Scotland is a country that is full of beauty. Although it can experience its fair share of rainfall, it is still a place that can be experienced and enjoyed in all seasons and in all weather conditions, but especially in winter. If you enjoy the history of castles, like to explore mountains and cliffs, fishing or swimming in locks, and taking in all of the natural wildlife, then Scotland is a place for you to visit. In winter, you can even experience some of the only snow in the UK up in Scotland, making it a truly magical winter trip destination.
Did you know that you can ski, ice skate, and snowboard in Scotland? There aren’t many places in the UK that you can say you can do that, so why not make the most of it? Not only that, but there will be festive markets in the cities, as well as other fun festivities like Hogmanay if you’re there over the new year.
No matter what you have planned, from walking, fishing, shopping, and beyond, there is no getting away from the fact that you need to be prepared for all sorts of weather conditions. It can be just as unpredictable in the summer as it can be in the winter! Having plenty of layers, as well as waterproofs is a must, especially if you plan on being outdoors for the majority of the time, such as hiking or fishing. But if you are prepared, then you will have the best time ever on a trip to Scotland.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Scotland!
While you’re not too likely to find Edinburgh under a blanket of snow, it is pretty magical when it happens. The main attraction in the city is the castle, which stands on a hilltop above the city. With Christmas markets and festive twinkling lights, it can look really magical and perfect for a wintery getaway. When the weather is fair, then a walk (or hike) up Arthur’s Seat is a must, which is the highest point in Holyrood Park, one of the parks in Scotland. You can take in some great views of the city and see the range of modern and medieval buildings. The city is all set up in winter for things like ice skating, which can be a lot of fun whether travelling with kids, as a couple, and even solo.
The good news is that the festivities run until January from November, so there is plenty of time to take it all in. Plus, if you’re there for new year’s eve, the fireworks for Hogmanay are spectacular.
There is a lot of beauty to see and take in on a trip to Inverness. Loch Ness is likely to be too cold in winter to swim in, unless you’re prepared with wetsuits, but taking a walk along the banks of it is a must. You can also visit Urquhart Castle and take in the views of the loch, if that sounds like something more up your street. One of the other famous things in the area is the Golf Club. And as long as you are wrapped up warm, there is nothing stopping you from playing in winter.
For another of Scotland’s cities, the largest one in fact, Glasgow is a great place to visit if you’re after festive shopping. There is one of the largest Christmas markets in the area, with a range of gifts and festive treats to enjoy, as well as music. From ice skating to fairground rides, George Square is one of the best places to be for all things festive. Plus, if you are a lover of architecture, then as you wander around, you will see a range of stately homes and other historic buildings that will really take your breath away.
Fort William, set in the Highlands, is a small city in Lochaber, near Inverness. There are a lot of things to do in the city, from castles, shopping, dining, and enjoying the great outdoors. There is a museum called the West Highland Museum that you can visit, to learn about the area and the history of it.
If you like to explore the outdoors, then this is one of the best places to be. You can enjoy a range of views of the local loch, and Ben Nevis, the largest mountain in the UK, is only miles away. So with all of that, there are many opportunities to hike, bike, ski, and sledge.
Speaking of Ben Nevis, the Grampian Mountain Range is where you’ll find it, alongside other mountains. It is a great place to hike, and you’ll not be alone with the number of people that take on the challenging hike each year. In winter, it is still something you can do, but of course, you need to be prepared for anything when you’re up there as you can face a range of weather on the way up. For that reason, it is best for experienced climbers in the winter months, rather than any beginners.
If you want to do something else there in winter, then the mountain range offers a lot of winter sports like skiing, with set runs to enjoy, as well as an off-piste area. If you prefer to enjoy something slower when it comes to winter sports, then you could try cross-country skiing, or even snowshoeing (which are still a pretty good workout). There are also gondola rides from range to range which can take about an hour each way.
Isle of Skye
To visit somewhere like no other, then the Isle of Skye is stunning. With ancient rock pools, mountains, deep valleys, and fairy glens, there is a lot of great outdoors to enjoy and explore. In winter, you will have fewer tourists, as it can get busy in spring and summer, which will help when it comes to paying for accommodation and food. Not only that, but you can enjoy the late sunrise at 9 am, rather than a very early 3.30 am in the summer.