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      Spring in Scotland

      Fall in love with Scotland during springtime. Crisp air, misty mornings, and glowing skies are the hallmarks of spring in Scotland. Our landscapes are awash with spring blossoms, and our fields brimming with newborn lambs.

      Everything you Need to Know About Spring in Scotland

      Spring in Scotland is a fantastic time of year. Our landscapes are slowly coming back to life and gaining more and more colour every day. Scotland’s weather is unpredictable no matter what the season. But, statistically, the spring months are the driest and have the sunniest days. The end of May marks the start of the tourist season, so enjoy Scotland whilst it is less busy. Visiting in the spring months means a better choice in accommodation, smaller crowds, and quieter roads

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      Spring Tours

      When Does Spring Start in Scotland?

      Spring can be hard to define in Scotland. One day you can experience soaring temperatures, the next, buckets of snow. On the whole, it’s a mild period, with temperatures steadily rising and the days getting longer as the season progresses. You definitely know it’s spring in Scotland when you see the first crocuses unfurl from the barren ground and bloom into various bright colours.

      Starts
      Ends
      Meteorological spring in Scotland
      1st of March 31st of May
      Astronomical spring in Scotland
      Between 18th-22nd of March Between 18th-22nd of June
      What Scottish outdoor experts say
      2nd week of March 2nd week of May

      Weather in Scotland During Spring

      Temperatures are starting to rise in spring and the days are once again getting longer. March is a tentative spring month, generally much milder than January and February, but still fairly cool and wet. March is when you’ll start to see the spring flowers peeping out and fields filled with the heavy bellies of sheep on the verge of lambing. People joke about April showers, but April is actually one of the driest months of the year! In May, the days are noticeably longer and the landscape takes on the green hues we’re so famous for in the summer.

      March
      April
      May
      Average monthly rainfall 
      57.6mm 39.4mm 51.6mm
      Average days of rainfall ≥1 mm (days)
      13.7 9.3 10.6
      Average daytime temperature (High)
      9.3°C 11.6°C 14.6°C
      Average daytime temperature (Low)
      2.4°C 4°C 6.4°C
      Average daylight hours 
      12 14 16

      Source: metoffice.gov.uk and timeanddate.com | based on Inverness (capital of the Highlands) as location.

      Scottish Spring in Pictures

      Scottish Spring Activities

      Visit a Scottish Castle

      Most castles are closed to visitors in Scotland over winter, with doors opening again around the 1st of April. Enjoy Scotland’s stunning castles in spring with smaller crowds and it’s also a great opportunity to see the various castle gardens in bloom.

      Check out Scotland’s Most Dramatic Castles.

      Want to visit a Scottish castle on one of our adventure holidays? These 3 trips definitely include a castle visit:
      Go for a Walk

      The changing of the seasons is one of nature’s greatest spectacles, and winter to spring may be the most interesting one to witness. Snow is melting and the days are getting longer. Lambs are being born, birds are migrating, and the bees are buzzing. It’s a fascinating time period, best experienced outside in your walking boots!

      Find out more about Hiking in Spring and the wildlife you may see.

      Go on one of our springtime adventure holidays. See some options below:
      Taste the Season

      Delight your tastebuds this spring. Dedicated spring menus featuring the best of the season’s produce are popping up all over and May is our national whisky month. Enjoy a dram of the ‘water of life’ at one of the many whisky festivals taking place and other special events.

      Learn more about whisky with The Whisky Highlands: Toast Your Hike with a Dram and with Islay: Explore Scotland’s Whisky Isle.

      Fancy an adventure holiday in one of Scotland’s notable whisky regions? Have a look at:

      Where to See Scotland's Spring Flowers

      One of spring’s biggest attractions is the explosion of colour that comes with spring flowers. Visit between the months of March, April, and May to witness the daffodils, Scottish bluebells, bright yellow gorse, rhododendrons, and cherry blossoms come into bloom.

      But what are the best places in Scotland to take this all in? Spring flowers are visible all across the country, but if it’s the main attraction for you, you are best off visiting one of our many maintained gardens, parks, and woodlands. Have a read of VisitScotland’s guide for more information.

      If you are after a less curated spring blossom experience, visit some of the areas suggested below. Here you will stand a higher chance to see some of the rarer species and beautiful wildflowers.

      Scottish Flowers to Spot in Spring

      The Highlands & Islands
      • Discovery a variety of wildflower types on the machairs of the Outer Hebrides
      • The Corrie Fee National Nature Reserve in the South East of the Cairngorms is a hotbed for wildflowers.
      Central and West Scotland
      • Immerse yourself in scot’s bluebells when visiting Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park
      • Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh gets covered in bright gorse come springtime.
      • The Ben Lawers range in Perthshire is known for its artic-alpine flora.
      Southern Scotland
      • Take a coastal walk along the Solway Firth in Dumfries & Galloway, a haven for wildflowers.

      Spring Wildlife

      Every season in Scotland has something different to offer in terms of wildlife spectacles. There are only a few mammals that hibernate during winter in Scotland. Despite this, spring still makes for an interesting ‘awakening’ period. Although they may not be hibernating during winter, many species like red squirrels and pine martens stay close to home during winter and conserve their energy. In springtime, they will start to get active again and can be seen scurrying in the trees.

      Various birds who migrated away to warmer climates over winter, start to come back in the springtime. This includes notable birds of prey like the osprey, but also birds like the cuckoo, corncrakes, and black grouse. Seabirds come flocking back too, making spring a great time to see puffins, gannets, and guillemots

      Although grey seals and common seals are around all year in Scotland, spring is a good time to see them as it’s after the pupping months which take place across autumn and winter.

