When is the best time to visit Scotland?

This is a question that pops up on a regular basis at Scotts Castle Holidays.

Whilst we can give a comprehensive response and describe the advantages of each season, ultimately the answer depends on the one asking the question and what it is that you are looking for from your holiday.

When is the best time to visit Scotland?

Loch Fyne in Summer

Scotland offers so much, whatever the time of year, with summer and winter events and festivals, so there are always things to do, with culture and history in abundance, not dependent on the season or the weather.

Scotland offers many ideal solutions for the perfect holiday and by checking the Met Office on weather conditions at that time of the year, you can choose what fits your requirements.

Let’s take a look at the main seasons in Scotland, including what’s on, what type of weather to expect and the landscape:

Spring (March – May).

This is a beautiful time of year to visit Scotland, as everything is either on the cusp of colour or is bursting through. It is a joy to be out in the clean fresh air, to see the mountains, lochs and countryside in all their grandeur.

Weather-wise it can be cool, but the warmth is on its way.

This time of year is an ideal time to take to the great outdoors for brisk walks, proper hiking of hills, cycling, fishing and golfing.

Some great events take place in May, including the Aviemore and Cairngorms Walking and Mountain Festival, the Arran Wildlife Festival, and the Isle of Bute Jazz Festival.

For those wishing to tour Scotland, it is a quieter time of year to travel (except the Easter break) and is a great opportunity to explore the many historic castles or take in a whisky tour and sample the finest malt. Check the Events Scotland website for all the month by month events listings.

Historic castle to rent in Scotland

You can stay in this historic Scottish castle in Forres, all year-round

Summer (June – August).

These are the traditional summer months, where the weather is at its warmest, when one year can be a heat-wave and the next be a wash-out.

It is the busiest time of the year throughout Scotland, and the capital city of Edinburgh hosts a festival for three weeks in August, tripling in size with visitors and performers arriving from all around the world.

Also in August (providing you book well in advance) you can take in the long standing Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the biggest event of its kind in the world, which is hosted at Edinburgh Castle.

Summer also has a full calendar of Highland Games, including the Cowal Gathering, the largest of the Games events and smaller, more intimate festivals including the annual small boats festival at Portsoy.

For sporting activities, the golfers enjoy the award-winning world-famous courses looking at their best and the scenery is looking magnificent.

Autumn (September – November).

Once the traditional summer months are over, the countryside begins to change colour, with a mixture of beautiful golds and browns dominating countryside walks.

It is a great time for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the best of walking, cycling and climbing.

The last of the Highland Games events at Balmoral is held on the first Saturday of September each year and the summer events give way to the more relaxed pace of the autumn events, like the Wigtown Book Festival.

Scotland in the Autumn

The Autumn colours are stunning in the Scottish countryside

The Autumn Speyside Whisky Festival in Dufftown, Moray is always worth a visit. All the major visitor attractions remain open until the end of November and it is a good time of year to visit whilst it becomes quieter but maintains the milder temperatures.

Winter (December – February)

. Scotland becomes colder and daylight hours become shorted at this time of year, so the emphasis turns on different aspects of Scotland.

Glasgow and Edinburgh are great cities to visit for a city break with world-class shopping facilities, and both offer spectacular Winter events: Glasgow on Ice and Edinburgh’s Winter Wonderland respectively.

snow in Scotland River Dee

Whilst Scotland is known for many things, it is perhaps best known for hosting its legendary annual New Year’s Eve party, with Edinburgh Hogmanay an absolute must-see.

Skiing is also a big hit in Scotland in the Winter, with heavy snowfall common until early Spring. Thousands flock to the mountains to race down the fantastic slopes and soak up the stunning scenery. There are 5 ski resorts in Scotland, with the Cairngorm range, the Lecht, Glencoe, Glenshee and the Nevis range all offering winter sports.

So, to answer the question: when is the best time to visit Scotland?

The answer: it is up to you – depending on what you want out of your trip.

Once you have decided, we at Scotts Castle Holidays will be delighted to assist you further in designing your dream holiday – give us a call on 01208 821 341 or browse the extensive collection of stunning properties on the website.

Whenever you choose to visit, you’re sure to have a fantastic time. We hope to see you soon.