Five Things to Expect on Your Winter Break in Scotland

Did you know that out of the millions of people who visit Scotland every year, 46% of them do so in the autumn and winter months?

While this may come as a surprise to anyone for whom a holiday is strictly a summertime event, for those of us who’ve experienced the captivating beauty of a Scottish winter up close and personal, it makes absolute sense that increasing numbers of visitors are flocking to the Highlands in the off-season.

Neither is it much of a shock to learn that of Scotland’s estimated 14 million visitors, around six million a year return each winter to experience for themselves the unbridled allure, the good cheer and that certain fairytale-like quality which permeates the air at this most magical time of the year.

If you’re planning to join them, here’s everything you can expect on your 2019 winter break in Scotland.

With its radiant beauty and wonderfully warm hospitality, Scotland never feels quite as magical as it does in winter. Here, we outline what to expect when you visit us this season.

1: A True Winter Wonderland

winter wonderland

Grand lochs glistening in the radiant glow of a winter sun, vast, sprawling hills and dramatic valleys, all resting beneath a gentle blanket of snow, never has Scotland looked quite as enchanting as it does in the heart of winter.

Whether you’re planning to relax and take it easy at our five-star hotel in Perthshire or head out on an adventure, you’ll soon discover why so many people visit Highland Scotland simply for the chance to take in the region’s world-famous scenery.

2: A Reason to Settle in by the Fire

Dunalastair Hotel Suites

Whether it’s to capture some spectacular photos or simply indulge in some well-earned fresh air therapy, no winter break in Scotland is complete without spending at least some time in the great outdoors, you may well decide that the best way to take in all of those wonderful views is from within the warmth and comfort of your hotel.

After all, while Scotland may be at its most resplendent best during the winter season, it’s also at its coldest.

Highland Scotland’s breathtaking winter landscapes are a true sight to behold, but be sure to wrap up warm if you’re venturing out into this area of outstanding natural beauty.

In general, December to February at the chilliest months of the year, with average temperatures reaching no more than 5°C (41°F). What’s more, while most parts of the country experience around 15 to 20 days of snowfall, here in the romantic Scottish Highlands we receive around 100 days of snow, making for a truly white winter indeed.

Again, you’ll want to step outside to take in the true Highland winter experience, but we won’t blame you at all if you prefer to sit by the fire and admire the views from afar!

3: Plenty of Opportunities to Hit The Slopes


You don’t have to journey to the swiss alps to get some skiing in this season. If you’re eager to hit the slopes, you’ll be glad to know that Scotland has some of the very best ski resorts in Europe.

From the mountains of Glencoe and Cairngorm to Glenshee Ski Centre and the ever-popular Nevis range, you never have to travel far to find exceptional skiing right on your doorstep.

Skiing and snowboarding are among Scotland’s most popular winter pastimes, with no less than six natural ski resorts in prime locations around the country.

4: A Chance to Hunt the Northern Lights

Northern Lights Scotland

When most people think of the awe-inspiring phenomenon that is the Northern Lights, they tend to think of the magical skies over Norway, Reykjavik or the furthest flung regions of Lapland.

Yet if you happen to be in the right place at the right time, you can enjoy the unforgettable sight of Aurora Borealis without ever leaving Scotland.

The most northern reaches of the Highlands are usually the best chance to witness the ‘Mirrie Dancers’ with Shetland, Orkney and Caithness being popular among tourists looking to tick the Northern Lights off their bucket lists.

You don’t have to travel to furthest regions to cross Aurora Borealis off your bucket list. You can witness this amazing natural phenomenon right here in the Highlands.

5: Traditional Hogmanay and Christmas Markets

Christmas Market Scotland

If your winter break in Scotland happens to coincide with the Christmas and New Year festivities this year, then you’re in for a real treat.

From late November and right throughout December, traditional Christmas markets offer a wonderful opportunity to buy a unique array of gifts, goods, and gourmet treats, most of which are handmade by some of Scotland’s finest artisans.

Then, on December 25th itself, you and your loved ones can treat yourselves to the gift of five-star luxury with Dunalastair Hotel Suites Christmas break package, where we pull out all the stops to ensure your holiday is truly unforgettable for all the right reasons.

While you’re here, be sure to stick around for a traditional Highland Hogmanay on December 31st. Nowhere on earth does New Year’s Eve quite like Scotland, especially down in Edinburgh where an enormous street party with dancers, performers and fireworks brings in the New Year in style.

Of course, if you prefer to start your 2020 with something a little quieter, you can always join us here at our luxury hotel in Perthshire for our gourmet Hogmanay break including two nights’ accommodation, a five-course New Year’s Eve dinner and light entertainment all from £740 per room based on two adults sharing.

Book your winter break in Scotland with Dunalastair Hotel Suites – see our websites for our latest special offers or book your Christmas getaway with us now by calling +44 (0)1882 580444.

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