Best time to visit Scotland

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Sep22 - Oct02:SEPTEMBER 22 - OCTOBER 02:

24 THINGS TO DO IN SCOTLAND

The Jacobite Steam Train

early May–late October • activity

Did you know that the route of the Hogwarts Express passes through the Scottish Highlands?

Cruise to Staffa

April–October  • activity

The trip to Staffa amazes with wildlife encounters, puffin colonies, and the geometric shapes of Fingal's Cave

Hillwalking or Munro Bagging

April–October  • activity

To become a "completer" you have to bag not less than 284 Munros

Coasteering

May–October • activity

The brave and curious will enjoy exploring the nearly inaccessible craggy coastlines of western and eastern Scotland

Blooming Heather

June–November  • nature

Purple heather blooms ornate open Scottish fields and heathlands, wetlands, and forests

Horse Flat Racing Season

April–September  • activity

Musselburgh Racecourse provides year round great racing action with 27 racedays

Scotland's Most Remote Pub

April–October • activity

The waterway to the Old Forge Pub overlooks Europe's Last Wilderness, and the very pub pleases with strong ale, langoustines, and live music

Dolphin and Whale Watching

April–November  • nature

Grand Minkes, Humpbacks, Fins, Orcas, and above all the cute and playful Bottlenose dolphins will amuse you during the seasonal cruises

Salmon and Sea Trout

January–November • food

Fishing for Scottish salmon and trout is not as easy as it might seem, you can learn the art during informative fishing lessons

Adventure Tubing and River Bugging

April–October  • activity

At some moments it might be unclear whether you flow or fly—either way a good dose of adrenaline is guaranteed

Crab Apple Jelly

April–October  • food

Crab apple jelley with peanut butter makes for a delicious sweet-sour sandwich

Scotch Pie and Bovril

August–April  • food

A football match cannot do without a piece of warm nourishing mutton pie and a glass of hot beef-flavoured Bovril

Haggis

July–January | January 25 • food

Sheep's insides are sewn into its stomach, boiled, and served with "tatties and neeps" and a glass of Scotch Whisley for Burns Supper

Canoeing, Kayaking and Sea Kayaking

April–October  • activity

Scottish white water rivers and lochs offer some of the best canoeing and kayaking trails in the world

Golf

April–October • activity

Golf courses of Scotland will impress you with breathtaking scenery—especially the course on the River Clyde encased by the Ayrshire hills

Berry Season

July–October  • food

Scotland abounds in strawberries, blackberries, currants, and other juicy sweets

Cycling & Mountain Biking

late March–October • activity

Cycling routes running through Scottish mountains, glens, and lochs feature local wildlife and promise an unforgettable biking holiday

Stand Up Paddleboarding

March–November  • activity

"Row, row, row the board, gently down the stream"–yes, the board, no misspelling here. This sport​ combines surfing with kayaking

White Water Rafting

June–September  • activity

Previous experience is not required, but you must be brave to survive the "Zag Zag," the "Sharks Tooth," and the drop over the Falls of Tummel

Water Skiing and Wakeboarding

April–September  • activity

Scotland's glistening lakes are there not just for visual delight—try out some skiing or wakeboarding!

Canyoning and Gorge Walking

late March–late September • activity

The steep Scottish canyons, seemingly inaccessible at the first sight are actually explored by thousands of adventurous enthusiasts

Lamb Meat

July–January  • food

Scottish lamb is the sweetest and the leanest in the world owing to the excellent Highland pastures

Hunting Season

August 12–March • activity

The season starts with grouse, snipe, and ptarmigan then proceeds with other wildfowl and finishes with deer

Lemon Sole

June–September • food

The fillet dish tastes best with a Mediterranean sauce

54 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

Edinburgh Military Tattoo

August 04–26, 2017 • event

A memorable representation of dance, military pageantry and music as part of the Edinburgh Festival

Hogmanay

December 30–January 01 • event

Hogmanay is a unique way to celebrate the New Year with torchlights, bonfires, fireworks and loads of music and whiskey

The Burry Man

August 10, 2018 • event

Follow the Burry Man throughout the streets of Queensferry as he drinks whisky and spreads good luck

Up Helly Aa

January 30, 2018 • event

To mark the end of the Yule season, thousands of Vikings traditionally burn the galley with thousands of torches

Braemar Gathering

September 03 | September 01, 2018 • event

The Gathering is famous for its hospitality, friendship, multitude of events and the presence of the Royal Family, and it's only a 2-hour drive from Edinburgh

The Ba' Game

December 25 | January 01 • activity

When charged up Uppies and Doonies fight for the leather trophy ball, the townspeople protect their dwellings with wooden barricades

Fairy Pools of the Isle of Skye

October–November  • activity

Emerald-coloured pools possess magic powers that make you dive into the water, no matter how chilly it is

Burning of the Clavie

January 11 • event

This Pagan feast may be erased from Gregorian calendar, but not from people'​s minds

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

August 03–27, 2018 • event

A unique blend of thousands of known and less-known artists performing a wide variety of shows in smaller venues around the city

Fort William Mountain Festival

February 21–25, 2018 • event

All of Britain cannot offer any better time or place to learn winter sports than the mountain festival in Scottish town Fort William

Land or Sand Yachting

September–November | March–May  • activity

Water is not absolutely necessary to sail—when your boat has wheels and a sail you can easily glide on land

Cowal Highland Gathering

August 24–26, 2017 • event

At Highland dances, Scottish boys and girls perform in national costumes dancing to the traditional sounds of the hornpipe

Burns Night Celebrations

January 25 • event

Scotsmen respect their national poet and commemorate his legacy by cooking his favourite meal on his birthday

