Planning a holiday in Scotland this year? Guests with and without children often ask us when the Scotland school holidays are because they want to know whether to expect places to be busy or quiet during their visit.
Scottish school holidays do vary from UK school holidays in England and Wales; they can also vary from region to region.
For your ease, we’ve collated the core Scotland holiday dates for 2019 and added in the regional variations that we’re aware of. For region specifics it may be best to identify the council responsible for education in the area of Scotland you’re visiting and check what holiday periods they have advertised.
For now, let’s plan a holiday in Scotland!
Scotland school holidays 2019
New Year’s Day and 2 January are both bank holidays in Scotland. Most schools in Scotland are expected to reopen on Monday 7 January.
February half term in Scotland is shorter than in the rest of the UK in most regions. At least six Scottish councils give teachers and pupils a 3-day break in the second week of February (11-13 February 2019 inclusive).
In Fife and Highland and West Lothian, they only provide a 2-day break (14-15 and 18-19 February 2019 respectively). Whereas in Edinburgh schools are closed for a full week (11-15 February 2019).
Easter 2019 falls in April with Easter Sunday marked for 21 April. But not all Scotland regions tie their spring holiday to Easter dates. Most Scottish school holidays in April are at the beginning of the month absorbing the first two weeks of April. Only Dumfries and Galloway takes holiday later in the month and incorporates the Easter weekend.
Over Easter, only Good Friday is a bank holiday in Scotland. Easter Monday in Scotland is not awarded bank holiday status.
By way of example of just how variable Scotland school holidays are by region, Glasgow schools will be closed on Easter Monday while Edinburgh schools won’t. Similarly come the late May bank holiday, Glasgow schools celebrate a long weekend taking Friday 24 and Monday 27 May off. This isn’t recognised by Edinburgh schools, they take Monday 20 May off instead for Victoria Day (a tradition recognising Queen Victoria’s birthday). Over in Fife they take Monday 3 June off instead.
There are two bank holidays in May recognised in Scotland. In 2019 these fall on Monday 6 and Monday 27 May.
Some schools in Scotland will actually be closed for 6 and 7 May – the latter being a popular day for teachers to arrange an inset day. Some close again later in the month for 24 and 27 May, or just the latter. Either way, with the weather warming up it’s always a popular month for long weekend breaks.
Synonymous across Scotland is the last day of term in the Scottish academic year: typically the last Friday of June. In 2019, Scottish schools finish for the summer holidays on Friday 28 June.
The six weeks summer holiday in Scotland begins a good three weeks ahead of peers in the rest of the UK. School holidays in England and Wales begin for the summer at the end of July until the beginning of September.
Mid August in Scotland sees the return of pupils and staff to school. Scottish Highers results are announced early August while GCSE and A Level results in England and Wales are announced just as Scotland goes back to school for the new academic year.
There’s a long weekend break in Scotland come September as we all cross fingers for an Indian summer and a final weekend getaway while the weather is still warm. As you might have guessed, in some parts of Scotland this is just a one day break, in others it’s a Friday and a Monday wrapped around one weekend. And obviously, they tend to fall on different weekends throughout the month depending where you live!
Autumn term is a long slog for teachers and pupils in Scotland, and this long weekend is a welcome respite before the short days of winter set in.
Mid term autumn break or October half term usually falls in the third week of the month. Typically a week ahead of England and Wales it means our accommodation in Scotland is busy is with guests.
And so it is with festive cheer and the promise of Hogmanay that schools break up for Christmas. Most Scottish schools will terminate term on Friday 19 December this year. Feel free to check for variances – there’s more than reasonable chance there’ll be some around here!
The great thing about all these nuances in the school term dates is that demand for holiday accommodation is Scotland is better spread with fewer lumps and bumps in the calendar.
Now you know what’s planned for schools in 2019 you can gather your friends, check your diaries and set about booking that large holiday home for your 2019 get together. Start your search and give us a call if you need a hand finalising plans or checking details.
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