Scotland in February: Our Complete Guide

Scotland in February

When arriving in Scotland in February, romance is in the air! The last of the winter months, February offers plenty of fantastic activities despite the relatively cold weather. As a low season for tourists, you’ll find that many of Scotland’s finest attractions during the month of love are intimate and quiet – the perfect opportunity for a romantic break.

February is the best time to visit Scotland to explore romantic attractions, enjoy winter activities and sports, and even see the Northern Lights! Despite the relatively cold weather that persists from the last dregs of winter, new life is just on the horizon, and that atmosphere is palpable in Scotland during February. If you want to learn more about what you can get up to on your visit, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ll be covering everything you need to know about Scotland in February, from how to pack, fun things to do, and the significant events to look forward to. Let’s dive right into it!

Weather in Scotland in February

Weather in February

February is the last of the winter months in Scotland, so you can expect a cold, rainy, and windy reception when you arrive. There may also be the chance of snow during February, but most of the time, snow is limited to the mountain tops and northern parts of the country.

Average temperatures during February in Scotland range from 1 – 6℃ (34 – 42℉), so it’s always best to bundle up before visiting Scotland’s major outdoor attractions. Similarly, February also experiences shorter daylight hours, so you’ll have to manage your activities between 8:00 – 17:00. There’s a lot to fit into 8 hours of daylight, and Scotland’s nightlife is fantastic when the sun dips below the horizon.

How to Pack for Scotland in February

Packing for February in Scotland means bringing a few essentials to combat the cold, winter weather and the potential snow factor. Here are some essentials that you should be bringing along with you on your trip:

Lightweight & Waterproof Layers

Layering is one of the most important ways to stay warm during cold weather conditions. A couple of warm layers, such as a jumper and jacket, will ensure you have a wonderful time without any risk of a cold.

Waterproof clothing is not essential but is a huge boon when tackling Scotland’s occasional rainy days during February.

A Scarf, Hat, and Pair of Warm Socks

To complement your layers of clothing, packing clothing to keep your head and feet nice and warm during the winter months will go a long way to ensure you get the most out of this winter vacation. But they’re an incredibly great choice for keeping warm, and you can also find some genuinely fashionable numbers to elevate your outfit!

A Pair of Walking/Hiking Boots

Even during winter, some of the country’s most popular attractions involve scaling the beautiful country’s forests and mountains. Packing a pair of walking boots or hiking boots is essential to navigating the Scottish Highlands.

Things to Do in Scotland in February

Once you’ve hopped on a plane, with bags packed aplenty with warm clothing, Scotland is filled with amazing things to do, outdoor activities, and so much more! Visiting Scotland can be overwhelming to some, so we’ve outlined some things you should put on your to-do list.

Enjoy Scotland’s Museums and Galleries

Museums and Galleries

Before venturing into the cold February weather, you can explore and learn from several fascinating museums and galleries if you want to see Scotland’s indoor attractions. Museums and galleries are the perfect city break attraction to pair with a whisky distillery tour, festival, or evening at the pub.

Scotland’s historic capital, Edinburgh, has a few notable museums and galleries to see in February, including The Scottish National Galleries: National and Modern, Surgeon’s Hall Museum, and Museum on the Mound. Other excellent museums to add to your list are the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, Linlithgow Palace, and Fort George.

Find refuge from Scotland’s winter weather at one of these museums or galleries, and you may even learn a thing or two!

Skii Down Scotland’s Highland Slopes

Skii Down Highland Slopes

For many, February means skiing down the Scottish Highlands on the snowy mountains with gorgeous views of the surrounding landscapes. Scotland is home to several amazing resorts that make use of snow-capped peaks of the Scottish mountains, including Glencoe Mountain Resort, Glenshee Ski Centre, and Lecht Ski Centre.

If you’re a skier or a snowboarder, booking a trip to one of Scotland’s famous resorts is well worth it!

Visit the Cairngorms National Park

Cairngorms National Park

Even during winter, the Cairngorms National Park is a stunning place to visit in the Highlands. The national park is draped in snow, especially on the towering mountains surrounding the forests. You’ll be able to spot birds and critters throughout the Cairngorms, especially within popular parks like the Handa Wildlife Park and Cairngorms Reindeer Centre.

Out of all the winter months, February is considered the very best because of the events. There are opportunities to go stargazing, learn Scottish culture at OBI, and listen to live music at Margaret Braemar. Explore the Cairngorm National Park, and we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

Warm Yourself Up with Gin & Whisky

Whisky Distilleries

In addition to wearing multiple layers, one of the best ways to warm yourself up this February is to enjoy a dram of whisky or a shot of gin. Scotland is known for its history of whisky, and you can enjoy several unique malts and blends throughout the country. From the Lowlands to the Highlands and Islands, booking a tasting session and tasting at a Scotch whisky distillery is an absolute must.

If whisky isn’t to your fancy, Scotland also has plenty of run and gin distilleries. For both whisky and gin distilleries, ensure that you book early to snag yourself a place.

Book a Romantic Escape for Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day Escapes

February is the month of love, and Scotland is as romantic of a place to visit in February as the rest of Europe. From fine dining opportunities in the heart of Glasgow to an intimate overnight stay in a Scottish Castle, treat your special someone to a truly heartfelt experience.

There are plenty of options for romantic packages, but we highly recommend choosing one that lets you stay overnight at a castle. Just imagine this: roaring log fires, stunning views out to the Highlands, and utter relaxation in some of Scotland’s most historic castles. Best of all, many of the castles that offer this have modern amenities like Wi-Fi, hot tubs, and more.

