Spring in Scotland: Everything You Need to Know

Spring in Scotland

When spring blooms in Scotland, the abundance of new life is a welcome sight after the frigid winter for many. When spring starts, many of Scotland’s finest attractions thaw out from their winter hibernation and await the upcoming tourist season. Nestled between winter and the summer tourist season, spring presents the unique opportunity for many to enjoy Scottish culture, food and drink, and its many attractions with fewer crowds and cheaper prices.

During the spring months, there are many parks, events, and attractions to look forward to—all with milder weather and pleasant temperatures.

With three months to choose from, visiting Scotland during spring can be overwhelming. We’ve outlined a guide for Scotland in spring, from weather, things to do, and a breakdown of each month during the season. Let’s dive right into it!

When is Spring in Scotland?

Spring officially begins on 1 March in Scotland and ends on 31 May. These three months offer spring sunshine, gorgeous blooming flowers, and fewer tourists to boot! However, for many Scottish natives, spring feels like it begins in the second week of March. This is when the last dredges of the winter cold shift to a warmer, pleasant climate.

Similarly, while summer officially begins on 1 June, you’ll be glad to know that the summer heat creeps into the spring months by the second week of May. This means more sunny weather for those choosing to visit.

Spring Weather in Scotland?

Spring Weather

Scotland’s weather is fairly interchangeable, often moving from sparkling sunshine to cloudy overcast within minutes, but spring in Scotland is a reasonably mild period of the year. Throughout the season, you can expect average daytime temperatures that range from 7℃ – 13℃ (45℉ – 55℉). These temperatures can differ depending on where in Scotland you are, with southern regions typically warmer than the northern Highlands.

Spring in Scotland also means increased daylight hours, making it ideal for packing several attractions into one day without worrying about night falling. The later in spring you visit, the longer the daytime hours are, but on average, you can expect around 14 hours of daylight! If you want to make the most of your days, May is the best time to visit Scotland.

Dressing for Spring in Scotland?

Visiting Scotland during spring, especially just as the season arrives, means bringing some clothing appropriate clothing for the temperamental weather. Don’t spoil your holiday with an unforeseen cold, and pack these essentials for spring holidays.

A Warm Jumper

A jumper, or sweater if you’re American, is an essential item that will help keep you nice and snuggly when faced with the cold winds that occasionally whip up in Scotland. Whether through the Scottish Highlands or the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, you’ll be glad to have brought it along if you feel a chill breeze.

Windbreaker and Scarf

While April and May tend to be the driest months of the year, wearing extra layers to protect you from the winds during spring is key. These items are also quite fashionable and worth picking up at local stores if you don’t want to bring them with you—tartan is usually the go-to pattern when representing Scotland!

Shorts and Sun Cap

Although we’ve painted a picture of a cold, windy experience so far, spring in Scotland still offers amazing sunny days where you can’t explore in anything but shorts. If you plan to see some of Scotland’s beautiful beaches along the west coast, a sun cap will help keep the sun out of your eyes.

Spring in Scotland — Month by Month

Spring in Scotland is different with each month that you choose to visit. Here’s a quick breakdown of each month during the spring season and what it offers you.



As the transition season between winter and spring, March is ideal for you if you want cheaper rates for accommodation and attractions and quieter crowds at significant hotspots like the Royal Yacht Britannica, Stirling Castle, and Edinburgh Castle.

If you want a complete detailed guide to Scotland in March, make sure that you take a look at this.



As one of the driest months on the Scottish calendar, you can genuinely enjoy spring when coming to visit Scotland in April. By this point in the season, flowers are readily blooming throughout the country, and many of Scotland’s premier attractions are reopening from their winter break.

Check out what else you can look forward to in Scotland in April.



May is an exciting time to visit Scotland for its whisky month! That’s right, the entire month of May is dedicated to the delicate and long-standing art of whisky creation and tasting. Several festivals throughout the month offer a sublime opportunity to taste as many wee drams of whisky as you please.

Many people even choose to go on whisky tours, touching many of the most famous distilleries on the Isle of Mull, Arran, and beyond. Read our full guide to Scotland in May if whisky tickles your fancy.

Spring Events and Things to Do in Spring in Scotland

Condensing a quarter of Scotland’s attractions and events into the spring highlights isn’t easy—spring is so filled with things to do that it’s difficult to pin it all down! But we’ve taken some of the famous highlights and must-see attractions that are at their best during Scotland’s spring months.