Common Ridings on the Scottish Borders

June–early August • event

Though today there is no need to protect the Scottish borders, the Scots still celebrate their centuries-old traditions and history

Seasonal Meats

September–November  • food

Discover the freshest meats and vegetables locally produced and indulge your sweet tooth with the best seasonal fruits

Royal Highland Show

June 22–25, 2017 • event

Britain's largest agricultural event offers a wonderful opportunity to sample the best local food and see where this food comes from

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

May 03–07, 2018 • event

It is a great Scotch fun to intoxicate oneself to traditional Celtic singing, dancing, and storytelling

Autumnal Castles

September–October • activity

Scottish castles nested atop extinct volcanoes or on the loch islands and cliff edges are beautifully​ surrounded by fall colours

Celtic Connections

January 18–February 04, 2018 • event

Musicians from Celtic countries and further lands annually reunite in Glasgow in the celebration of folk music

Seal Pups

November  • nature

The world's largest grey seal population and their cute pups inhabit the shores of the Scottish Orkney Islands

Ben Nevis

April–July  • activity

True hikers will not respect themselves having visited Scotland without ascending its highest summit

Autumn Foliage

late September–October • nature

Though Scots Pine is definitely the king of the Highlands, in autumn it lets other trees outshine it with beautiful colours

Sailing around the Small Isles

late April–mid-August • activity

The picturesque Small Isles area is perfect for a sailing holiday on a traditional wooden yacht

Blooming Bluebells

April–May  • nature

Words seem needless at the site of this blue beauty

Red Squirrels

November–March  • nature

Cheeky red squirrels play in the white snow and among the green pines of Devilla Forest

Red Deer​ Rutting

September–October  • nature

The loud clash of red deer signals that rutting season is on–time to watch the stags' fight​

Stirling Highland Games

August 19, 2017 • event

Multiple fun events combined with stalls full of local products are the main attractions at Stirling Highland Games

Burntisland Highland Games

July 16, 2018 • event

Burntisland Highland Games the second oldest games in Scotland, and are a perfect opportunity to have some quality time

Boxing Day

December 26 • event

Age traditions remain alive though a bit different from the past

Northern Lights

December–February  • nature

The elusive Aurora reveals itself only to the most patient

Ceres Highland Games

June 24, 2017 • event

Ceres Highland Games are the oldest and most cheerful events celebrated in Scotland

North Berwick International Highland Games

August 05, 2017 • event

Dancers, world-pipe bands and other stunning events make North Berwick Highland Games the perfect place for a day full of fun

Edinburgh International Festival

August 03–27, 2018 • event

The Festival is a showcase of world's best music, dance, theatre, and opera in Edinburgh every August

Starling Murmuration

November–February • nature

A regular sunset shows performed by migrating starlings in Gretna shows that the birds are really into that small town in the south of Scotland

Lunan Bay Bathing Season

June–mid-September • nature

Every princess would have enjoyed a swim on an appealing pink beach overlooked by a castle

Winter Mountaineering and Ice Climbing

January–March  • activity

Scotland provides excellent conditions for winter mountaineering and ice climbing for both beginners and experienced climbers

Dog Sledding

November–March  • activity

The beautiful Scottish winter is experienced to its fullest sledding across the Cairgorm mountains with lovely huskies

Seafood

September–October  • food

Lobster, mussels, clams, and other Scottish seafood is made into delicious seasonal salads, stews, and specialties

Surfing

mid-October–mid-November • activity

It is not true that the treacherous Scottish waves leave no opportunities for inexperienced surfers—there are options for everyone

Apple Season​

September–February  • food

Apple pancakes, traditional​ Scottish apple scones and unique apple soup are the highlights of this delicious season

Swans

October–March  • nature

During winter Scotland hosts these elegant guests from Iceland and Siberia

Haddock

September • food

Cold-smoked, hot-smoked, dried, canned, frozen, served with chips, drowned in milk, or in a Scottish soup—so many ways to eat Haddock

Snowdrops

February–mid-March • nature

Delicate snowdrops rising up from the snow are able to console and inspire even the saddest souls

Barnacle Geese

September–mid-April • nature

These tri-coloured birds are numerous in Scotland—they bark as if they were dogs and are believed to have originated from mollusks in Scottish folklore

Skiing and Snowboarding

late December–April • activity

A nice choice for winter holidays—Scottish ski resorts are even considered as good as those in the Alps

Oysters

September–mid-April • food

Once the very Roman emperor deemed Scottish oysters as the best shellfish in the world

Cruising on a Vintage Steam Boat

late April–mid-September • activity

Even if you do not fancy visiting museums, you will definitely enjoy a sail on the Vic 32 proclaimed a "smokey living museum"

Osprey Watching

April–August  • nature

Once ospreys seemed to have left Scotland forever, but a pair of the fish-eating birds returned to the Highlands and restored its population

Diving

June–August  • activity

The west coast boasts the most spectacular diving sites but the east coast won't disappoint either

Birdwatching

May–June | September • nature

Thousands of skuas, auks, dotterels, ptarmigans, and eagles highlight Scottish birdwatching season

Rhubarb

January–June  • food

Sour rhubarb is made into crumble cakes and meat sauces, but the best way to enjoy the fruit is to simply dip it in sugar and eat it raw

Damsons

mid- to late September • food

If you do not fancy plum jelly, chutney, or sauces there are other interesting things available like damson wine, gin, or beer

First Footing with Black Bun

January 01 • food

A savoury fruit cake full of raisins, nuts, currants, and seasoned with spices is a common gift for the Scottish New Year

Cranberries

October–December  • food

These berries delight visitors of Scotland in late autumn and early winter