What is the best time to visit Scotland?

The best time to visit Scotland is during Summer (June to August). The period from June to August is the warmest time of the year in Scotland. The Spring (late March to May) and Fall (September and October) seasons are also a beautiful time to travel to Scotland.

The clear skies and extended hours of daylight are ideal for sightseeing and other tourist activities. However, there is no significant difference in the weather conditions of Spring and Summer. Spring, in particular, is a splendid time to visit the Highlands. However, travellers planning to visit the Highland regions between May and September are advised to find out in advance about the intensity of Midges in their areas of the visit. Autumn is a relatively popular season for travel owing to the Highland Games.

October is also the perfect month to consider if you wish to spot the beautiful autumn foliage. Towards the end of October, lots of public places and sites begin to shut down due to the snowy, winter conditions. The cold conditions continue until the end of February and make this period a little tricky to travel in. The public places and businesses become completely operational towards mid-March.

The first half of November, in particular, is a splendid time to experience Scotland's beautiful autumn foliage. The weather conditions are incredibly pleasant during these months. Mid-October onwards, lots of public places and sites close due to the snowy, winter conditions. The cold conditions continue until the end of February and make this period a little tricky to travel in.

Scotland Seasons

Peak Season in Scotland
Scotland experiences its peak tourism season during the summer months (June to August). Peak tourism combined with the summer vacation in schools makes this period the busiest time of the year for Scotland. The flight ticket prices are at their highest during this season. The mild weather is enjoyable and the sunny days are ideal for sightseeing and other outdoor activities.

Shoulder Season in Scotland
Spring (late March to May) and Fall (September and October) constitute the shoulder season for tourism in Scotland. Despite being considered a great time to travel to Scotland, these months experience lesser tourist crowds and subsequently cheaper prices. The weather conditions are incredibly pleasant. The countryside is at its greenest in Spring. Autumn brings out all the bright colours in the Highlands.

Low Season in Scotland
Winter is considered to be the low season for tourism in Scotland. You can expect to find the cheapest flights during this period. The accommodation is also a lot cheaper during this season. Travellers can also take advantage of post-Christmas sales if they travel during this time.

Midge Season in Scotland

Midges are small flying insects that can sometimes spoil your trip. Whether or not you’ll encounter them would depend on when your trip is and which parts of Scotland you’ll travel to. Midges emerge towards late-May and can be seen until late September. They are more prevalent in the Highland regions and can sometimes be a complete nuisance because of their biting. Travellers often confuse midges with mosquitoes. One way to spot the difference is that mosquitoes are much bigger than midges. It is recommended to purchase protective gear if travelling to the Highlands during the Midge season. An anti-insect head net or an insect repellant would undoubtedly prove useful.

Scotland in Spring (March to May)

Scotland Weather in Scotland
Spring is truly a splendid time to visit the Highlands. March marks the beginning of Spring in Scotland. Early March will have certain businesses that are still closed for business, owing to the snowy winter conditions. The average low and average high temperatures are 3 degrees Celsius and 10 degrees Celsius respectively. However, things will start to pick up towards the Easter weekend. The temperatures begin to rise over the next two months. April is also the driest month of the year for most regions. April sees an average low and average high temperature of 4 degrees Celsius and 11 degrees Celsius respectively. The Spring flowers begin to emerge in May fully. The average low and average high temperatures rise to 8 degrees Celsius and 16 degrees respectively in May. April and May can be considered for your trip if you wish to beat the summer crowds. Spring is an ideal time to take part in various activities like cycling, hiking, golfing and fishing.

Events and Festivals in Spring Season
  • Beltane is a pagan fire festival that is held at the end of April. The festival marks the end of winter in these regions.
  • The famous Highland Games begin in May which includes massive athletic events such as tug of war, tossing the caber and piping. The Games continue until the end of September.

