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Scotland in August: When is the best time to visit Scotland?

Scotland in August: When is the best time to visit Scotland?

When you start daydreaming about your trip to Scotland, one all-important question will come to mind: When is the best time to visit Scotland? And the short answer is this: August.

August is your best bet when it comes to weather, scenery, and festivals, though of course, the prices are a bit steeper.

Here’s why visiting Scotland in August is best…

Scotland in August

Scotland in August: When is the best time to visit Scotland?

The heather is (usually) in full bloom

Scotland is gorgeous enough as it is. But when the Highlands explode into a picture-perfect postcard of purple heather, it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before!

While there’s never a guarantee that you’ll see heather during your trip, it usually begins blooming late-July or early-August!

Scotland in August: When is the best time to visit Scotland?

It’s (somewhat) warm

Let’s face it. You don’t travel to Scotland for its weather.

However, August is usually Scotland’s warmest month. During August, temperatures average at around 19 °C (or 66 °F), though you can get lucky with a random heat wave. Overall, you can expect mild temperatures during Scotland’s summer months.

With that said, temperatures in August are near perfect for traveling. It’s not too hot, and it’s not too cold. With all the hiking, walking, and exploring you’ll do, Scotland’s moderate climate is just right.

Scotland in August: When is the best time to visit Scotland?

It’s doesn’t rain (as much)

Scotland’s weather is 100% unpredictable, except for one general rule: it will rain.

As far as rain goes, you should always be prepared. It might rain a little during your trip, or it might rain a lot. But you can bet that it will.

Scotland in August can be anything from clear skies and sunshine, to grey, cloudy days. However, August usually sees less rain than other months!

Susan McNaughton/Royal Edinburgh Military TattooScotland in August: When is the best time to visit Scotland?

The Military Tattoo Festival is in full swing

With Edinburgh Castle as the backdrop, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an unforgettable celebration of Scottish dance, music, and military processions. As the castle lights up in pink, blue, and purple hues, nearly 1,000 different dancers, singers, bagpipers, and drummers regale an eager crowd.

Throughout August, the bagpipes’ music emanates throughout the city, but this spectacle is best experienced up close and personal. You won’t want to miss it!

Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0Scotland in August: When is the best time to visit Scotland?

The world’s largest arts festival takes place

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe turns Scotland’s capital into one giant party, for three whole weeks, every August. From opera and theatre, to circus and comedy, this arts festival floods the street with thousands of performances.

No matter what, you’re bound to have a great time at the Fringe!

*In addition to the Tattoo and the Fringe, loads of other festivals occur throughout Scotland during August.

Chris Bis/Highland GamesScotland in August: When is the best time to visit Scotland?

The Highland Games are on

Between Scottish dances, traditional sports, bagpipes, and kilts galore, the Highland Games are the perfect way to learn about Scottish heritage. Every year, from May to September, visitors can enjoy over 80 different Highland Games throughout the country.

Have you visited Scotland in August before? When is your favorite time to visit?


Maddy Cornelius

Maddy is the co-founder and editor of Travel Alphas. Mint tea, handmade pasta, gelato, and red wine are among her favorite treats. New York City, Budapest, Bali, and Florence are a few of her most-loved destinations.

  • Miriam - londonkitchendiaries.com

    August certainly sounds to be the best month to visit Scotland – it is high on my list and I would love to see the heather in full bloom!

    September 5, 2016 at 3:39 am Reply
    • Kathy Ruffell

      Scotland is so beautiful. I have driven down through the Northern Highlands when all the heather was in full bloom. It was incredible! Well worth a visit. :)

      September 7, 2016 at 5:10 pm Reply
  • Natalie

    I would LOVE to go back to Scotland during the Fringe Festival–I’ve always thought it sounded like the coolest festival! We’ve been during November, and it was fun traveling in the off season (and who doesn’t like those prices!), but we definitely had to work around the chilly weather. I don’t ever need another excuse to go back to Scotland, but you’ve given me several here! :)

    September 7, 2016 at 4:16 pm Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      It was pretty awesome :)
      And it’s definitely still chilly in August, but I bet not as cold as November…

      September 7, 2016 at 6:13 pm Reply
  • Eden @ Mint Notion

    I went to Scotland in November and it was surprisingly nice! It wasn’t too cold and it didn’t rain so I guess we got lucky. I’d love to go back and visit during the summer though, your photos look lovely!

    September 9, 2016 at 6:48 pm Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      You definitely got lucky! That’s awesome. Would highly recommend a visit in the summer, even though it is a bit pricier.

      September 15, 2016 at 3:09 pm Reply
  • Shannon Off Duty

    Stunning! I love Scotland and everything about it. Great work:)

    September 11, 2016 at 7:20 am Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      Agreed! We loved everything about it. Hoping we can live in Glasgow at some point! ;)

      September 15, 2016 at 3:09 pm Reply
  • Ella

    It’s on my bucket list to go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I grew up doing theatre and I love the performance arts, so I think it would be awesome to go and I’d enjoy that a lot :) Did you get to experience the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

    September 15, 2016 at 4:27 am Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      The Fringe sounds right up your alley then, doesn’t it? We were in Edinburgh just before the festival officially started, but there were still plenty of performances going on. We left for a few days for the Highlands and Isle of Skye, and when we returned, the festival was in full swing! So in short, we were there for one day of the actual festival and it was really quite cool. :)

      September 15, 2016 at 3:12 pm Reply
  • Lauren

    Okayyy let me know when you’re free to roam around San Diego! Things are finally settling down in my universe :)

    September 17, 2016 at 4:08 pm Reply

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