wood. There are some stunning woodland trails near Killiekrankie and Dunkeld.

Thousands of years ago, vast swathes of the Scottish Highlands were covered in ancient pinewood forest known as the Caledonian Forest. Today only one percent of the original ancient forest remains in pockets across the region. These forest segments are made up of Scots pine, birch, aspen, rowan, oak and juniper and provide a rich ecosystem that supports a variety of rare and wonderful flora and fauna.

You can get a glimpse of what the Highlands looked like thousands of years ago by visiting the remains of this ancient forest at Mar Lodge, Loch Garten and Rothiemurchus in the Cairngorms or National Nature Reserves such as Glen Affric and Loch Maree in the western Highlands.

You will find other wonderful woodlands in Glenmore Forest Park in the heart of the Cairngorms, Yair Forest in the Scottish Borders, Galloway Forest Park in Dumfries & Galloway and Knapdale Forest in Argyll.

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83 results, currently showing 1 to 10
  1. Callander Crags

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Aberfoyle

    Explore a wide range of paths in the spectacular Callander Crags woodland and discover stunning views of the Forth Valley.

  2. Cardrona Forest

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Peebles

    Cardrona Forest is located close to Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders.

  3. Balmaha Millennium Forest Park

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Balmaha

    Balmaha Millennium Forest Path is a great walk exploring the village of Balmaha near Loch Lomond.

  4. Newcastleton

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Newcastleton

    Newcastleton forest is situated in the valley of Liddesdale, next to the border with England.

  5. Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    New Galloway

    Kirroughtree Visitor Centre is the southern gateway to this Galloway Forest Park.

  6. Kylerhea Marine Hide

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Kyleakin

    The woods at Kylerhea are a great place for a short stroll and to find out about marine life.

  7. The Birnam Oak

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Dunkeld

    The Birnam Oak is an iconic tree on the outskirts of the Perthshire village and celebrated in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

  8. Devilla Forest

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Kincardine

    Devilla Forest is a quiet pine forest in Fife.

  9. Cademuir Forest

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Peebles

    Located beside Peebles, Cademuir Forest is the smallest and arguably the most peaceful forest in the area, making it ideal for spotting wildlife..

  10. Glenbranter

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Strachur

    Part of Argyll Forest Park, Glenbranter Forest boasts a variety of walks and cycle paths.

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