Where to go and what to see in Scotland in Winter

Scotland in the summer offers visitors the chance to enjoy its beautiful natural beauty. But Scotland in winter is fascinating with more people discovering just what the Highlands has to offer during the off-season.

It’s always been a great place to explore thanks to its temperate climate. That said, it often rains but it’s never freezing cold compared to its northern neighbours. The winter months in Scotland provide a wonderful sightseeing experience that includes nature watching and so much more.

We’ve put together this short guide to help plan your itinerary when staying at our Hotel in Kinloch Rannoch. So why not book an exceptionally memorable Christmas break in Scotland?

Our guide includes:

  1. When is winter in Scotland?
  2. Winter climate and weather in Scotland
  3. Winter packing list for Scotland
  4. Where to go and what to see in Scotland in winter
  5. Fun things to do in Scotland in winter
  6. Accommodation Advice

When is winter in Scotland?

Winter Break Scotland

Winter in Scotland begins in December and lasts till March. The ‘off season’, however, begins in the autumn from October to November although April can be included at times too.

There are lots of things to do in Scotland in winter which naturally includes our exciting Hogmanay celebrations! Then, there’s St Andrew’s Day and Burns Night which celebrates our national poet, Robert Burns.

Winter climate and weather in Scotland

The climate in Scotland is known to be temperate all year round. Winters are cold, 5 degrees Celsius (41°F), but rarely freezing. It makes for a great place to visit during the cooler months when you have this winter wonderland more to yourself.

That said, the coldest months in Scotland tend to be January and February whereas, during the Autumn and December, the weather is milder, more changeable, windy, wet and sometimes stormy! 

Winter packing list for Scotland

Winter packing list for Scotland

You may be wondering what to pack for a Scottish winter escape. So we’ve put a list of things to bring with you:

  • A good quality waterproof and windproof coat/jacket is essential for your Christmas break in Scotland
  • It’s best to plan on wearing layers when you visit the Highlands during the festive season. So, pack t-shirts, and warm jumpers too
  • Keeping your head warm is essential. So, pack a hat or two, scarves and gloves to keep your hands nice and toasty
  • Good quality footwear is another essential whether you’re planning to hike or not. So, we recommend packing some warm, waterproof boots along with your evening dancing shoes
  • It’s a good idea to bring an umbrella, although when the wind blows, you might be better off without one. But for exploring the cities and towns, umbrellas are definitely handy to have

Where to go and what to see in Scotland in winter

The Scottish Highlands has lots to offer during the off-season with the added bonus being there are fewer people about. Our hotel in Pitlochry provides the perfect location to choose for a Scottish Winter Escape.

Fun things to do in Scotland in winter

Fun things to do in Scotland in winter

Some of our most popular attractions are open all year round. Not only do you get to experience Scotland’s beautiful unspoilt landscapes, but you’ll also get to visit the attractions too.

We’ve put together a list of some of the things to do during a family or romantic Christmas break in Scottish Highlands:

Visit Edinburgh in the winter

The capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, is a superb winter destination if you’re planning a city break. The Castle is open all year round and if by chance, there’s a frosty morning or a little snowy dust, it could well brighten a darker winter day!

Outlander fans can enjoy and savour some delicacies on Scotland’s Outlander Trail. It’s a fabulous experience to sit in the Signet Library’s plush, opulent décor.

Visit Glasgow

Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city. It’s a great choice for a city break or as a stopover when you’re travelling up to the Highlands or Islands to enjoy a Scottish Winter Escape.

Entry to Glasgow’s museums is free with the added bonus being there’s so much to see. From modern art to the world-renowned Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

Road trip around the Highlands

Scotland is a great all-year-round driving destination. There’s lots to see along the way no matter what season. Weather conditions can affect the roads at times, but it’s still possible to organise a road trip around Scotland during the festive season.

Some roads do close during heavy snowfalls and adverse weather conditions! But the good news is that motorists are kept up to date in real-time on our Northern Radio stations. There may be fewer attractions, less accommodation, and the daylight hours are shorter in the low season, but there’s still lots to see and places to stay.

Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorm National Park is a must-visit winter destination. Especially for lovers of outdoor winter activities and sports. How about snowboarding or skiing in spectacular settings. There’s over 30 different runs, 10 lifts, a freestyle park and onsite equipment hire, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Highland Perthshire

If you’ve never visited Perthshire, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. This centrally located Scottish region is well worth a stop-over and we especially recommend visiting Hermitage and Pitlochry!

Northern lights

You may even get to view the Northern Lights when you take a Christmas break in the Scottish Highlands! The aurora borealis is spectacular, transfixing and literally out of this world!

On a clear, frosty night in late autumn and early winter, you may experience this wonderful event because there’s no light pollution in the north of Scotland!

Accommodation Advice

Dunalastair Hotel Suites in Winter

Whether you’re planning a short or extended stay in the Highlands, finding the perfect place to stay makes a trip the Highlands extra special. Dunalastair Hotel Suites provides 5-star comfort and luxury in a glorious festive, winter setting.

Nestled in the heart of Perthshire, you’ll enjoy privacy in a superb natural environment. From the moment you walk through our doors to when you leave us, we’re here to provide everything you need to make your stay with us memorable.

Our Monadh restaurant menu offers a range of dishes with gluten-free and vegan options. There’s something to suit everyone’s taste and preference. We also have a dedicated children’s menu, and kids eat for free! Come and savour our Scottish delights in our Pitlochry restaurant, you’ll find the complete menu here.

Book your Christmas break in the Scottish Highlands today and enjoy 5-star luxury and comfort at Dunalastair Hotel Suites in Kinloch Rannoch.

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