Scotland in July: Our Complete Guide

Scotland in July

Bask underneath the summer sun, see the breathtaking Scottish Highlands, explore Scotland’s summer festivals — all this and more are at your fingertips when you visit Scotland in July. As the middle of the summer, July offers the warmest weather you can enjoy in Scotland and is considered the height of the tourist season. If you want to visit Scotland at its most lively, teeming with a magical atmosphere, then July is the season for you!

If you plan to visit Scotland during its July season, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve outlined all the essential details you need to know right here. From how to pack, where to go, and what to see, read our complete guide to Scotland in July right here.

Weather in Scotland in July

Weather in July

July sits right in the middle of Scotland’s summer season and offers incredible weather for you to take advantage of. You can expect average temperatures that hover between 13℃ – 17℃ (59℉ – 63℉), although this can change based on where you are in the country. Scotland’s coast and northern regions tend to be colder on average.

And since it’s the height of summer, Scotland also has long daylight hours in July! You can enjoy sightseeing and attending festivals for up to 17 hours each day during the height of July, making it the perfect month to make the most of each day.

One caveat of the Scottish summer is that it can be quite temperamental, with cloudy and rainy days bearing down as much as the sunny ones. On average, July experiences around 62 millimetres of rain (bring an umbrella) and around five hours of sunshine each day.

How to Pack for Scotland in July

With such temperamental weather, packing can be tricky when planning your trip to Scotland in July. Here are some essentials that everyone should bring on their trip!

Sunhat and Sunscreen

When the sun bears down during the Scottish summer, you’ll regret not bringing a hat to protect your face and head. While temperatures may not reach the staggering heights of other European countries during summer, the sun’s rays can still be quite intense.

Sunscreen is also an essential item to bring along, especially if you plan to have a beach day out. Avoid ruining your holiday by getting a sunburn, and bring a bottle or two with you.


Scotland’s west coast and Isles are home to stunning beaches just waiting for a beach day. Many of the country’s beaches look like they’ve been dropped from the Maldives, including Calgary Beach, Saddell Bay, Coral Beach, and many more.

Pack your essential swimwear and umbrella, your beach holiday in Scotland awaits.

Long-Sleeved T-shirt

Visiting Scotland in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt should suffice for most of your visit, but it’s recommended that you bring a pair of long-sleeves with you as well. Evenings can get chilly, but long pants and shirts save you from the worst of midge bites.

Watch Out for Midges

Midges are nasty little bugs found in Scotland during summer, although they are also seen in Europe and America. These flying insects feed off your blood, much like a mosquito, and can be a right nuisance when exploring Scotland in July. As they feed, they leave an itchy and swollen bite that can irritate them for hours.

If you want to avoid being a midge buffet, it’s recommended you wear clothes that obscure your skin, use anti-midge creams and sprays, and avoid activity during the early morning and evenings. Similarly, don’t leave any windows or doors open during these hours, as midges will enter and pester you throughout the night.

Things to Do in Scotland in July

With your bags packed and flight booked, you may wonder what to put on your to-do list when visiting Scotland in July. We’ve compiled some of the most popular things to do and see during your holiday. Who knows, you may even add some to your holiday agenda.

Have a Beach Day

Have a Beach Day

July presents the perfect time to let loose and enjoy a beach day with your friends and family. Scotland’s west coast and isles offer the ideal chance to find a remote beach and soak in the sun while the kids play in the waters. Island hopping in the Outer Hebrides is trendy for finding the perfect beach, with locations like the Isle of Skye, Shetland Isles, and Isle of Lewis being summer hot spots.

Once you’ve found the ideal beach, enjoy activities like sea kayaking, boat tours, or horse riding to complement your coastal adventure. But we won’t blame you for taking things at your own pace and relaxing the day away, either.

Explore Scotland’s Gorgeous Landscapes

Scottish Gorgeous Landscapes

The long days of the Scottish summer give ample time to explore much of Scotland’s great outdoors. From the rolling moorlands of the Lowlands to the towering mountains of the Scottish Highlands, there’s no place where you can’t have a fantastic time on a hike or walk in the country.

Some destinations, like the Cairngorms National Park and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, have stunning traditional events and attractions to see during your visit. There are so many hidden gems within these natural havens that you can fill an entire holiday with wildlife watching and participating in various outdoor activities.

Outside of the national parks, along the rugged coastlines and beyond lie beautiful and windy lighthouses which offer views of the North Sea and Atlantic—perfect for a picture or two if the wind doesn’t mess up your hair. During the Scotland summer, ensure that you explore its breathtaking landscapes and escape from the city for a day or two.

See Scottish Wildlife

Scottish Wildlife

Scottish wildlife is teeming during the summer months, no matter where you go. You can expect several opportunities to enjoy the diverse ecology of Scotland, from red deer, golden eagles, orcas, puffins, and more.

