Seasonal weather should be given careful consideration when you're planning your trip to Scotland. The Lowlands usually have a moderate temperature year-round. In spring, the average high temperature is 53°F (12°C), rising to about 65°F (18°C) in summer. By the time the crisp autumn has arrived, the temperatures have dropped to spring levels. In winter, the average temperature is 43°F (6°C). Temperatures in the north of Scotland are lower, especially in winter, and you should dress accordingly. It rains a lot in Scotland, but perhaps not as much as age-old myths would have it: The amount of rainfall in Edinburgh is exactly the same as in London. September is often the sunniest month.
When You Find Bargains
The cheapest time to travel to Scotland is off season: November 1 to December 12 and December 26 to March 14. In the past few years, airlines have been offering irresistible fares during these periods. And weekday flights are cheaper than weekend fares, often by 10% or more.
Rates generally increase March 14 to June 5 and in October, and then hit their peak in the high seasons from June 6 to September 30 and December 13 to December 24. July and August are when most Britons take their holidays, so in addition to the higher prices, you'll have to deal with crowds and limited availability of accommodations.
Sure, in winter Scotland is usually rainy and cold -- but it doesn't shut down when the tourists leave. In fact, the winter season gives visitors a more honest view of Scottish life. Additionally, many hotel prices drop by 20%, and cheaper accommodations offer weekly rates (unheard of during peak travel times). By arriving after the winter holidays, you can take advantage of post-Christmas sales to buy your fill of woolens, china, crystal, silver, fashion, handicrafts, and curios.
In short, spring offers the countryside at its greenest, autumn brings the bright colors of the northern Highlands, and summer's warmth gives rise to the many outdoor music and theater festivals. But winter offers savings across the board and a chance to see Scots going about their everyday lives, largely unhindered by tourist invasions.