Scotland in April: Our Complete Guide

Scotland in April

Spring has sprung, and there’s no better time during the year to enjoy the fresh blossoms and new life than during April. April in Scotland is a beautiful time when the country fully emerges from its winter hibernation and the Highlands and Lowlands come alive with new life. It’s the ideal time for tourists to go and explore Scotland, too, especially if you want to avoid the peak tourist season and rainy Scottish days.

April in Scotland is a beautiful time of year filled with events, attractions, and things to do for everyone. There are opportunities to see newborn wildlife, explore the history of Scottish castles, and go hiking through the spring flowers. For socialites, April also has plenty of unique festivals and events to attend too!

This is all during one of the driest months of the year, which is a blessing for those who hate rainy days spoiling their vacations. If you want to know more about the plentiful things you can get up to during April in Scotland, then make sure to read our complete guide to the month below!

Weather in Scotland in April

Weather in Scotland in April

During April, Scotland boasts one of the mildest climates throughout the year, with temperatures that are just right for exploring the Scottish Mainland and further beyond. The average temperature during April hovers around 11℃, but you can expect stretches of balmy and sunny days throughout the month. April is also one of the driest months of the Scottish calendar, with only an average of 3.5 inches of rainfall.

Visitors will also find that daylight hours during April are surprisingly long for the middle of springtime, thanks to the changing clocks and lengthening days. It makes going on hikes, walks, and other outdoor adventures easy without the worry of night interrupting your activities too soon. If you want to know which month offers the best of Scotland’s weather, then April is a prominent contender.

How to Pack for Scotland in April?

Need some help packing for the Scottish April weather? Here are some essentials that you should pack for your trip:

A Jumper & Jacket

Although April is one of the driest months of the year, it can still get a little chilly during the mornings and evenings. Packing a warm jacket or jumper is essential to avoid catching a cold while exploring Scotland’s many attractions.

A Pair of Long Pants

Scotland in April offers one of the best opportunities to enjoy the outdoors through hiking, walking, and more. But if you plan to set foot outside, ensure that you wear a pair of long pants like jeans—they’re a lifesaver when you’re in the midst of nature walk in the Trossachs National Park.

Scarves, Hats, & Gloves

April’s occasional lousy weather can be combated with the right clothing. Layering is one of the easiest ways to do so, and it’s recommended that you bring along a pair of gloves and a hat or scarf to protect your head and hands.

Things to Do in Scotland in April

With the mild April temperatures and fewer crowds, there are endless possibilities for things to do in Scotland in April. From exploring the beautiful countryside to learning about Scotland’s magical castles, we’ve outlined some of the activities you should add to enjoy at your own pace.

See the Blooming Flowers at Scotland’s Gardens

Blooming Flowers at Gardens

During April, Scotland comes alive with stunning flora. Spring flowers bloom all over Scotland, colouring the Highlands’ hills with yellows, reds, purples, and pinks. If you’re invested in visual art, Scotland becomes a haven for inspiration when you visit in April.

The best places to see the blooming flowers of Scotland are the national parks and Highlands, but there are also plenty of places within Scotland’s cities where you can see spring flowers too. There are beautiful botanical gardens you can see when visiting Scotland, including the Glasgow Botanical Gardens, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and Dawyck Botanic Garden.

See Wildlife Hatchlings and Newborns

Wildlife Hatchlings

In addition to blooming flowers, you can look forward to new lights appearing all over the Scottish mainland and Isles in the form of hatchlings and newborns. For many birds in Scotland, April and May are when the next generation of puffins, doves, and seabirds are hatch in their nests and begin learning the basics of life.

When you’re walking along Scotland’s west coast and east coast, keep an eye out for ground nesting birds feeding their new hatchlings. Check out notable birdwatching places like the Mull of Galloway, Handa Island, and more to see the wealth of seabirds.

Go for a Highlands Hike

Highlands Hike

In the spring and summer months, hiking is a trendy pastime. There are hidden gems all over the Scottish Highlands that offer stunning views along the trails. From waterfalls to beautiful summit views and gorgeous forestry, a Highlands hike has a little something for everyone.

The Trossachs National Park and the Cairngorms National Park are two of the most popular destinations for hiking in Scotland, with thousands of trails to undertake along the Highlands. The West Highland Way, Ben Navis, and Ben Lomond are some of the most popular routes, and we highly recommend trying at least on your visit to Scotland.

If hiking isn’t your style, then there are plenty of other fun activities to try at places like Loch Lomond and Loch Ness (yes, that Loch Ness!), including canoeing, swimming, and water skiing.