Embrace Valentine’s Day in Scotland this winter season with a romantic getaway with your family.

Attend Murrayfield Stadium’s Six Nations

Murrayfield Six Nations

The rugby season is alive and well for you to see throughout the Scottish winter. Rugby is an intensely physical sport, and there’s no better place to see it played at its highest level than at Murrayfield Stadium. The Six Nations Rugby is a spectacle that draws Scottish, English, Irish, and Welsh fans – all keen to see their nations clash (literally).

If you’ve never seen a rugby match but are a huge sports fan, consider adding a couple of Six Nations tickets to your Scotland tours. You may pick up a new favourite sport to watch.

Look for the Northern Lights

Northern Lights

Although the daylight hours during February are much shorter compared to the rest of the year, the month offers the chance to see the fabled ‘Mirrie Dancers’. More commonly known as the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis, Scotland sits on a latitude that allows you to see these mystical lights without travelling far.

The Scottish Highlands and Islands are the best chance to see the Northern Lights. Although these more remote locations take longer to reach, you’ll want any excuse to take a road trip up the west coast of Scotland to beautiful locations like the Isle of Skye – which don’t only serve as a great spot to see the Aurora Borealis, but also are worth attractions in their own right.

If you want to see the Northern Lights without travelling too far, keep an eye out for Dark Skies Paths like the Galloway Dark Forest Park. They offer viewing points with minimal light pollution, allowing you to see more stars and planets than you ever have.

Explore Scotland’s Cities

Scotland Cities

During February weather, Scotland tends to retreat indoors on frigid days and nights. One way to make the most of a cold or rainy day is by exploring the attractions offered by Scotland’s cities. In most cases, you don’t have to walk far to hop from attraction to attraction.

Edinburgh, Scotland’s largest city, is filled with things to do, like the famous Edinburgh Castle, the shops of the Royal Mile, Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions. Other cities like Glasgow, Inverness, and Aberdeen offer unique events to plan a day trip around, and we’ve written about things to do for you to check out at your leisure.

Events in Scotland in February

Events in February

February offers a whole host of unique winter festivals and events for you to enjoy during your stay. From cultural festivals that celebrate the best of Scotland’s history to hiking festivals where you can scale Scotland’s Munros, there’s a little something for everyone. Let’s dive into the events you should add to your agenda.

Celtic Connections (18th January – 4th February 2024, Glasgow)

Celtic Connections is the UK’s most established celebration of Celtic music. Spanning from the end of January to the start of February, the festival brings over 2,100 musicians worldwide to enlighten crowds with talks, events, modern art, exhibits, and Celtic music.

Fort William Mountain Festival (15th – 18th February 2024, Fort William)

From indoor music festivals to outdoor activities, the Fort William Mountain Festival is 3 days of mountain climbing, hiking, and walking through the grand wilderness of Scotland. Fort William is known as the Outdoor Capital of the World, so it makes sense that the Mountain Festival and other events take place in this nature lover’s haven.

From famous mountaineers to amateur hikers, the Fort William Mountain Festival is an outdoor activity to attend.

FebruaryFest (2nd February – 2nd March 2024, Glencoe)

For laidback visitors to Scotland FebruaryFest is the place to be. Taking place throughout February in Glencoe, FebruaryFest offers whisky tasting, great beer, pub quizzes, music, and one of the best atmospheres to sit and soak it in.

The Glen is well known as a beautiful attraction during the summer months, and it’s no less attractive during winter.

Scottish Snowdrop Festival (25 January to 11 March, Scotland)

After a brief hiatus, the Scottish Snowdrop Festival is back in action! This winter festival brings the first inklings of spring in Scotland with the emergence of the snowdrop flowers. These royal white flowers can be found throughout Scotland’s landscapes, but also you can see them in the Royal Botanical Garden in Edinburgh.

After the Christmas Markets and winter festivities, February heralds the turn of the season to the colourful springtime. Take advantage of one of the prettiest natural blooms during winter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Interested in coming to Scotland in February but still have a few questions? Don’t worry! We’ve outlined the answers to some frequently asked questions we receive about where to go in February, Scotland’s weather in February, and more.

If you’re interested in learning about other major events in Scotland, like National Poet Robert Burns Night or Scotland’s Patron Saint, St Andrew’s Day – read our articles about Scotland in November and Scotland in January.

Is it worth going to Edinburgh in February?

Coming to Scotland in February is well worth the trip if you have a planned itinerary for your visit. The month is usually not a popular time of year for visitors to the country, as the cold weather (with average temperatures of 5℃) deters many tourists, but there are still plenty of things to do in Scotland in February.

It’s best to pack and plan in advance during a visit to Scotland in February, as the temperamental weather can quickly curb any plans you may have had.

Is Scotland snowy in February?

February in Scotland does mean snowfall, although the snow usually falls on the tallest peaks of Scotland’s mountainous areas like the Cairngorms, Torriden, and Glencoe. In regions like the Highlands and the Scottish Isles, you may also find snow at lower elevations, which creates a striking winter wonderland to explore.

Can you see the Northern Lights in Scotland?

Absolutely! If you visit Scotland in February, you’ll be able to see the stunning Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis). While seeing this magical phenomenon isn’t guaranteed and requires extensive patience, Scotland’s long winter nights provide the perfect chance.

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