Summer in Scotland (June to August)

Scotland Weather in Summer
Summer in Scotland sees temperatures ranging between 11 degrees Celsius and 18 degrees Celsius. June has increased daylight hours, averaging at around 17 and a half hours. Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is most lively during the summer months. The streets are buzzing with bost local and international visitors. Midges, a particular group of insects, begin to appear in June. They last until the end of September. July and August constitute the peak summer in Scotland. The average daily temperature is about 18 degrees Celsius, which makes for comfortable weather conditions. As schools are on summer vacation, these months are often the busiest of the year.

Events and Festivals during the Summer Season
  • The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is celebrated throughout August. It is the world’s largest arts festival and features several kinds of performances. Performers from all over the world come together to take part in this event.
  • The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the biggest event of its kind which takes place in August every year. It sees performances from the British Armed Forces, international military bands and the Commonwealth. The Highland Games are in full swing during the Summer months.

Scotland in Autumn (September to October)

Scotland Weather in Autumn
Scotland experiences its wettest month in September. There is a decrease in the overall temperatures, with the average low and average high temperatures dropping to 11 degrees Celsius and 17 degrees Celsius respectively. However, it is still a popular month to travel to Scotland. Autumns are the best for people who would like to spend more time in the countryside. It is also a perfect time for the outdoor enthusiasts who would like to explore the country by cycling, walking or trekking. Travellers often attend the famous Highland Games. October is the best month to consider if you wish to spot the vibrant autumn foliage. The weather conditions in October are drier and slightly cooler than in September. The average low and average high temperatures drop to 6 degrees Celsius and 12 degrees Celsius respectively. Certain businesses and hotels start to shut down towards the end of the month, owing to the snowy, winter conditions.

Events and Festivals during the Autumn Season
  • The Braemar Gathering is the most famous Highland games in the world. Competitors from all across the globe come together to take part in these Games.
  • The Highland Games is a popular event that begins in May and goes on until the end of September. It involves heavy athletic events.
  • The Findhorn Bay Festival is a renowned celebration of art and culture. It sees participation from local as well as international artists.
  • It's a perfect time for whisky lovers as the Autumn Speyside Whisky Festival is held during this time.

Winter in Scotland (November to February)

Scotland Weather in Winter 
Winter is considered a quiet time to visit Scotland. Many of the businesses and hotels remain shut during this season. The first snowfall often occurs in November. The temperatures can be seen to decrease over this month. The average low temperature is 2 degrees Celsius, and the average high temperature is 7 degrees Celsius in November. December witnesses the shortest amount of daylight. The nights are long and the days are cold. The average low temperature is 4 degrees Celsius, and the average high temperature is 8 degrees Celsius this month. January is considered to a bitterly cold month, with the average daily temperatures around freezing point. The capital city of Edinburgh experiences icy winds and lots of snow. February sees an average low and average high temperature of 3 degrees Celsius and 7 degrees Celsius respectively. Travellers prefer visiting Scotland during the winter if they plan on skiing. The beautiful scenery and amazing slopes make skiing over here an experience to remember.

Events and Festivals during the Winter Season
  • St Andrews Day is celebrated on 30th November every year. It celebrates Scotland’s patron saint with feasts, music and dances.
  • Hogmanay is a Scottish Festival to celebrate the New Year. It features live music and fireworks.
  • Burns Night is celebrated on the 25th of January every year. It is a celebration of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet. There are many poetry readings held on this day.
  • The Fort William Festival takes place during February which celebrates all things mountainous. The events include talks by famous mountaineers and films.
  • Glasgow on Ice is a musical event. It runs from late November to the end of December.

Monthly Weather in Scotland

Month Avg. Minimum (°C) Avg. Maximum (°C)
January 2 6
February 3 7
March 3 10
April 4 11
May 8 16
June 11 17
July 11 17
August 11 18
September 11 17
October 6 12
November 2 7
December 4 8

Best time to visit the top destinations in Scotland

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