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7 reasons to visit Scotland in the winter

Written by Fiona

November 30 2018

Scotland is a country that is full of culture, traditions, history and stunning landscapes, as well as landmarks. The beauty of Scotland is that wherever you choose to go, or whatever part you stay in, there is always something to do and see. Scotland is also a country that is known and recognised for its cold, wet, snowy, and generally erratic weather, yet, this doesn’t deter people from visiting the country and all its fantastic sights. In fact, Scotland is a very popular destination, especially during the winter, and here are some of the reasons why:

1 Skiing

Believe it or not, Scotland’s ski resorts are increasingly popular and last year approximately 250,000 people visited, just to go skiing, which was a huge increase from 2016.

Scotland boasts five ski resorts and the skiing and snowboarding here is considered to be the best in the United Kingdom. Not only do you have the pleasure of skiing and fun on the slopes, you are able to enjoy the beautiful scenery and views around you.

Looking down at the steep Flypaper, Glencoe.

Cairngorm Mountain

Cairngorm Mountain is the most visited ski centre in the UK. It is considered one of the most beautiful places to go skiing surrounded by the panoramic views of the Cairngorms national Park. Ski touring is also popular with the summits of CairnGorm and Ben MacDui popular goals.

Glencoe Mountain

This ski resort is located in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so, again, while your enjoying the slopes, you can also enjoy the views. It is home to a very large camping area, as well as lodges and it’s where you can ski the steepest ski run, The Flypaper.

See my blog about skiing The Flypaper.


This is the largest ski resort in the UK and offers 36 ski runs for both beginners and pros

Nevis Range

This resort is accessed by the only mountain gondola in the United Kingdom and offers a wide range of winter activities for you and your family.

Lecht Ski Centre

This is another popular ski resort and is located in Scotland’s largest national park. It is ideal for skiers of all levels and also has a ski school.

Whisky is a huge attraction in Scotland.

2 Whisky Tours

Scotland is famous for its whisky distillery tours, where you have the opportunity to take a tour and taste some of the most iconic whiskies.

The Highlands has dozens of distilleries and is the largest whisky producing area, with some of the most famous names, such as Ardmore, Balbair, Glen Ord and Glenmorangie, as well as some of the oldest distilleries. Speyside is an area of he Highlands and is home to the Malt Whisky Trail. An annual Dramathon – marathon run – takes place in Speyside between half a dozen distilleries.

Or take a trip by ferry to visit Islay – also referred to as the Whisky Island – which has eight distilleries in operation. The neighbouring island of Jura also has a distillery. Other islands with whisky distilleries include Arran and Skye.

Wherever you decide to go, as well as sampling some of Scotland’s finest whisky, there are plenty of walking and cycling trails nearby. Scotland is famous for its many trails though glens and over hills and mountains.

Fireworks are part of the Hogmanay celebrations.

3 Christmas and Hogmanay

If you are looking for somewhere to spend the holiday period, then look no further than Scotland. With its popular Christmas markets and grand Hogmanay (New Year) celebrations, this is definitely something that should be experienced at least once in your life.

With the large cities, such as Edinburgh and Glasgow offering huge Christmas markets with a wide assortment of stalls, from traditional to Continental, as well as the outdoor skating rink and fairground, there is plenty to see and do.

Hogmanay is the highlight of winter in Scotland with its huge celebration in Edinburgh, below the Edinburgh Castle, including live music, entertainment and the massive firework display at midnight. Something that shouldn’t be missed!

4 Secluded Accommodation with a Hot Tub

With so many sights to see and things to see and do in Scotland, when you visit, treat yourself and rent one of the beautiful holiday rentals across Scotland. There is a huge selection on offer at the moment, all around Scotland, which many people are now opting to rent instead of staying in a hotel or hostel.

A lot of cottages are not only child-friendly, but also pet-friendly, and the majority also offer private hot-tubs. So, after a long day out and about exploring, what better way to relax and unwind than in your hot-tub with a drink, sharing the moment with friends or loved ones.

The Northern Lights can be seen in Scotland, if you’re lucky.

5 Northern Lights

In Scotland, given the correct weather conditions and usually during winter, you may well spot the fabulous night sky display, the Northern Lights.

Providing it is a clear night and there is not much light pollution, the amazing Northern Lights can be seen anywhere in Scotland. However, it is better to head further north or check out the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park in Dumfries & Galloway.

Red deer are often spotted in the mountains of Scotland.

6 Winter wildlife

During the winter months, the snowy mountains are home to some very beautiful and not often seen wildlife. These include the red deer, mountain hares with their winter white hair, white-feathered ptarmigan, golden eagle, as well as seals, among others.

These animals come out while its freezing, while the rest of us prefer to stay indoors, in the warmth, but a trip out in the cold is definitely worth it if you get to see some of this fabulous wildlife.

7 Countryside and scenery

Scotland is worth a visit all year round just for its stunning and picturesque views and scenery. During the winter months, when the mountains, hills, valleys and glens are decorated with snow and ice, it is equally as beautiful as on a summer’s day.

There are a multitude of reasons why Scotland should be on your list of countries to visit. There are hundreds of places to visit, landmarks to see, stunning landscape and scenery all around you, as well as plenty of activities for you and your family and friends.

Yet, there are some things about Scotland that you can only appreciate during the winter months, which is why the thought of going in the winter should not hinder you but should encourage you to visit at this time of year.

With plenty of places to go, things to see, festivals to attend, whisky tours and skiing, Scotland is the place to go for those looking for an affordable winter break with breathtaking views, great Scottish hospitality and the chance to stay in your own private lodge or cabin for a true taste of comfort whilst indulging in the great Scottish outdoors.

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