July is the ideal time to go birdwatching, not only for Scotland’s coastal birds that often require a boat tour to reach but also for the gorgeous swans and pheasants that populate lochs and rivers all over the country. Seals, dolphins, orcas, and whales can also be seen swimming in the waters around Scotland during July, sometimes even more on the shoreline!

See Historic Monuments

Historic Monuments

One of the major attractions that visitors come for is Scotland’s historic monuments. Castles, palaces, standing stones, and burial cairns do the landscape and offer the chance to learn the rich history here. Places like Balmoral Castle, Linlithgow Palace, the Calanais Standing Stones, and Bishop and Earl’s Cathedral should be on every visitor’s list.

July is often the busiest time to see many of these famed attractions, so be sure to plan appropriately to avoid the worst of the crowds. But don’t leave without learning a little of Scottish history first.

Go on a Road Trip Around Scotland

Road Trip Around Scotland

Scotland is a relatively small country, and many tourists drive around the Scottish coastline as part of their vacation. The most famous of these routes is the North Coast 500, which encompasses 500 miles of gorgeous Scottish coastline and takes you from Inverness, around past Tarbet in Western Scotland, to John o’Groats and back down along the eastern coastline to Inverness.

The route is well documented, making it easy to see what attractions lie ahead for you to see. Popular stops include Loch Ness, John o’Groats, the Stoer Lighthouse, and Dunrobin Castle.

You’re not stuck to the route either, so if a place or attraction tickles your fancy, like Fort William, then you’re more than welcome to visit it before hopping back onto the route.

Enjoy Scotland’s Range of Summer Sports

Range of Summer Sports

Scotland in July is the perfect time to try a new sport or hobby. During peak tourist season, you can try many popular activities like horse riding, waterskiing, golf, and mountain climbing without changing your schedule too drastically.

Golf is a beloved pastime in Scotland, where the sport started. Towns like St Andrews have world-famous golf courses, often in the flat links style that Scotland is known for. If you’ve never tried or are an experienced golfer, why not tee off during your next July holiday?

Visit a Proper Scottish Distillery

Scottish Distillery

When you think of Scotland, whisky is often the next word that pops into your mind. Often called the ‘Water of Life’, you’ll regret not adding at least one of the fantastic whisky distilleries in Scotland to your to-do list when visiting in July.

Ben Nevis Distillery, Glenfiddich Distillery, Talisker Distillery, and many more can be found all over Scotland, and offer engaging distillery tours that take you through the intricate process of how each bottle of delicious whisky is made.

Events in Scotland in July

Complement your itinerary full of attractions with July’s extensive calendar of events! July has various unique cultural events focusing on great food and drink, live music, and art. While there are too many festivals to count, here are some that everyone should attend during their stay.

Stonehaven Folk Festival (11 – 14 July, Stonehaven)

Stonehaven Folk Festival

The Stonehaven Folk Festival is an intimate look at the culture and history of Stonehaven, which lies a few miles south of Aberdeen. You can expect to hear traditional music from local artists, ceilidh dancing, workshops, and the famous Aqua Ceilidh.

If you’re in the area during Scotland’s summer, why not visit the Stonehaven Folk Festival?

Hebridean Celtic Festival (17 – 20 July, Isle of Lewis)

The Hebridean Celtic Festival, often shortened to HebCelt, is a traditional Scottish music and culture festival that celebrates the unique blend of Gaelic and Celtic culture present in the Outer Hebrides. You can expect Celtic music concerts, artistry, dancing, and so much more!

If you are interested in attending a festival while in historic Celtic country, try the Hebridean Celtic Festival on the Isle of Lewis.

Inverness Highland Games (13 July, Inverness)

Inverness Highland Games

Save the date! The Inverness Highland Games celebrate all the traditional Scottish games that have been played for centuries, including Highland Dancing, Open Piping, Hammer Throw, and the renowned Throwing the Caber. Amidst the fun activities, you can look forward to folk music, food markets, and tasting for food and drink in the local area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have some burning questions about coming to Scotland in July? Don’t worry, we’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions we’ve received and provided answers to them here.

Is July a Good Time to Visit Scotland?

July and the other summer months of Scotland attract many more visitors than the rest of the year, thanks to the gorgeous summer weather, thriving events and festivals, and abundance of attractions. July is a fairly busy time on the Scottish calendar, but visitors will find plenty of things to do during their stay.

How Bad Are Midges in July?

Midges are a nuisance between May and August, so if you’re coming in July, you should protect yourself against these pesky insects. There are creams, sprays, and nets that you can purchase during your visit to deter, but there are plenty of other tips and tricks you can do to help.

What is the Best Time of Year to Travel to Scotland?

The best time to visit Scotland is between May and October, as these months offer the most things to do, the most pleasant weather, and the most unique events you can’t experience at any time of year. July is considered the height of summer, making it the best option if you want to take advantage of Scotland’s best weather.

Support this Blog 💙

My Voyage Scotland is an independently owned website. If you find the information on this website helpful, please consider booking your next trip using the links below. We make a (very small) commission on anything booked via the below map, and it doesn’t cost our readers more.