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When is the best time of year to visit Scotland?

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What is the best season to plan a trip to Scotland? Our travel guide takes you through the four seasons, looking at the pros and cons of each - and celebrating the best of spring, summer, autumn and winter in Scotland.

Spring in Scotland

From March to June, the temperatures in Scotland are rising and the daylight hours getting longer. If you prefer to explore without the crowds, spring is a great time to come to Scotland. Most visitor attractions that close for winter reopen in March or April but visitor numbers are usually lower than in summer.

Spring flowers are in bloom and there are several festivals celebrating the new seson and Easter, including the Scottish Snowdrop Festival. Now is a good time to take a ferry trip to one of Scotland's many islands and you could also plan a trip to a castle - see our springtime castles guide here.

Summer in Scotland

Summer usually sees the best of Scottish weather with sunshine (and maybe some showers) and the highest temperatures of the year in July and August. This is the height of the visitor season, giving you the pick of festivals, living history events, tours, clan gatherings and Highland Games. Top of the bill for many visitors is the Edinburgh Festival and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. For inspiration, see our Ultimate Edinburgh history & travel guide.

Autumn in Scotland

Celebrate the season by enjoying autumn in Scotland - the crowds have got smaller, visitor attractions are still open and the cooler weather makes exploring a pleasure. See autumn colours (guide here) and look out for seasonal events including the Speyside Whisky Festival and the Doors Open Days Festival, when attractions around Scotland open their doors to the public.

Winter in Scotland

Some might find winter cold and dark but here in Scotland there's still plenty to enjoy - it's just about looking for things to see and do that either allow you to revel in the colder weather... or cosy up indoors. There will be some real travel bargains to have in the weeks before Christmas and New Year (when prices go up) and you can enjoy winter festivals, Christmas fairs, skiing & snowboarding or toast yourself in front of a roaring fire in your cosy holiday cottage. New to the visitor scene is the Cairngorms Snow Roads route offering 90 miles of adventure.

Temperatures in Scotland

Best Time to visit Scotland Bookmundi

Above infographic courtesy of BookMundi. For their guide to the best time to visit Scotland, click here.

Images: Arran copyright Scotia, Glens of Scotland copyright DG505, Wallace Monument copyright Ray Mann, Eilean Donan Castle copyright Akela NDE

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