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    Why Visit Scotland in July?

    By Meike Burgess, Marketing & Paid Media Manager
    More by Meike

     

    Sign Up to Scottish Summer

    Welcome to Scotland in July, where the hills are alive with the sound of bagpipes, the days are long, and the sunsets are nothing short of spectacular.

    When answering the question of why visit Scotland in July, it’s almost easier to list why you shouldn’t visit because the reasons why you should are endless and it’s no wonder that July is one of the most popular times to visit Scotland.

    Scotland is a natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts, with wild terrain and stunning beauty. The long summer days provide ample time for outdoor adventures, and the mild temperatures make it a comfortable time of year to be outside.

    How Busy is Scotland in July?

    To ensure a stress-free trip, it’s crucial to plan and book ahead for accommodation, transportation, restaurants, and popular attractions, especially during July, which is a peak tourist season. Consider booking a fully guided small group tour or a self-guided tour to eliminate the hassle of logistics and enjoy your trip to the fullest.

    Despite being a busier month, the rewards of visiting Scotland in July are plentiful. Enjoy opportunities for outdoor activities, events, wildlife watching, and stunning natural beauty. With careful planning, visitors can make the most of their time in Scotland during July.

    Why Visit Scotland in July?

     

    It’s the Perfect Time to Be Outside

    Hiking in Assynt in July

    In July, Scotland experiences some of its warmest and driest weather. Average temperatures during the day range from highs of 19°C (66.2°F), and lows of 12°C (53.6°F). However, the weather in Scotland can be unpredictable. It’s always a good idea to bring layers and be prepared for rain, especially in higher elevations. Overall, July is a great time to visit Scotland for outdoor activities and sightseeing, with pleasant weather that’s not too hot or too cold.

    All the Hours to Play With

    Scotland experiences long daylight hours in July, particularly in the north, where the days are at their longest. The northernmost parts of Scotland, such as the Outer Hebrides, Shetland, Orkney, and the Highlands, experience around 18-19 hours of daylight daily. You’ll get 16-17 hours in the south of Scotland.

    This means you can enjoy long days of outdoor activities, sightseeing, and exploring Scotland’s stunning natural landscapes. In the far north, the remaining hours are not fully dark as the sky retains a twilight glow known as the “simmer dim” in Shetlandic.

    Find out more on our blog: What is a Scottish Summer Like?

    Weather Data: metoffice.gov.uk and timeanddate.com

    Extended Golden Hours


    Scotland’s highlands and islands provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing evening of spectacular summer sunsets. Thanks to the long days and extended golden hours, Scotland’s sunsets in July are truly mesmerizing. Whether you’re a nature lover, photographer, or looking for a peaceful moment to reflect and unwind, bask in the soft, warm light that creates a magical atmosphere, illuminating the dramatic landscapes in a stunning array of colours.

    Wonderful Wildlife

    For wildlife lovers, there’s something to enjoy every month in Scotland, but July is undeniably one of the best. With its long, warm days and abundant food sources, it’s an ideal time to spot some of Scotland’s most iconic creatures in their natural habitats.

    From dolphins and porpoises to seals and whales, there are countless opportunities to witness these majestic animals in their natural habitats. The warmer temperatures mean that Scotland’s coasts are teeming with life. Inevitably the smaller beasties attract larger ones. The most notable bigger resident of Scottish wasters in July is the impressive basking shark. They feed on the zooplankton that thrives between June and September.

    For bird enthusiasts, Scotland’s coastal areas are also home to an array of seabirds, including puffins, gannets, and kittiwakes. The Shetland Islands, the Outer Hebrides and the Inner Hebrides are particularly renowned for their birdlife, with their dramatic cliffs providing the perfect nesting spots.

    But it’s not just marine and coastal wildlife that make July such an excellent month for animal lovers. Scotland’s inland areas are also busy and bustling, with osprey, eagles, deer, beavers, red squirrels, and otters all commonly spotted in the hills, woodlands and rivers.

    Basking Shark Mull

    Balance the Outdoors With Cultural Events

    For those interested in experiencing Scotland’s rich heritage, July is a great month to visit. There are various events that are perfect for visitors looking to immerse themselves in Scottish history, traditions and culture.

