The high season in Scotland generally extends from April through October. It coincides with the warmest weather and the longest daylight hours.
Scotland has lots to offer beyond this time and, in the fall-winter months, you can experience a different side to Scotland that I know you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The hills don’t go into hibernation and the beautiful landscapes and views remain.
In winter, we transform our routines and ways of living. We put on woolly hats, jackets, and spend more time with books, heading to eat a delicious meal, and catching up with friends in cozy pubs. We head outside for wintery walks in a landscape that is often covered in frost or snow. Although the trees are bare they offer views that are obscured by trees in the summer.
In the home, we experience peace when we relax by the fire and get warm to an inviting sofa with an elation of having spent the day outside and in a comfortable position. Add a hot chocolate or a warm whisky into the mix and is there anything more you could want to enjoy your next vacation?
Find out why you should consider a Winter Escape in Scotland should be at the top of your wish list!
When it’s not peak season, you can escape the crowds and enjoy Scotland’s incredible landscapes all to you.
There are less people, more space, and the feeling of being in a the world to yourself. yours.
In peak season, many luxury accommodations raise their prices to meet rising demand. In winter, costs to stay in luxurious accommodations can be more affordable.
It is possible to enjoy an evening in a castle-themed hotel and rest in a safe place, shielded from the elements by the stone walls adorned with centuries of time. Castles offer a maze of rooms to explore and exploring their pleasures and their luxury can be the main attraction of an entire vacation.
In the evenings you’ll stumble across the lounge or the drawing room where you can unwind and enjoy the luxurious surroundings.
Escapism & Relaxation
Travelling at a quieter time of the year provides the perfect time to relax and slow down in our frantic world. The dark nights force busy minds to stop and busy people to stay still and enjoy.
The winter holidays are the advantage of a slower pace, as you’re likely to complete all outdoor activities by 4pm and can have the entire evening before you to read the book you’ve been wanting to read or enjoy a leisurely meal.
There’s enough time in the day to catch up with yourself and get rid of that sense that you’re always doing something.
Warming Food & Drink
One thing that you can’t avoid is the fact that winter is cold. Every day breaks are compulsory in order to refuel and heat. It’s a wonderful opportunity to visit charming cafes and beautiful pubs!
The majority of Scottish cuisine comes from the need to stay warm with big portions and lots of carbohydrates. Think of Scotch broth as well as pies and roasts haggis neeps or tatties cullen skinks or a warm curry, root vegetable stew or the Scot’s love of chips in a bowl. My granny eats the same bowl of soup every throughout winter and soup served by an Scottish granny is always the best!
In the winter evening I suggest savoring an incredibly warm pie with vegetables and roast potatoes, followed by the large serving of hot sticky toffee pudding!
Our whisky-based national drink takes on a new life during winter, providing warmth for cold nights in warm bars with friends or an evening at home in front of the fireplace.
Take a look at the Everyday Life
The fact that there are fewer tourists means that you’re more likely to meet locals during your trip. Accommodations, bars and restaurants tend to be filled with locals enjoying the night off, rather than tourists. This provides an understanding of modern Scottish society and how they go about their everyday lives.
You might even get an opportunity to breezy (chat) with some nice locals.
Visit Onnela Lodge for luxury holiday lodges Scotland.
Embrace the Weather
The amount of rain is usually lower during winter than other times of the year , and the temperature generally stays well above 0degC, unlike many locations in Europe. As with the rest of the year, you are likely to experience a plethora of weather in one day, with fresh addition of beautiful frost and snow , you can expect to find snow and frost in the mix.
The misty autumnal Glencoe is one of my favorite views in Scotland and my absolute favourite kind of Scottish day is one that is cold and freezing but sunny with clear skies. Imagine a gorgeous castle framed by snow-capped hills during a bright day – the photo opportunities are infinite!
If you’re wearing the proper clothing, getting out is possible regardless of the weather. If you’re a seasoned winter walker then a trek across the snowy mountains be unforgettable!
Discover Indoor Activities
Did you know that the majority Scotland’s museums and art galleries are free and open to the public? They’re the perfect place to stay indoors during bad weather and to learn something new.
This includes the massive National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the stunning Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. Pop in for 15 minutes or all day and take shelter from the winter cold!
As if all this wasn’t enough, there are lots of exciting events and festivals that take place in Scotland during low seasons.
From the end of November to the beginning of January , there are Christmas markets to visit in each Scottish city including the most spectacular one in Edinburgh which allows you to ride the giant Ferris wheel and buy presents at the festively decorated stands, and warm up with mulled wine.
In the evenings, when they are at their darkest, it is time to light up our cities with thousands of lights that illuminate streets and buildings.
Hogmanay (New New Year’s Eve) is a major event in Scotland and there are massive celebrations all over the country.
There are also many other significant events that are celebrated in these months like Guy Fawkes Night on the 5th November, St Andrew’s Day on the 30th November, and Burns Night on the 25th January.
Celtic Connections is a two-week duration music festival that features internationally acclaimed artists that takes places in Glasgow at the beginning of January. The Up Helly Aa is the famous Viking festival in The Shetland Isles. Burns and Beyond is a celebration of Burns Night and modern Scotland through a series of celebrations held in Edinburgh in January. There is so much to pick from!
The Night Sky
Finally, take a trip to the rural Scotland at night and gaze on thousands and thousands of stars twinkling down on you. I could stare at our night sky for hours and the stars will provide a nightly show for everyone to delight in.
Top Tips for an Scottish Winter Escape
Remember the limited time of daylight.
Look ahead at the weather and plan your schedule in line with the weather.
If you are driving through rural areas, be aware of winter driving practices
Invest in a good waterproof coat, wrap up warm
Make sure you check opening hours for attractions in advance since they may be shorter or less
And most importantly, remember to Bring your camera!