Best time to travel to Scotland
Scotland is not a typical summer destination where you can lounge in the sun. Wind and rain are as much a part of Scotland as the Highland Cows, Haggis and the bagpipes. The climatic conditions and the inconsistent weather conditions do not detract from the popularity of the travel destination. But on the contrary. The tourists love the rugged landscapes, the picturesque islands and the hospitality of the Scots. In addition, you can pursue numerous activities on your vacation and get to know the country with all its facets. A trip to Scotland is definitely worth it. I’ll show you which travel time is best and when you can get the most out of your vacation.
The best time to travel to Scotland
Due to the inconsistent weather all year round and the small differences in weather between the seasons, you can visit Scotland all year round. Nevertheless, there are travel months that are more popular with vacationers than others. The high season prevails in Scotland during the months of April , May , June , July , August , September and October . Winter is over or is still to come and the temperatures are in a comfortable range. Of the months mentioned, three stand out as being particularly popular with tourists: May , June and September.
Best travel time for Scotland:
- Main travel season: April to October
- Best months to travel: May, June and September
For Edinburgh in the south, August is also the best time to travel to Scotland. The months of May and September are popular because they are far from the summer months when most tourists visit Scotland. In the months of June, July and August you have to expect many holidaymakers and increased prices for accommodation. But you can look forward to comparatively constant weather during this time. Usually September is warmer than May. There are always exceptions to the Scottish weather!
The best time to travel to the Highlands
The Highlands in Scotland are a highlight and a special kind of holiday destination . The most beautiful landscapes in Scotland await you here. Lush green meadows, imposing mountains with Ben Nevis as the highest mountain and the so-called Lochs. Visit the numerous historical castles and let yourself be captivated by the ancient flair. You can see all these sights all year round, but I recommend spring and autumn as the best time to visit the Highlands in Scotland . The weather conditions are ideal for hiking and exploring.
I advise you against summer, because at this time of the year the so-called Highland Midges are up to mischief in the Highlands. The mosquitoes are particularly active in August and September and then develop into a major nuisance. If you want to experience the Highlands without these nuisances, avoid traveling in the summer months mentioned.
Best time to visit Scotland for dolphin and whale watching
Many will be delighted to see dolphins and some species of whales in Scotland all year round. Bottlenose dolphins are native to Scotland. They live in the Moray Firth, an area in the North Sea. But to see them, you have to go on tour with an experienced guide. He brings you to the corresponding region and you can no longer stop being amazed. A great side effect: Here you can also admire seals, harbor seals, otters and ospreys. Harbor porpoises have settled around the islands to the north. You can see them all year round if you know where to find them.
Dolphins are mainly on the hunt in spring and summer . When the tide comes in, you can admire the Defline while fishing. According to many opinions, the time from late spring to early autumn is worthwhile to watch whales . If you want to take a boat tour with dolphin and whale watching in Scotland, it is best to contact a provider directly. They know the best times for wildlife viewing and give you all the important information.
Climate in Scotland
If you choose Scotland as your travel destination, you have to be prepared for inconsistent and changeable weather . Be prepared for the fact that you can experience several weather changes in one day – from rain to warm sunshine to very windy parts of the day. There are no pronounced weather differences over the course of the year. That is, the winters are not extremely cold and the summers are not extremely hot. Scotland has a temperate climate . On the one hand, this climate means mild winters . According to neovideogames, temperatures fall only slightly below zero in winter, if at all. There is also snowfall in the Highlands, but not in the rest of the country. On the other hand, the moderate climate causes cool summers. Although temperatures can climb to over 30 degrees Celsius in the summer months, this is rarely the case. As a rule, temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius prevail in the warm summer months.
Due to the geographical location of Scotland, there are regional differences. This applies above all to the west and east of the country. In principle, it is warmer in the west than in the east. This is due to the Atlantic with the warm Gulf Stream, which has a positive influence on the temperatures in the west. However, it rains in the west, especially in the Highlands, much more than in the east and in all other regions. In the east of Scotland, around Aberdeen, it is sunnier compared to the west. The climatic differences are minimal on an annual average, but they do exist! In the months of June, July and August, however, there are ideal conditions for a holiday on both sides of the country. Here you have to weigh whether the slightly better weather conditions in both parts of the country are worth the higher hotel prices for you. So that you have comparison values, you will find two climate tables below. Glasgow is representative of the west, Aberdeen represents the east.
Climate table for East Scotland – Aberdeen
|Max. Temperature in ° C||6||6||8||11||14||18||19||19||16||13||9||6|
|Min. Temperature in ° C||-1||0||2||3||6||9||1||10||8||6||3||1|
|Hours of sunshine per day||2||3||3||5||6||6||5||5||4||3||2||1|
|Rainy days per month||18||14||14||14||14||14||17||15||14||16||17||17|
Climate table for West Scotland – Glasgow
|Max. Temperature in ° C||6||7||9||11||16||17||19||19||16||12||9||7|
|Min. Temperature in ° C||1||2||2||4||6||9||11||10||8||6||3||2|
|Hours of sunshine per day||1||2||3||4||6||6||5||5||4||2||2||1|
|Rainy days per month||17||13||10||11||10||10||13||14||13||15||14||16|
Scotland is a must for everyone who loves endless expanses and harsh landscapes and has no problem with sudden or permanent rain and wind. Since there are no great differences in weather during the year, you can choose any season for a trip. If you still want a bit of stability in the weather and pleasant temperatures for your holiday in Scotland, you should concentrate on the months of May, June and September . In addition, the months of April to October are considered the main travel time for Scotland. If you choose the summer months as your travel time, be aware of the mosquito plague in the Highlands!