Why Winter Is The Best Time Of Year To Visit Scotland

Loch Humphrey, Scotland, UK
Loch Humphrey, Scotland, UK. Photo by Craig Bradford on Unsplash

You may just have read the words ‘winter’ and ‘Scotland’ in the same heading and thought that nothing sounds worse, but there are definite benefits to visiting the wild, rugged country in the winter months. If you’re keen on avoiding midge bites and tourists, then read on for three big reasons to visit Scotland in winter.


From late May through to September, the stunning mountain tops, beaches and lochs of Scotland become blighted with clouds of small, biting insects. They can be so severe as to force hikers to abandon walks, and campers their set up for the night, so there’s a real risk these insects will spoil your Scottish summer holiday. For this reason, visit in the winter months, when you can hike, ramble and climb knowing you won’t be disturbed by swarming clouds.


Certain locations, such as Skye, Loch Lomond, or Fort William, can get overcrowded in the summer months. Whilst you may not mind seeing other people striding out across the hills, if you’re here for the hiking, overcrowded paths can get a little annoying (it’s not exactly the peaceful scenery you were hoping for). Visit Scotland in winter, and you’ll have most of the trails to yourself. Whilst this can be blissful, it does mean extra care needs to be taken when walking in wintry conditions.

Northern Lights

Visiting Scotland in the winter months means you’re in with a decent chance of seeing the stunning northern lights. Scotland’s proximity to the Arctic circle, and its lack of light pollution, makes star gazing here pretty special. In summer, the light can last for 16 hours a day, so make the most of the deep darkness of Scotland’s winters and get gazing.