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What Is The Best Month To Visit Scotland?

Dunure Castle, Scottish CASTLES , Scotland, Ayrshire , Scottish photography


If you are planning a visit to Scotland, you might be wondering what the best month to visit is. As Scotland is bordered mainly by coastline, the weather is never guaranteed. Throughout the year however, there are a variety of festivals and celebrations, with some cities becoming swarmed by tourists. It is therefore important that before you visit Scotland, you consider the advice below. So, what is the best month to visit Scotland?

Spring and summer in Scotland bring the best weather and most festivals that Scotland sees all year. During winter months, you can expect cold weather and the popular celebrations of Burns night and Hogmanay. The weather begins to improve in Spring, and the Scottish Isles become a popular tourist destination. Summer brings with it the promise of midges, but also popular Edinburgh festivals such as the Fringe and the Military Tattoo. When Autumn comes around, you can expect picturesque foliage and Scotland’s most famous highland games, the Braemar Gathering. 

Keep reading to find out more about Scotland’s seasonal trends including the wide range of festivals, and find the perfect time to visit. 


What Is A Year Like In Scotland?

While there will always be things to do in Scotland during your visit, it may be worth considering some of the general trends in weather and tourism below before you book a trip. This way you can make sure that you will be getting a trip best suited to your interests and travel preferences.

December – February

If you visit Scotland during the winter months, you can expect challenging weather conditions. When planning a hiking trip in Scotland for the winter, it will be essential that you come prepared with reliable cold-weather gear, such as a durable pair of walking boots. 

The landscapes that are produced from the cold weather present the perfect opportunity for photographers wishing to capture the beauty of the highlands. Similarly, during the off season you can expect the number of tourists to be minimal. 

The popular celebration of Burns Night happens on the 25th of January, in celebration of the national poet Robert Burns. Hogmanay is a Scottish festival that marks the New Year, and is also an extremely popular celebration.

March – May

In Spring, the weather begins to improve in Scotland. While not all businesses will have reopened following the winter, a number of people frequently visit the Scottish Isles, especially during the months of April and May. 

Snow should only be remaining on the Highlands and Cairngorms, and most ski resorts in the West Highlands close. April is typically the driest month for Edinburgh, and also brings the festival known as ‘Beltane’, a pagan fire festival.

June – August

The Summer months bring a number of large festivals to Scotland, not least the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, one of the most popular festivals in Scotland. The Fringe festival usually coincides with the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which means that you can expect large crowds of tourists in Edinburgh during August. 

The weather in Scotland is the best it ever gets during these months, however it is worth noting that the dreaded Scottish midges make their return during June.

September – November

September tends to be the wettest month in Scotland, and temperatures begin to drop. Schools also return, although you can still expect a busy period for tourism. While the weather may be taking a turn for the worse, there is no shortage of attractions, such as the Braemar Gathering, the most famous of Scotland’s Highland games. The autumn foliage also transforms Scotland into a sea of colours, and the slightly drier month of October offers quiet and scenic conditions for hikers.


What Is The Cheapest Time Of Year To Visit Scotland?

If you are looking to travel on a budget, Scotland offers a wide range of travel opportunities that don’t require you to spend large sums of money. For example, during the off season from November through to mid-March, you can expect less crowds, cheaper accommodation prices and more freedom to explore. The only exception to this rule is over the Christmas period, when Scotland becomes very busy in certain areas


Book A Tour Of Scotland

No matter what time of year you are looking to book a visit to Scotland, we offer a range of tours suitable for everyone. Take a look at our available tours and contact us for more information or to make a booking.