      Want see Scotland’s spring wildlife in action? We visit the below wildlife destinations during the spring months.

      What Foods are in Season in Scotland During Spring?

      Spring is an underrated season for food in Scotland. Spring produce suits the lighter meals we’re starting to crave with the milder weather and it’s a great season for seafood, berries, and a cornucopia of leafy vegetables. When thinking about veggies; spinach, kale, watercress, lettuce, spring onions and rocket SPRING to mind! 

      March
      April
      May
      Vegetables & Fruits
      Winter squash, parsley, leeks, and chives. Spring onion, spinach, rocket, and kale. Rhubarb, peas, and asparagus.
      Meat & Game
      Venison. Rabbit. Lamb.
      Fish & Seafood
      Brown trout, mussels, oysters, lobster, lemon sole, and cockles. Razor clam, crab, and salmon. Turbot, hake, and scallops.

      Please read VisitScotland’s Seasonal Food Calendar here for more detailed information of what’s available and when in Scotland, or have a look at: www.eattheseasons.co.uk

      Spring FAQs

      What are the seasons in Scotland? Read More

      Scotland is definitely home to 4 seasons, and sometimes you get to experience them all in one day!

      Winter takes place between December, January and February. These months are the darkest with the shortest days. Annually, snowfall varies, and it also varies across the country with typically more inches of snow in the Highlands. The daytime temperature during winter in Scotland is on average 4°C.

      March, April and May are the spring months. The countryside comes to life again, with fields full of lambs and wildflowers. Maybe surprising to know, but April is on average the driest month of the year but also the most changeable. You can have some of the hottest days of the year in April, but also be treated to a decent amount of snow. Spring temperatures are on average a pleasant 8°C.

      Summer ranges across June, July and August. These are typically the driest and warmest months and the most popular for visitors. Average temperature ranges between 14°C and 19°C.  

      Autumn starts in Scotland in September and goes on through to November. Generally, you won’t get the real autumn experience till mid-October when the landscape is at it’s most colourful. The temperature during autumn is on average 8°C.

      *Weather data taken from the metoffice, with averages for the city of Inverness (capital of the Highlands).

      What is the weather like in Scotland in March? Read More

      March is a bit warmer than it’s sister winter months, January and February, with average day time temperatures of 7°C. It can still get quite frosty in March and snow is not excluded with March being a viable month for skiing in the Highlands. You will get the occasional spring shower in March, but it’s not an overly wet month in Scotland with only 13.7 days of rainfall on average. 

      *Weather data taken from the metoffice, with averages for the city of Inverness (capital of the Highlands).

      What is the weather like in Scotland in April? Read More

      April is statistically one of the driest months of the year and average daytime temperatures are a comfortable 9°C. The days are notably longer in April, with the recent clock change in March and naturally lengthening days. Snow still crests the summits in the Highlands, but generally, it no longer falls further down. 

      *Weather data taken from the metoffice, with averages for the city of Inverness (capital of the Highlands).

      What is the weather like in Scotland in May? Read More

      May gives a good taster of summer with warmer and sunnier days than the preceding months. Expect the occasional heavy but brief spring shower.

      *Weather data taken from the metoffice, with averages for the city of Inverness (capital of the Highlands).

      Does it snow in Scotland? Read More

      Yes! On average there are 38 days of snow in Scotland, with 26 days of settled snow on the ground. Most of the snow falls in northern mountainous areas like the Cairngorms, Glencoe and Torridon. Generally, snow fall is in the colder months of January and February, but can arrive as early as November and stay as late as April.

      *Weather data taken from the metoffice.

      Does it rain much in Scotland? Read More

      Not as much as you’d think! Inverness on average receives around 30 inches of annual rainfall. This is little compared to more famous destinations like New York which gets 50 inches and notoriously sunny Milan with 37 inches. Scotland is famed for rain, but consider that it’s the rain that makes our landscapes so lush and green. Rain is what makes our rivers and waterfalls so impressive. Rain is at the heart of our whisky industry. But the best thing about Scottish rain? It never rains for long. Before you know it the sun is bursting through and warming you up again.

      *Weather data taken from the metoffice, with averages for the city of Inverness (capital of the Highlands).

      What should I wear in Scotland? Read More

      Layers. Scotland’s weather is known for its changeability, so prepare yourself for any eventuality. Be prepared to add and lose layers according to the temperature, and carry waterproofs with you if you are heading out into the countryside.

      Why should I visit Scotland in spring? Read More

      Spring is a great time of year to come visit as there are plenty of things going on, but it’s much less busy than the summer months in Scotland. Spring highlights include the flowers blossoming, the sheer quantity of lambs populating the fields, and seasonal produce. Many visitor attractions like castles open their doors again around the 1st of April, so it’s the time of year to see the sights without the summer crowds. Spring is also a good time for wildlife watching with much of nature coming back to life this time of year.

      Do you get midges in spring? Read More

      It depends on the severity of the winter preceding spring but in general, midges don’t arrive in Scotland till the end of May. March and April are guaranteed midge free months.

      Where can I see lambs in Scotland? Read More

      Everywhere! There are more sheep than people in Scotland. Lambing can start as early as December but generally takes place in March and April.

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      I have had two holidays with Wilderness Scotland, and each of them has exceeded expectations. I have also recommended you to two people who have come on your holidays. Your trips are well organised, well structured, pack in variety, and your guides combine a rare combination of people skills and technical expertise.

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      Wildlife Adventures - The Shetland Isles
      Reviewed on 05/07/2013

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