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Europe >> Scotland >> Best Time to Visit Scotland

Best Time to Visit Scotland

The highlands are perhaps best visited during the summer months - between May and September - when the skies clear up relatively and the weather is at its warmest.

Edinburgh during the festival in August is just a wee bit chilly but altogether bracing.

Scotland during the winter months of November to March is absolutely freezing, and you won’t see much of the tourist rush then. So if you’re into smaller crowds, and can handle a climate step into the Scottish snow in the winter, then you could make the trip in winter. A much more quiet and sober time of the year to visit hubs like Glasgow and Edinburgh, although the lakes will be frozen to the ground. If winter sports are your thing, head out to the Scottish sites of Glencoe, Nevis, or the Lecht.

Climate

The highlands and much of the remaining country is characterized by cool summers and temperate winters. Scotland’s weather isn’t too different from that of England, as it is completely under the influence of moderating oceanic winds. Snow is a regular feature of winters in the highlands, and winters months between December and March can be quite chilly, although the western coast is much milder.

Even before you get to Scotland, you’ll surely get to hear the old round of jokes about Scottish weather and how wet it is. Well, there’s no denying that the sun doesn’t shine so bright in the Scottish highlands. Rain is plenty and perennial, and especially in the western highlands, which are wet for most of the year. This region receives almost 4000 mm of rain in a year. The coasts make up for this and rain is much more moderate here, totaling about 600 mm a year. In general, Scotland is pleasant enough during the summer months May to September, but never too warm. July and August are the warmest months, and in the highlands you have partial sunlight till as late at 10 or 11 pm at night.

Scotland is not as climatically predictable as one might wish, so you can only plan ahead so much. Apart from that, just bring along the umbrellas and leave the rest up to the rain gods.


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