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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  1. Faskally Wood

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Killiecrankie

    Faskally Wood is an extensive woodland area within Tay Forest Park on the banks of Loch Dunmore, approximately one mile north west of Pitlochry.

  2. Queen Elizabeth Forest Park

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Aberfoyle

    Enjoy a great day out at the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and discover wildlife, breathtaking scenery and a wide range of activities.

  3. Aros Park

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Tobermory & North Mull

    Situated about half a mile from the centre of the town, Aros Park is an attractive feature in Tobermory offering variety of trails and activities.

  4. Kirroughtree Visitor Centre

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Newton Stewart

    Southern gateway to Galloway Forest Park, home to some great walks, 7stanes mountain biking trails, café and bike shop. Explore from here to Clatteringshaws via the Red Deer Range and Wild Goat Park!

  5. Queen's View

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Pitlochry

    The Queen’s View in Highland Perthshire overlooks Loch Tummel and is said to have been named after Queen Victoria, following her visit to the area in 1866.

  6. Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Perth

    Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park to the east of Perth includes the five hills, Corsiehill, Deuchny Hill, Barn Hill, Binn Hill and Kinnoull Hill.

  7. Ae Forest

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Dumfries

    The shortest place name in the UK, but Ae offers a wide variety of walks, 7stanes mountain biking trails, a café and bike shop. There's also a collection of old farm machinery!

  8. Devilla Forest

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Kincardine

    Devilla Forest is a quiet pine forest in Fife.

  9. Kilsture Forest Walks

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Wigtown

    Set in a beautiful forest in the Machars area these two marked trails offer fantastic walking throughout the year.

  10. Meikleour Beech Hedge

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Meikleour

    The Meikleour Beech Hedge, four miles south of Blairgowrie is the longest hedge in Britain and the highest of its kind in the world.

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