The Best Time To Visit Scotland

by Ryan

Congrats, you just made the best decision of your life! You’ve made the jump to go to Scotland and you’re now trying to figure out when is going to be the best time to visit Scotland! What you heard about Scotland is true! There is something more than unique in this marvelous country with its epic landscapes and fabulous cities.

 The Best Time To Visit Scotland
The Best Time To Visit Scotland

Everything from the surreal beauty of the countryside and it’s attractive highlands and even its famous whiskey is mind blowing.

An Important Thing To Take Note Of

The midgets in Scotland are infamously annoying, but they are just an issue at sunset and around bodies of water. Not to mention, they are at their worst from May till October. Bring nets and a skin moisturizer and you will be fine!

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Are You Going To Visit Scotland In Springtime ( March to May)?

 The Best Time To Visit Scotland
The Best Time To Visit Scotland

Spring is a lovely time of the year to visit Scotland for nature-lovers. As the snow thaws in the Highlands, the glens and woodlands of forests are springing to life.

Pros

  • Early Spring is far more ideal for budget-conscious tourists as well as those that want to get away from the groups. Rates, as well as tourist crowds, are beginning to climb in May (shoulders season).
  • March (before the daytime saving time adjustment) is still dark enough to enjoy stargazing in Scotland’s Dark Sky Parks, such as the Isle of Coll, as well as possibly also identify the aurora.
  • April as well as May are excellent for hiking and also outdoor activities. There are no midgets yet in the Highlands and also it is starting to be warm sufficient for wild outdoor camping.
  • In very early Spring you might even escape without pre-booking all your accommodation, although it is necessary to examine what is open. You have to book in advance for trips in May.

Cons

  • It can still be relatively cold, especially in the very early Spring.
  • While flowers are starting to grow in mid- to late Spring, the landscapes are not yet as lush green as you might have seen in pictures.
  • Days are still fairly short in early Spring, although that changes rapidly after the daylight saving time change (late March).
  • Some tours and attractions might not run until mid-April (or Easter week, whatever comes earlier).
  • Easter holidays can be very busy.

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Are You Going To Visit Scotland In Summer (June to August)?

Summer is by far the most popular season to visit Scotland for a variety of reasons. Some people have no other choice since they are tied to school holidays, others are drawn to this season by the long days and supposedly better weather. 

Pros

  • The days are super long. The longest day of the year is June 21 and around this time, the sun only sets for a few hours. This makes it easier to cover great distances on the road.
  • Early summer (until late July) is a great time for wildlife watching
  • There are tons of festivals happening during the summer– such as the Edinburgh Festivals in August– as well as Highland Games.

Cons

  • It is expensive. Summer is peak season and most prices for accommodation and activities rise significantly.
  • Popular places like Skye, Loch Ness and Edinburgh are generally crowded. It can be difficult to enjoy the natural beauty while you are surrounded by tour buses.
  • August is particularly bad in Edinburgh– during the festivals, hotels are often fully booked and/or very expensive.
  • You have to book everything in advance– accommodations, ferry tickets, activities etc
  • Summer is also the favourite season of the dreaded midges– tiny black flies that get through all gaps and leave itchy bites. It can be a nightmare to hike and camp during the summer.

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Are You Going To Visit Scotland In Autumn (September to November)?

 The Best Time To Visit Scotland
The Best Time To Visit Scotland

Autumn is a great time to visit Scotland without the crowds, although that is slowly starting to change. September to November offer a variety of different experiences–.

Pros

  • This is the perfect season for photographers: extended golden hour AND late(- ish) sunrises!
  • Autumn is great for outdoor activities-too cold for midges, but not too cold for hiking, cycling & co
  • While early autumn can still be quite busy in popular places, crowds have disappeared by November and prices become more budget-friendly once again.

Cons

  • Temperatures can drop significantly–usually not before mid-October.
  • Some attractions and tours might close for the winter any time from mid-October.

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Are You Going to Visit Scotland In Winter (December to February)?

Many people shy away from visiting Scotland in winter. While in fact, this season has many advantages and specialities.

Pros

  • Christmas markets all over the country open from mid-November and there are many winter festivals, including Edinburgh’s Hogmanay!
  • Now is the time to visit Scotland on a budget.
  • The chances of snow are high, especially after New Year’s Eve.
  • Winter is a great time for activities such as skiing, winter, ice-climbing and snowshoeing mountaineering. There are many guided excursions in the Highlands you can join.

Cons

  • The days can be super short. The shortest day of the year is 21 December and there are only a few hours of sunshine.
  • It can be Wet and/or cold! Scottish winters are generally speaking warmer than in continental Europe, but they can be wet and there is nothing quite as uneasy as wet & cold weather.

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Final Thoughts

 The Best Time To Visit Scotland
The Best Time To Visit Scotland

Have you made your decision?

The best time to visit Scotland will be a match between May and September to November.

August is the best month to visit Scotland if you want to make your trip exploring the burst of culture in Edinburgh and take part in Edinburgh International and Fringe Festivals.

If you want to stay clear of tourist crowds and want long evenings to make most of your trip, September is your choice.

Interested in hiking and cycling? Cyclists and hikers will be pleased by the vision of the number of lambs jumping around the fields in April. 

There you are, only one step away to visit Scotland!

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