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Best time to visit Scotland

Practical tips and advice for when to visit the land of kilts and bagpipes.

With a reputation for unpredictable weather and big crowds (and prices) when the sun is most likely to be out, we’ve found the best times to visit Scotland so that you don’t have to gamble your time or money away with your vacation.

Best time to visit Scotland

June is the best time to visit Scotland. You can enjoy long warm summer days and fewer crowds than in the school holiday and festival season of July and August.

The spring and autumn months of late March to May and September are your next best bet for good weather with less people.

If you’re travelling on a budget, you can take your chances with the less predictable winter period from November to February. Prices will start to drop, but some hotels and attractions will shut up shop for the season.

Cheapest time to fly to Scotland (Glasgow International Airport)


Overview

The spring months of March, April and May are a beautiful time to visit Scotland, when the flowers are in bloom and the countryside starts to come alive. The second half of this season is the driest time along the coast, and you can expect average maximum temperatures of 7°C to 13°C.

Summer (June, July and August) is the warmest time in Scotland, with temperatures reaching 19°C. The school holiday period during July and early August and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival make this the busiest time to travel.

The colder months from November through to February can be crisp and bright, but more often than not are cold and gloomy with short days and long nights.

Overall, the weather in Scotland is unpredictable no matter what time of year you visit, and you should always expect a bit of rain.

Best time to visit Scotland for…

  • Festivals. July and August see the peak of the Highland Games season, as well as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a ton of other summer festivals.
  • Scottish Highlands. You’ll find the best weather and the most daylight for exploring from May to September.
  • Snowsports. If you’re keen to hit the slopes, the ski season runs from December through to early April, but the weather is usually better later in the season.
  • Surfing. While good waves can be found year-round in Scotland, the best time to surf is usually from September to April.
  • Golf. May and early June are the best months for golfing when the courses aren’t too busy, the green is in great shape and the days are long.
  • Bird watching. Spring and summer are the ideal times, with many species coming and going throughout the seasons.
  • Fishing. February to October is the main salmon fishing season, while sea trout fishing is best from May to September.

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