Go Wildlife Watching

Go Wildlife Watching

By spring, much of Scotland’s wildlife is coming back in action. For example, red squirrels populate the forests of Scotland, especially around the beautiful Balmoral Castle, where the Royal Family actively look after them. Red kites, golden eagles, puffins, orcas, seals, and so much more are at your fingertips during springtime.

Certain locations within Scotland are prime for wildlife: Loch Lomond, the Trossachs National Park, and the Cairngorms National Park. Other significant places where you can see animals like pine martens at Loch Lomond and Loch Ness.

See Scottish Spring Flowers

Scottish Spring Flowers

For many in Scotland, spring means flowers blooming and exploring Scotland in dry weather. Scotland comes alive, with the landscape absolutely covered in shades of red, blue, yellow, and purple! The best part is that you can see these spring flowers as you tour Scotland’s Highlands and within the botanical gardens spread throughout major cities in the country.

Spring blossoms in Scotland are gorgeous, so take advantage of this signal of the new season when you explore the country.

Attend Scotland’s Spring Events

In spring, Scotland has several amazing events you can attend, no matter which month you visit. From celebrating Scotland’s delicious whisky, traditional Scottish games, and even an entire comedy festival, make sure you add at least one of these to your to-do list the next time you visit.

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival (1 – 6 May, Speyside)

Spirit of Speyside

The Spirit of Speyside is one of spring’s most prestigious whisky events. During Scotland’s whisky month, the Spirit of Speyside isn’t just one event but several over a week that take place within Scotland’s Speyside region.

Some significant locations of the Festival include Elgin, Kingussie, Aberlour, Dufftown, and Keith, perfect for the on-the-go traveller who only wants to spend a little bit of time in one town. The festival covers the breadth and width of making whisky, and you can enjoy spirited talks at multiple distilleries, tasting tours, and even the chance to make your whisky cask!

If you’re coming for the spring holidays with a passion for whisky, then this festival is for you.

Beltane Fire Festival (30 April, Edinburgh)

Beltane Fire Festival

Throughout the year, Scotland has quarter festivals that herald the end of one season and the start of another, such as the Samhuinn Fire Festival. The Beltane Fire Festival is a fiery goodbye to the winter cold and summons forth spring and summer warmer months. The festival takes place during the evening, with celebrants climbing up Calton Hill in Edinburgh and putting on a fantastic show.

Expect traditional music, fire dancers, and a lively atmosphere at one of Edinburgh’s most anticipated seasonal shows.

Highland Games (Throughout Spring, Scotland)

Highland Games

As the winter thaws, Scottish tradition comes alive at the Highland Games! These events take place throughout the spring season in every corner of Scotland, from the Gourock Highland Games in Inverclyde to the Atholl Gathering in Blair Castle.

The Highland Games is always lively, featuring traditional Scottish games like stone putting, hammer throwing, and the beloved caber toss (where Highlanders toss a 5-6 metre branch of larch so that it spins end over end the most times within a minute). Can you beat the record of 16 caber tosses? Why not try your luck when you come to visit Scotland in Spring?

Glasgow International Comedy Festival (13 – 31 March, Glasgow)

You can enjoy the hilarious anecdotes and stories shared by comedians at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival every year. As one of the largest comedy events in Scotland, you can expect a vast array of local and international comedians, creating uproars of laughter over the two weeks that the festival takes place.

Suppose you’re a fan of long-standing comedians like Frank Skinner, Susie McCabe, or Ed Gamble. In that case, the Glasgow International Comedy Festival will be a fantastic time, so don’t miss out.

Melrose Rugby Sevens (11 – 13 April)

Melrose Rugby Sevens

With war chants, cheering crowds, and an intense game quite unlike any other, Melrose Rugby Sevens is an all-out battle between Scotland’s finest seven’s teams in the brisk April air. Rugby Sevens is a popular spin-off of rugby that only has seven players per team, which raises the intensity of the sport to an extreme level.

If you’ve never heard of rugby or are a die-hard Sevens fan, the Melrose Rugby Sevens will be a magical time and potentially the highlight of your trip.

Orkney Folk Festival (25 – 28 May)

The far-flung Orkney Isles are not the first destination when you think of Scotland, but these beautiful isles hold an incredible history and culture. See it all at the Orkney Folk Festival, a three-day event that includes traditional music, dancing, and more.