    One of the most popular events in Scotland are the Highland Games. The games celebrate all things Scottish, featuring a range of athletic competitions. The events includde caber tossing, hammer throwing, and tug-of-war, as well as dancing and piping competitions. Visitors can witness the strength, skill, and athleticism of the participants while also enjoying the lively atmosphere and traditional music. There is usually a small fee to attend local Highland Games, but you can easily spend the whole day there with plenty to watch and often various food trucks with the best of local to sample. Some notable Highland Games in July are the Inverness Highland Games and the Inveraray Highland Games.

     

    July is also a good month for Scottish folk music lovers. Musicians from across the country and beyond come together to perform traditional Scottish music. The festivals occur in various locations across the country, with many happening in July. Depending on which one you attend, you can enjoy a range of performances, workshops, and concerts, all showcasing the diversity of Scottish folk music. Office favourites include the Hebridean Celtic Festival, which is usually on the Isle of Lewis at the start of July and Spey Fest, which takes place in Moray near the end of the month. Find out more about traditional Scottish folk music in this blog.

    In addition to these events, Scotland has many other cultural attractions to offer visitors in July, such as historic castles, museums, and galleries.

    Enjoy Getting in and Out Onto the Water

    Sea kayaking near Skye in July

    July is the ultimate time to indulge in Scotland’s water sports. The warmer water temperatures and long days are perfect for experiencing sea kayaking, canoeing, sailing, and swimming along the country’s picturesque coastline, crystal-clear lochs, and scenic rivers.

    It’s Not As Cold As You May Expect

    The warmer weather that July offers definitely makes it more attractive to get out on the water, or even in it. By this time, the hills will have shed all their snow, so the rivers and lochs won’t be frigid with glacial melt. They’ve also had most of May and June to warm up. Equally, the water temperature of the sea is much more palatable in July – with averages of 13.5°C (56.3°F).

    The white sand beaches, sea caves, and cliffs are perfect for sea kayaking, while the tranquil waters and challenging rapids of Scotland’s rivers and lochs are ideal for canoeing. Additionally, sailing enthusiasts can explore the scenic and wildlife-rich spots on the west coast of Scotland, including the Small Isles and the Isle of Skye, for an unforgettable experience.

    Colourful Landscapes


    It would be amiss not to mention how absolutely gorgeous Scotland becomes in July. The hills are a vibrant green everywhere you look, and colourful blossoms dot the countryside, adding a splash of vibrancy to the already lush scenery.

    You can also see the densest and most diverse selection of wildflowers in July. It’s an incredible experience wandering through the remarkable machairs unique to Scotland’s and Ireland’s western coasts. You can frolic amongst wild orchid types, red clover, yarrow, bog asphodel, daisies, and more.

    Gardens and parks throughout the country are also at their best in July, with many blooming with bright colours and exotic species. Coastal regions boast an abundance of seaweed and marine algae in various green, brown, and red hues, contributing to the Scottish coastline’s beauty and playing a vital role in the marine ecosystem.

    Spring

    Spring weather is mild, but the days are lengthening and consistently drier. The landscape is buzzing with life and colour, with flowers blooming and bustling wildlife.

    Find out more

    Summer

    Summer promises long days, pleasant temperatures, and festivals galore. The countryside transitions from vibrant green to breath-taking purple as the heather blooms.

    Find out more

    Autumn

    Autumn is a time of colourful landscapes and glowing skies. Witness some of Scotland’s most exciting wildlife spectacles and taste flavours unique to our autumn months.

    Find out more

    Winter

    If the conditions are right, Scottish winters are the epitome of ‘winter wonderland’. Crunchy snow underneath your boots, sparkly fields, and the most beautiful night skies.

    Find out more

    Visit Scotland in July With Us

    Meet the Author: Meike Burgess

    “Having grown up travelling across the world I've developed an addiction to all things spice and to travel! When it was time to go to university I wandered off to Scotland for a new adventure and now 10+ years later I've not managed to leave yet. Scotland's welcoming culture, beautiful scenery and a Scottish man captured my heart. Moving to Scotland has made me develop a passion for the outdoors and I love heading out for an explore.”

    View profileMore by Meike

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