Scotland: A Holiday Destination For All Seasons
The land of the Scots is frequently assumed by many travellers to be miserable and dreary when it’s anything but blues skies and sunshine. But if anything, Scotland is the destination of diversity – full of rainy days (or even snow!), winds so strong they could be seen as a means of transportation, and beautifully bright summers that attract travellers from all over the world.
While we’re not going to argue that’s entirely untrue, it’s nevertheless a great misconception that you can’t enjoy Scotland when the sun isn’t shining. Whatever the type of holiday whether it’s a short break, a luxury self catering week, an activity holiday, family holiday or even a budget break – Scotland caters for all types of travellers, whatever the weather!
In fact, Scotland is a perfect holiday destination throughout the year, and actually one of the most attractive destinations when it’s not blues skies and sunshine. The country provides a perfect platform for a range of outdoor activities, cultural pursuits and culinary delights that go beyond haggis. In this article we’ll highlight what sets each season in the Scottish Highlands apart, and why Scotland is a world-class destination for all seasons.
Winter Holidays in Scotland
So traditionally, Scottish winters are harsh. Well known as some of the harshest climates in Europe, they’re enough to make you feel as if you’ve landed in the middle of a Dickens novel – but you shouldn’t shiver in the cold, instead take advantage of the many cosy log fires offered by B&Bs and pubs around the country. Take it a ‘wee step’ further and warm yourself with a classic malt whisky trail or ale tour.
Cities such as Edinburgh offer visitors a taste of a real life winter wonderland, with skating rinks, German markets, and a wide array of attractions that will almost make you forget just how cold it is, turning the dreary weather into something charming and memorable. Why not spend Hogmanay in the capital to experience one of the most well known New Year celebrations in the world?
And for something a little more private, you could always book a weekend away in a luxury Highland home that combines grandeur with seclusion – it’s perfect for when you or your family want a relaxing holiday to get away from the hustle and bustle of life.
Read our blog more information on unusual activities in Shieldaig, Scotland.
Autumn Holidays in Scotland
The cold can still be fairly aggressive during the Scottish autumn, but that shouldn’t deter you from visiting the Highlands. There are plenty of beautiful boutique hotels, restaurants, and don’t forget the beautiful autumn leaves and landscapes that this part of the world has to offer.
Remember that gorgeous trees cover almost a fifth of Scotland’s total land area and most of these can be found in the Highlands. The foliage creates a splendid landscape that will have you going through camera memory cards at lightning speed, not to mention the Lochs, mountains and green dramatic rolling hills.
It’s the perfect setting for a romantic weekend away – not many people will be around (as it’s the low season) but you’ll still be able to go outdoors without suffering the biting cold! There’s still plenty to do in Scotland during the Autumn season as well; from rambling / hiking routes to mountain biking, Loch sailing (if you’re brave enough!) and wildlife watching.
Spring Holidays in Scotland
If you’re a fan of the outdoors, spring is arguable the best time to visit Scotland. You’ve got loads of options, including:
- Bird Watching – Scotland is home to many interesting species, with enthusiasts visiting the Highlands for unique birds not seen anywhere else.
- Walking in the Highlands – for those of you that love long walks in the midst of nature, you can’t get much better than Scotland’s Highlands. Home of the ancient clans, you’ll find rolling hills that seem to go on forever.
- Sailing on the Lochs – whether you’re a beginner or an experienced sailor, there’s nothing quite as tranquil as spending a couple of hours on a Scottish Loch in the late afternoon.
- Exploring the Pebble Beach Bays – ideal for both family holidays or a romantic getaway, you could spend hours losing yourself whilst you and your loved ones explore the many beautiful pebble beaches that Scotland’s dramatic coastline has to offer.
- Sampling the Local Cuisines – with some of the best fishing waters in Europe, forget the deep fried Mars Bars and head on down to the many pubs and restaurants that serve locally caught fresh seafood. Shieldaig, for example, has its very own smoke-house for the absolute best hot poached and smoked salmon you will find anywhere!
- Mountain Climbing – NineOneSix is a local mountain climbing company with some of the most experienced and friendliest guides in Scotland. Their aim is to take guests out on exciting and memorable climbs, scrambles, hikes and bike rides in stunning locations across the Scottish Highlands.
- Ale and Whisky Trails / Tours – and once you’ve had enough of all those outdoor activities, it’s worth booking yourself on a locally-made Ale and Whisky trail. Scotland is home to some of the world’s best and oldest whisky distilleries, and there’re all at your disposal in this truly diverse destination.
You won’t always find Scotland with scorching hot weather during springtime, but it’s usually perfectly comfortable for most outdoor activities. In fact, it’s perhaps the friendliest weather for those that prefer to spend a lot of time outdoors, and don’t mind a bit of rough and tumble.
Summer Holidays in Scotland
Undoubtedly the most heavily visited period for Scotland, summer certainly has plenty on offer for tourists and locals alike. Bike rides, festivals, walks, museums visits, art galleries, gigs – the villages, towns and cities come alive this time of year and no matter what you’re into, there’s something out there for you to enjoy.
We have a soft spot for swimming and sailing on the loch in the summer months, especially as An Cos looks onto Shieldaig Loch. There’s nothing more exhilarating and while you likely won’t meet Nessie, it’s nevertheless an experience to remember.
For more information on luxury holidays in Scotland or to book your self catering stay at An Cos Shieldaig please contact us on 0207 096 1893 or book your stay online.
Article written by Chrissy Nason – Smith.