Sip Whisky During Scotland’s Whisky Month

Whisky Month

If you need more reasons to raise a dram of whisky during your visit to Scotland in spring, May is officially Scotland’s whisky month. And while World Whisky Day is on 20 May, you can celebrate the ‘water of life’ throughout the entirety of the month by visiting Scotland’s excellent distilleries, tasting tours, and trying blends at whisky festivals.

Scotland’s distilleries in the Highlands, Islands, and Speyside region are some of the country’s best, so don’t miss the opportunity to savour a single malt on your visit.

Visit Scotland’s Historical Monuments

Historical Monuments

Spring is an ideal time to visit many of Scotland’s famous historical monuments, from Edinburgh Castle to the Calanais Standing Stones to Urquhart Castle. During the seasons, the country sees smaller crowds, lower prices, and no midges, making spring one of the best times to see them. It can still be a little cooler during spring, with an average daytime temperature that hovers around 9 – 12℃, so be sure to bundle up before coming to visit.

Take a Scottish Road Trip

Scottish Road Trip

Taking a road trip through Scotland is one of the best ways to experience the country, and spring makes the endeavour especially scenic. The North Coast 500, which covers 500 miles of Scotland’s stunning coastline, is one of the most popular routes and features a rounded few of the country’s best geographical features. From mountains to Scottish isles and the River Ness, you can see spectacular views from the comfort of a car seat.

During early May and April, you’ll also be able to appreciate flowers blooming across the Highland hills, with cherry blossoms, newborn Highland cows, and snow-capped mountains all greeting you as you drive past.

Explore Scotland’s Natural Highlights

Natural Highlights

If you’d prefer to get your boots to the ground instead of seeing scenic views from a seat, then tackling Scotland’s natural parks and centres should be right up your alley. The Scottish Highlands are home to several bountiful places, including the Trossachs National Park and Cairngorms National Park. These national parks are worth a day trip to, featuring wildlife centres, outdoor adventures, and a small town here and there.

And while these parks truly come alive during the country’s warmest months, July and August, they’re still a great time during spring too!

Tee Off on Scotland’s Golf Courses

Golf Courses

Spring is considered one of Scotland’s shoulder seasons for golf, meaning that many courses offer discounted prices for their day trips and 18-hole games until things truly pick up in the summer. If you’re an avid golfer or want to try something new, then teeing off on one of Scotland’s excellent gold courses is for you!

Only a few know that Scotland is where the sport originated, and you can play on some of the most famous courses in the world right where the game began – St Andrews. Scotland is known for the classic links-style courses, which usually are flatter and adhere to the natural bumps and dips of the Highlands.

No matter where you visit, Scotland has gorgeous courses for you to try, and spring is one of the best times to do so.

Spring Destinations to Visit

From regions to cities, here are some top destinations to see when visiting Scotland in spring.



Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, has plenty of things to do no matter what time you choose to visit, but spring presents some exceptional opportunities. Attractions like the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, and so much more are prime for a visit. The botanical gardens in spring are especially stunning, with many flowers blooming for the first time in the year.

Add visiting Edinburgh to the top of your to-do list

Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

The beautiful Isle of Skye is a haven for Scotland’s wildlife, Norse culture, and so much more. During spring, the isle comes alive with the sounds of kittiwakes, puffins, and wingbeats of golden eagles as well as a few terrestrial animals like red deer. The craggy ridges and mountains of the Isle are also perfect for a hike or two, so strap on those walking boots!

If you arrive in early March, you may even be able to see the Northern Lights. It’s your last chance before late autumn and winter, so if that’s on your to-do list, then be sure to make time for it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have some more questions about spring in Scotland? Make sure to read the answers to our frequently asked questions.

Is Spring a Good Time to Visit Scotland?

Spring is one of the best time times to visit Scotland, with moderate average temperatures, beautiful blooming flowers, and amazing events. As a shoulder season for tourism, spring also offers lower accommodation and entry fee rates and avoids the height of midge season. April and May are considered to be the best spring seasons to visit Scotland, with summer weather just around the corner.

What Months Are Best to Visit in Scotland?

Scotland has a lot to look forward to no matter the time of year you visit, but the shoulder season and peak season are generally considered the best for visiting and seeing Scotland’s attractions. May – September offer the most for visitors to see, with many of the country’s major attractions open for business and excellent weather throughout.

Is Scotland an Expensive Place to Visit?

Scotland is relatively more expensive to visit than other locations in Europe. Thankfully, visiting during the country’s shoulder season in spring and autumn can avert much of these costs since accommodation, attractions, and events will be slightly cheaper than their summer season counterparts.

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