The high season in Scotland generally is from April until October, in accordance with the warmest temperatures and the longest days.
Scotland has plenty to offer outside of this season and during the winter months you will discover a new side of Scotland that I am sure you’ll find extremely satisfying. The hills don’t hibernate and the stunning landscapes and views remain.
In winter, we alter our habits and lifestyles. We don wooly hats and sweaters and spend more time reading , going out for a hearty meal and catching up with friends in cozy pubs. We take a walk outside during winter walks in a landscape which is usually covered with the snow or frost. Even though the trees aren’t in full but there are views that stretch for miles which are hidden by trees during summer.
When we return to the indoors, there is an euphoria when we relax by the fire and get warm once more, before sinking into the comfort of a sofa and the satisfaction of being outside, and waiting to snuggle. Include a hot cup of tea or a warm wee whisky and what else could you ask for to enjoy your next vacation?
Find out why you should consider a Winter Escape in Scotland should be firmly in your list of bucket lists!
In the winter months you’ll be able to escape the crowds and enjoy Scotland’s stunning landscapes for you.
There are less people, more space and the feeling of being in a an entire world yours.
In peak season the majority of luxury hotels increase their rates to meet the demand. In winter, prices to stay in the most luxurious accommodations can be more favorable.
You can treat yourself to an evening in a castle hotel , and rest in a safe place, shielded from the elements by the stone walls adorned with centuries of historical significance. Castles have a myriad of rooms that you can explore, and exploring their pleasures and their lavishness can be the most exciting part of an entire vacation.
In the evenings, maybe you’ll find the reading room or library to unwind and enjoy the lavish surroundings.
Did You Know? Onnela Lodge provides a luxury holiday lodges Scotland experience.
Escapism & Relaxation
A quieter time of the year is the ideal chance to unwind and slow out from the chaos of our daily lives. The dark evenings force busy minds to slow down and busy minds to be in silence and unwind.
Winter holidays have an ebb and flow, where you’re likely to complete your outdoor activities before 4 pm and you’ll have the entire evening in the evening to finish the book you’ve been trying to finish or enjoy a leisurely meal.
There’s ample time for you to get caught up and let go of the feeling that you must always be doing something.
Heating Food & Drink
One thing you cannot avoid is the fact the winter months are cold. The regular breaks are essential to replenish and warm up. It is a great opportunity to go to charming cafes and beautiful pubs!
The majority of Scottish food comes from the necessity of keeping warm by serving large portions and lots of carbs. Think of Scotch broth roast meats and pies haggis neeps, tatties and haggis cullen skink or a warm curry, root vegetable stew, or the Scot’s love for chips in a bowl. My grandmother eats an entire bowl of soup each day during winter, and soup made by the hands of a Scottish grandmother is always the most delicious!
In the winter evening I suggest savoring warm pie, stuffed with vegetables and roast potatoes, followed by an enormous portion of sticky toffee pudding hot and warm!
The whisky that is our national drink is given a new lease of life in the winter months, bringing warmth to the cold winter nights in cozy bars with friends or a cozy evening with a fire.
Experience the everyday Life
Less tourists means you’re more likely to meet locals during your vacation. Restaurants, hotels and bars are usually filled with locals enjoying an evening out and not tourists. This provides an understanding of modern Scottish lifestyle and how people are living their daily lives.
Maybe you’ll even have the chance to chat (chat) with a few friendly locals.
Accept the Weather
It is more likely to rain less in winter than other seasons and temperatures generally stay above 0°C, which is not the case for many locations in Europe. Like the rest of the year, you’re likely to experience a variety of weather on one day, but with recent addition of gorgeous frost and snow to the mix.
An autumnal misty Glencoe is one of my favorite views in Scotland and my favorite type of Scottish day is one that is frigid cold, but amazingly sunny and blue skies. Imagine a stunning castle framed by snow-capped mountains in a sunny day. The photo opportunities are limitless!
If you’re wearing the appropriate clothing, going out is possible regardless of the conditions. If you’re an experienced winter walker, a stroll through the snowy mountains be unforgettable!
Discover Indoor Activities
Did you know that the majority of Scotland’s art and museums are free and accessible to all? They are the ideal place to escape the cold weather and to learn something new.
This includes the massive National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the stunning Kelvingrove Art Gallery as well as the Kelvingrove Art Gallery Museum located in Glasgow. Visit for just 15 minutes or an entire day to get shelter from the chill!
If all that wasn’t enough, there’s a myriad of festivals and events which take place in Scotland during the winter months.
Between the end of November until the beginning of January , there are Christmas markets to visit in every Scottish city, including the most spectacular one in Edinburgh where you can take a ride on the Ferris wheel that is massive and buy presents at the colorfully decorated stands, and get cozy with mulled wine.
In the evenings, when they are at their darkest, we brighten our cities up with thousands of fairy lights that cover the streets and structures.
Hogmanay (New New Year’s Eve) is a major event in Scotland and you can find huge celebrations throughout the country.
There are many more important occasions to be celebrated during these months , including Guy Fawkes Night on the 5th November, St Andrew’s Day on the 30th of November, and Burns Night on the 25th January.
Celtic Connections is a two-week long music festival featuring international artists taking the place of Glasgow during January. The Up Helly Aa is the famous Viking festival that takes place in Scotland’s Shetland Isles. Burns and Beyond is a celebration of Burns Night and modern Scotland with a variety of events that take place in Edinburgh during January. There’s a lot to pick from!
The Night Sky
Then, venture into the countryside of Scotland at night to gaze on the thousands and thousands of stars that glisten over you. I could gaze at the evening sky all night long, and the stars provide a free evening show that everyone can take in.
Top Tips for an Scottish Winter Escape
Keep in mind the short hours of daylight.
Check the forecast for the weather and plan your schedule in line with the weather.
If you’re driving through rural areas, be aware of winter driving techniques
Make sure you have a quality waterproof coat, get cozy
Be sure to check the opening hours of attractions prior to their opening as they may be shorter or restricted.
The most important thing is to take your camera!