Scotland Weather and Climate
Scotland is in the northern third of Great Britain and borders England in the south. It extends between the 55th and 59th parallel north latitude.
Scotland is divided into three regions: the Highlands, the Central Lowlands and the Southern Upperlands. Scotland also includes several islands including the Shetlands, Orkneys and the Hebrides. Scotland covers an area of 78,772 square kilometers and has a population of just over 5 million.
More than three quarters of the area is used for agriculture, on the islands and the highlands the breeding of sheep and cattle plays the largest role. The Scottish wilderness is a paradise, especially for ornithologists. A large number of rare sea birds have their nesting sites here.
The Scottish landscape offers many natural beauties and attracts with the almost uninhabited mountains, the fjords, the heathland and the raised bogs. The highest mountain in the country is Ben Nevis at 1344 m, from which one can enjoy a sensational view of the sea.
The capital and second largest city of the country is Edinburgh. Glasgow is the largest city in the country with a population of 400,000. Scotland is centrally governed from London, but a regional parliament with autonomous powers has existed in Edinburgh since the late 1990s. There have been efforts for years to break away from the UK.
English, Scottish Gaelic and Lowland Scots are spoken. The population has a high standard of education and the universities have a good reputation worldwide. The majority of the Scottish population is Protestant, but immigration is also increasing the number of Catholics in the country.
Climate in Scotland
Scotland has a temperate maritime climate. The temperature is slightly lower than in the rest of Great Britain due to its northern location. Overall, you have to reckon with rather inconsistent weather. Even in the summer months of July and August, the average temperature during the day is only around 18 degrees.
The west of Scotland tends to have milder temperatures than the east, as the Atlantic Ocean has warmer water than the North Sea due to the Gulf Stream.
In some places on the west coast even palm trees grow, but the sea itself is only something for the toughest with an average of 15 degrees. The highest rainfall is expected in the Western Highland. This region is very humid and mostly windy with 3,000 mm of annual precipitation.
When is the best time to visit Scotland?
The months May to September are considered the best time to travel to Scotland. The likelihood of fine weather here is greater than in winter. The most attractive travel months are May, June and September, these also have the most hours of sunshine. The average duration of sunshine is 6 hours in summer, while the sun is on average only 2 hours per day in the winter months.
The summer months of July and August have the warmest weather, but since school holidays are taking place in the country at this time, campsites and attractions are quite crowded. Various festivals take place in Edinburgh in the summer and you can expect a lot of crowds in the capital in July and August. The edge months of June and September are particularly recommended in Scotland.
Optimal travel time for the regions
In the following overview you can see the best travel time depending on the region (Scotland).
|Place||Best travel time|
|Aberdeen||June, July, August and September|
|Edinburgh||May, June, July, August and September|
Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine in Aberdeen (Scotland)
|Daytime temperature||5 ° C||6 ° C||8 ° C||10 ° C||13 ° C||16 ° C||18 ° C||17 ° C||15 ° C||12 ° C||8 ° C||6 ° C|
|Night temperature||0 ° C||0 ° C||2 ° C||3 ° C||5 ° C||8 ° C||10 ° C||10 ° C||8 ° C||6 ° C||3 ° C||1 ° C|
|Water temperature||9 ° C||9 ° C||9 ° C||10 ° C||11 ° C||13 ° C||14 ° C||13 ° C||13 ° C||12 ° C||11 ° C||10 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||80||52||61||53||59||53||61||75||68||87||75||73|
|Hours of sunshine||2||3||4||5||6||6||5||5||4||3||2||1|
The annual average temperature in Aberdeen is 7.9 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is July (13.7 ° C), coldest month of January with mean values of 2.9 ° C. The maximum water temperature in Aberdeen is 14 ° C. That is hardly suitable for swimming.
The annual precipitation is 797 mm on 134 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. There is no rainy season, i.e. months with more than 175 mm of precipitation. In the months of January, February, March, April, November and December snowfall is possible.
As our climate table shows, June is the sunniest month with an average of 5.8 hours of sunshine per day. On average over the year, the sun shines 3.7 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.
Sights and attractions
Scotland has many scenic spots, museums, castles and cultural monuments that are visited by more than a million people each year. Edindburg Castle is a Scottish landmark and the most visited attraction in Scotland. Eilean Donan Castle, near the Isle of Sky, is romantically situated and the most photographed. The spectacular Dunnottar Castle (Stonehaven) has a dramatic coastal landscape.
Not far from Inverness, in the Caledonian Rift, is the legendary Loch Ness. Many tourists make the pilgrimage here to look for Nessie the monster in the second deepest lake in the British Isles. Glencoe, Highlands, filming location for some scenes from Harry Potter, has a fascinating valley with incomparable scenery that should not be missed. It is equally unforgettable to experience the white, Scottish beaches with the crystal clear water. Luskentyre Beach, on the Isle of Harris, is one of them.
Scotland weather in March, April and May
Average daily temperatures between 8 ° C and 14 ° C can be expected over the next three months. It gets warmest in May in Edinburgh, while March is noticeably cooler in Aberdeen.
Do you want to go on a beach holiday? The water temperatures are in March, April and May 7-11 ° C. So the weather is not suitable for swimming.
In March it rains depending on the region of 12 (Aberdeen) to 16 days (Edinburgh), in April at 11 (Aberdeen) to 14 days (Edinburgh) and in May of 11 (Aberdeen) to 14 days (Edinburgh).
In the period from March to May , the sun shines on average between 0 and 6 hours a day. The sunniest weather is in Aberdeen in May, but with less sun you will have to get by in Edinburgh in March.