Explore Scotland’s Castles

Scotland Castles

April is a fantastic time to explore Scotland’s castles—fewer crowds allow for a more personal experience on Scotland tours. Famed castles like Edinburgh Castle, Balmoral Castle, and Lochleven Castle offer the chance to learn about Scottish history. From Mary, Queen of Scots, to the MacDonald Clan, there is prominent history etched into the castles’ stones throughout the country.

There are even opportunities to stay overnight at one of Scotland’s castles, which offers gorgeous views out to the Highlands in a historic setting. If you’re planning to stay at a Scottish castle, then make sure to book early. April has fewer crowds, but these day trips and overnight packages get booked up quickly!

Wander the Capital

Wander the Capital

While the West Highlands and Islands of Scotland are beautiful during April, there are plenty of things to do in Scotland’s major cities. Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, and many other major cities are filled with fascinating museums, galleries, parks, and Scotch whisky distilleries to check out. Best of all, you’ll miss the summer crowds that pick up during the end of May.

Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, especially offers a fantastic range of activities to do. We’ve written an entire guide for things to do in Edinburgh – check it out once you’ve finished reading about Scotland in spring.

Experience an Edinburgh Easter

Edinburgh Easter Festivities

We can’t forget about the major holiday that happens in April – Easter! Easter Weekend and Easter Monday are major holidays in Scotland, and there are fun cultural traditions that you can enjoy on your visit. For example, roast lamb is a popular meal during Easter (stemming from ancient Passover traditions) and traditional Scottish meals like Simnel Cake, Hot Cross Buns, and Marzipan.

Since Easter falls into the April calendar, you can expect traditional activities that are fun for the whole family. Look for easter eggs, paint your face, and try and find the Easter Bunny!

Events in April in Scotland

Events in April

If you’re still searching for an answer to the question, “What to do in Scotland in April?” then you should check out the fantastic events taking place in April.

Melrose Rugby Sevens (11th – 13th April)

For sports fanatics, the Melrose Rugby Sevens is the highlight of the April rugby season. The Melrose Rugby Sevens dates back to 1883, and it is now one of the most famous rugby competitions in the world. The event takes place in Melrose, Scotland, and sees several Scottish teams play against each other in the physically intensive sport of rugby.

If you’ve never watched a rugby game before, visiting Scotland in April to see the Rugby Sevens is well worth it.

Glasgow Kilt Walk (28th April)

Throughout April, large groups of people wearing kilts walk through Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen. While this may be a regular sight in some parts of Scotland, the Glasgow Kilt Walk is a low-effort fundraising event for several Scottish charities. Why not join in and participate in one of three walks (the Wee Wander, the Big Stroll, and the Mighty Stride)?

Edinbrugh International Science Festival (30th March – 14th April)

The Edinburgh Science Festival also takes place in April and is an excellent place for your children to learn about the fascinating world around us. The Edinburgh International Science Festival hosts several activities, events, and exhibits in one of the historic cities of Scotland. If you visit Scotland in April or late March, then this is a fantastic science festival to attend.

Beltane Fire Festival (30th April)

A true ancient Celtic festival, the Beltane Fire Festival is a fiery and dynamic festival that takes place in Edinburgh on the last days of April. The event sees residents dress up in Celtic fiery garb, bringing flames to the top of the nearby Calton Hill and creating a bonfire that can be seen throughout the city. Traditional music with drums, dancers, and fire breathers exhilerate the energy of the people for the entire evening.

We bet you’ll have a great time at Beltane!

Frequently Asked Questions about Scotland in April

Have a few questions about visiting Scotland in April? Don’t worry, and we’ve outlined the answers to a few common questions we get asked about this great month.

Is April a Good Time to Visit Scotland?

Absolutely! If anything, April is one of the best months to visit Scotland for several reasons.

  • April is a dry month, with less than 4 inches of rain. You can expect sunshine and moderate average temperatures when visiting during April.
  • Golf courses at popular locations like St Andrews, Loch Lomond, and Fort William are less crowded and charge lower fees during this shoulder season.
  • There are fewer crowds at many of Scotland’s most famous attractions.
  • The wildlife and natural landscapes come alive with new flowers and animals.

Is it Better to Go to Scotland in April or May?

April and May are excellent for visiting Scotland since both are in the shoulder season before the influx of tourists arrives in late May and early June. While there’s no such thing as a bad time to visit Scotland, April and May are contenders for the very best times to do so.

May is the ideal time to visit Scotland if you want warmer climates and to celebrate Scotland’s whisky month. April, on the other hand, offers excellent outdoor activities and beautiful flora.

Is April the Driest Month in Scotland?

April is considered to be the most dry month in Scotland. The average rainfall in April is about 3.5 inches, which is a few inches less than Scotland sees during the rest of the year. If rain is a big factor to consider during your holiday, then April is a solid choice.

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