The Scottish seasons

Scotland has four unique seasons which offer different opportunities for visitors to enjoy the delights of our country. Whether you are here to try snow sports, search for wildlife or just sample our range of whisky, your experience can change depending on the season. Whatever time of year you visit, be it spring, summer, autumn or winter, the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness will offer you a warm welcome. Here’s an overview of the Scottish seasons and what to expect from each when you visit us in the Highlands.

A view of Inverness form above.

Spring – March to May

After the darkness of winter, spring is eagerly awaited by the people of Scotland. The days begin to lengthen and the small signs of life start to appear in plants and trees. Temperatures are still on the chilly side, ranging from 7°C to 15°C. Rain is still expected at this time of year, but a good waterproof jacket will let you get out and explore. Gorgeous, warm sunny days happen more than you might think! A bright morning sun makes for a glorious walk through Inverness and along the River Ness. The air has a crispness to it that is invigorating. And then sitting outside with a coffee by the river in the afternoon watching the world go by is a perfect way to spend some time here. 

This is a great time of year for wildlife watchers because young animals are abundant. The sound of little birds chirping in their nests or spring lambs bouncing over fields warms the heart. 

As spring is outside the main tourist season, it’s a great time to visit attractions because of smaller entrance queues, like the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. The same goes for restaurants, such as Rocpool, and you are usually able to walk into them without a booking, or at least have less waiting time than in summer. 

Summer – June to August

Summer is the most popular season for tourists in Scotland as we enjoy much longer days than at any other time of year. We like to spend as much time outside as possible, and hopefully you will too! The summer solstice around the 20th June marks the longest day and shortest night.

Temperatures on average can range from 10°C to 20°C and although there is always the risk of cloudy skies or light rain, it’s nothing a waterproof jacket or umbrella can’t handle. YOu might be lucky and visit us during a heatwave! The air is warm and so even when it is raining, you might only need to wear a t-shirt. On the whole though, summer is dry and warm and the perfect time to explore the Scottish Highlands. 

A red deer under a tree in the snow.

Autumn – September to November

Autumn in Scotland still enjoys warmer weather as the trees start to turn from green to red, brown and gold. For photographers, this is one of the best times of the year to capture the stunning majesty of Scotland’s landscapes as they bathe in gentle sunlight. The air is cooler, but it’s still a wonderful time of year. It can be a bit windy and rainy, but there are plenty of places in Inverness to hide from the weather, such as Leakey’s Bookshop

It can be a good time of year to do some Munro bagging. Climbing these mountains now can reveal not only great views, but you might even get a lick of snow at the highest peaks. And from the end of September to the start of November you might be lucky enough to hear deer rutting. This is the loud, deep call male red deer make in their mating season as they fight each other with their strong antlers. Best to keep a distance!

WinterDecember to February

Winter in Scotland is usually full of lights as we prepare for Christmas and new year (or Hogmanay as we call it). The nights are longer than the days which can be very cold, from below freezing and usually up to a maximum of around 7°C. Rain and wind are to be expected, but so too should bright, sunny days which shows the Highlands in a different light. 

Winter is a time for getting together with friends and family, or spending time making new friends in our pubs. The Whisky Bar here at Kingsmills is a great place to meet people from around the world and share a drink. Sitting around roaring fires with a dram and telling stories is a quintessential Scottish experience. 

Christmas markets arrive in the run up to Christmas where you can enjoy mulled wine and browse for gifts. Over Hogmanay, there are celebrations all over the city. And then, after January has started, the city quietens down to a more genteel pace. Do note that some attractions close during this time so make sure you check opening hours before you visit. 

Winter is a great time for enjoying snow sports. Skiing, snowboarding or just throwing snowballs! The Cairngorms are a great place to play, from beginners to experts. 

A seasonal tour

The Scottish seasons offer their own beauty and opportunities to enjoy the country. From the fresh new blooms of spring, the long and warm days of summer, the dramatic colours of autumn, or the adventures of winter, there’s something for everyone. The key is to embrace the weather, and be prepared for it. Even if you are caught out, there are plenty of shops in Inverness to help you, from outdoor stores to fashion boutiques. If you need any advice, just ask us at reception. Book your stay at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness today and get ready for your wonderful Scottish break.