WALKING through the Birks of Aberfeldy at this time of year is like peering into a kaleidoscope, a magical swirl of gold, crimson, ochre, bronze, amber and russet hues. The trees glow with colour, appearing almost aflame in places.

Don't merely take my word for it, read those of Scotland's bard Robert Burns. He was inspired to write a poem about this Perthshire beauty spot in 1787 after visiting while on a tour of the Highlands with his friend William Nicol.

While Burns' ode pays particular tribute to the striking birks – Scots for birch – that line the Moness gorge, the area is home to species such as oak, ash, beech, hazel, rowan, wych elm and willow. Remnants of the ancient Caledonian Forest are also known to grow here.

The two-mile circular walk through the Birks of Aberfeldy leads to a bridge above the thundering Falls of Moness, a natural spectacle that is even more impressive after heavy rainfall as it cascades into the foaming burn below.

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Traversing the trail, you will come across a statue of Burns, sitting on a bench, seemingly gazing out at the changing shades of the leaves. There is also a plaque beside a natural shelf of rock, said to be the nook where Burns perched as the muse struck.

As walks go, the daunder around the Birks of Aberfeldy does veer towards the moderate difficulty category in parts as there are some steep climbs and steps.

There is a wealth of flora and fauna, with much of the gorge designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its woodland habitat and lichens. The cool, damp climate is ideally suited to moss and in one small patch, on the bank near Burns' pew, it is possible to glimpse around 10 varieties.

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Burns wrote about how "the little birdies blythely sing" and "lightly flit on wanton wing". The Birks of Aberfeldy has an abundance of avian residents – little wonder given the non-stop buffet of insects and bugs. Keep your eyes peeled for warblers, woodpeckers and wagtails.

What to read:

The Birks of Aberfeldy by Robert Burns is a given. If you are looking for further reading material about this corner of Perthshire, pop into the nearby Aberfeldy Watermill where there is an excellent bookshop. The former oatmeal mill also houses a gallery and cafe. Visit aberfeldywatermill.com