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Scotland Climate

Weather in Scotland

Scotland sits at the very edge of the European continent. Being surrounded on three sides by water, our climate is varied. Generally speaking, the west coast is milder, but wetter whereas the eastern side of the country is cooler and drier. Should it rain during your travels, it’s good to know that our ever-changing weather patterns will ensure that it probably won’t last for long. The months of April, May and June are usually drier than the peak travel months of July, August and September.

Winter

Winter

Travel in the winter months to experience famous Scottish festivals such as Hogmanay (New Year's Eve), Burns Night (Robert Burns Birthday) and Up Helly AA (a Viking festival in the Shetland Islands). No matter where your travels take you, the weather can be unpredictable, so dont forget to wrap up well.

Although the winter months are the ideal time for a city break in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness dont miss the chance for a tour into the Highlands where, if the weather is kind, you can be rewarded with stunning views of snow-topped mountains and mirror-like lochs.

This time of year is best for viewing the Auroras Borealis or Northern Lights. The good news is that Scotland is one of the top spots to see these dancing lights in the sky. Head to Caithness, the North West Highlands, Outer Hebrides or the Isle of Skye where the sky is at its darkest for the best chance of viewing this natural phenomenon.

The restricted daylight hours is a great excuse to find a cosy pub to relax in front of an open fire and, maybe, taste one of Scotlands fine malt whiskies. There as so many to choose from and each has aunique flavour all of its own.

Average Temperatures (Min/Max)

Edinburgh  1-6.5 C°/7-13C°
Glas
gow​     1-6 C°/6-12 C°
Inverness
​   1-6 C°/7-13 C°

Daylight​     8 hours

Spring

Spring

As nature begins to wake up and the flowers and trees come into bloom, Scotland becomes a riot of colour in parks and gardens throughout the country. The landscape changes too, as young animals make their arrival on farms. In city parks, its time for ducklings, signets and other water life to make an appearance, much to the delight of children of all ages. As the days go by then, so the hours of daylight slowly extend and the sun starts to make its presence felt.

Easter marks the start of the tourism season when many attractions open their doors to the public after winter hibernation. Seek out our historic castles and grand mansions to learn the stories that have shaped this nation of ours. Enjoy a stroll through the grounds to discover hidden gardens and captivating nature trails - its fun for all the family.

Travelling during the spring will let you experience Scotland, without the crowds (as long as you miss the Easter weekend). It will be much easier to get your first choice of accommodation or a table at your preferred restaurant. Getting to Scotland should be more comfortable too, but dont forget to book well in advance to get the lowest prices.

Average Temperatures (Min/Max)

Edinburgh  1-3 C°/7-9.5C°
Glas
gow​    1-2 C°/6-9 C°
Inverness
​   1-2 C°/7-9 C°

Daylight​    13 hours

Summer

Summer

The phenomenal long summer days will let you maximise your sightseeing while enjoying Scotland at its very best. Sure, it can get busy, particularly if you travel during August, but it’s easy to get off the beaten track to discover those hidden gems that make touring Scotland so unique.

Head to Edinburgh for the International Festival and Festival Fringe when the city becomes the backdrop to one of the World’s most significant art events. Don’t forget the magical Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo which takes place on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. It’s true what they say, once seen, never forgotten!  In the West, Glasgow is the venue for the World Pipe Band Championships while local Highland Games take place throughout the country where you can experience traditional dancing, heavy sports and the magic of the massed pipes and drums.

At this time of year, a visit to one of Scotland’s many islands is a must. To the north, the Orkney islands provide a Viking legacy and ancient sights that tell 5,000 years of colourful history. The Outer Hebrides islands of Harris and Lewis are famed for their rugged beauty, fantastic beaches, plentiful wildlife and unique cultural traditions while Islay, a centre of whisky distilling with eight working distilleries, attracts whisky fans from all over the world to this beautiful island.    

Average Temperatures (Min/Max)

Edinburgh​  4-10 C°/12-17C°
Glas
gow​    4-9 C°/12-17.5 C°
Inverness
​  4-9 C°/12-17 C°

Daylight   17 hours

Autumn

Autumn

For many Autumn is the perfect time to visit Scotland. For a start, the days are still long, with bright blue skies and the weather is still on it’s best behaviour, most of the time. The hectic summer crowds have gone, and all-in-all life is more relaxing. Best of all, the autumn foliage turns into vibrant shades of brown, orange and gold, presenting pleasant warm views whichever way you turn.

Glasgow is famed for its numerous parks; indeed the city is affectionately known as the “Dear Green Place”. In addition to its green spaces, the city boasts ancient buildings, grand Victorian architecture as well as a vibrant retail and dining scene. It makes the ideal autumn city break destination.

Head to Highland Perthshire, known as “Big Tree Country”, for magical walks to experience tumbling waterfalls and trees festooned with golden leaves. When it comes to stunning autumn views, it doesn’t get much better than Loch Achray in the heart of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park which is easily accessible on a day tour from Edinburgh or Glasgow. Loch Maree, one of the highlights of the North Coast 500 route, is considered by many to be Scotland’s most scenic loch. The view certainly has the wow-factor thanks to the golden hues of the ancient Caledonian Pinewoods.

Average Temperatures (Min/Max)

Edinburgh​  9-11.5 C°/16.5-19C°
Glas
gow​    9-11 C°/16-19 C°
Inverness
​   9-11 C°/16-19 C°

Daylight​    11 hours

Loch Ness Cruise

What to wear

When it comes to packing for a trip to Scotland, savvy travellers always work on layered clothing. It’s a popular saying that we can experience all four seasons in the one day, so it’s best to come prepared.

When it comes to your Scotland packing list, don’t forget a light waterproof coat or jacket and comfortable shoes so that you can enjoy an after-dinner stroll amongst your Highland surroundings. It’s wise to include a heavier sweater too, especially if your tour includes a ferry journey or anoptional cruise on a loch. Of course, you can sit inside, but it’s much more fun up on deck enjoying the sea air and stunning views!

The dress code while on tour is casual and generally, there is no need to dress up for dinner. However,if youre travelling on an escorted tour, you might want to include some smarter clothes for evening dining.






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For over 100 years we've been making touring Scotland a quality experience for visitors from all over the World. Over the years our Scottish tours have been chosen by many thousands of travellers who want to tour Scotland in comfort and style.

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Today we continue to offer our clients the highest standards of service and the very best value. You can tour Scotland with Scottish Tours confident in the knowledge that no one has more experience.

Tour Scotland with Scottish Tours. Discover the highlights of Scotland on a tour to Loch Ness, The Scottish Highlands, Skye and Loch Lomond.