FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SCOTLAND IN AUGUST
Whatever you’re wondering about visiting Scotland in August, we’re here to answer your most commonly asked questions. Is August a good time to visit Scotland? Definitely!
August is the peak of the summer travel season in Scotland. This means it’s a busy time of the year, but it brings a host of benefits.
You’ll be able to take your pick from the wide range of activities available. Paired with long daylight hours and longer opening hours for most sites, you can take advantage of each day of your trip to the fullest.
Read below to find out all the details from our local travel experts.
What are the best things to do in Scotland in August?
Visiting Scotland in August gives you endless possibilities of outdoor activities and attractions to enjoy as it's the warmest month of the year. With several popular festivals in Scotland in August, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Highland Games, it's also the liveliest time of year in the country.
Here are the 10 best things to do in Scotland in August:
Drive around the beautiful Scottish Highlands
Go hiking in the rugged hills
Sail to one or more of the Scottish islands
Explore picturesque, ancient ruins and castles
Learn about Scotland’s Viking heritage
Taste different scotch whisky at distilleries
Enjoy walks along the lochs and glens
Immerse yourself in Gaelic culture
Visit the buzzing cities, charming towns and fishing villages
Attend the internationally famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival
What’s on in Scotland in August?
August is a busy month in the social calendar of Scotland. From being the festival month in Edinburgh to the peak time for Highland games, you’ll find plenty of events and activities around the country.
Dig your teeth into Scottish traditions with events highlighting the local culture and history. Hear the bagpipes and taste the region’s delicious food and drinks.
We recommend fitting in a few of these fun activities in your free time. Between visiting castles and hiking in the national parks, why not stop by a Highland game show? Or attend a local or international festival in the city? You definitely won’t be bored visiting Scotland in August.
What are the best festivals in Scotland in August?
Visiting Scotland in August means you’ll be here for some of the most famous festivals of the year. You’ll find a wide variety of events throughout the country, such as the World Pipe Band Championships and the Gin & Rum Festival in Glasgow. However, it is Edinburgh’s time to shine.
August is in fact the festival month in the Scottish capital. During this time, you may be able to attend the following:
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Edinburgh International Book Festival
Edinburgh Foodies festival
Edinburgh International Festival
Edinburgh Art Festival
Can I attend Highland games in August?
Highland games involve a series of traditional athletic competitions (with lots of kilts and bagpipes!). They are usually held throughout the Highlands on weekends and are a great Scottish cultural experience.
You’re in luck because August is the busiest month of the Highland Games show season. You’ll find games held across the country, from Oban and Stirling to the Isle of Skye and northern Highlands.
What are the best places to visit in Scotland in August?
Scotland’s beautiful highlights are usually accessible all year long, which is fantastic. But August is a particularly good month to visit thanks to longer operating hours, longer daylight hours and fair weather.
These are ideal conditions for exploring! It means you’ll have more time to get to these amazing locations and visit them.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Scotland in August:
What is the weather like in Scotland in August?
August is the warmest month of the year in Scotland, but you can still expect mild and rainy weather. The average temperature is 15°C (59°F), but there may be some warmer days in the low to mid 20s°C (68°F).
What are August temperatures in Scotland?
The average temperatures around the country will be between 10°C (50°F) and 17°C (63°F) in August.
What to wear in Scotland in August?
Like in many of the Nordic countries, Scots have the saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”.
As the Scotland summer weather is usually mild, we recommend layers. That way you can remove or add clothes depending on the day’s weather. This will also ensure that, come rain or shine, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the country.
Here is a list of packing essentials for your Scotland tour in August:
Lightweight layers, including t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, and shorts
At least one warm jumper or fleece
Waterproof jacket or shell layers
Light scarf and gloves
Warm hat and sun hat or cap
As well as these essentials, be sure to bring good sturdy walking or hiking boots depending on what activities you may want to enjoy.
What are the daylight hours in August in Scotland?
In August, you can still expect long daylight hours although they are starting to shorten. This means you’ll enjoy plenty of daytime brightness to explore Scotland to your heart’s content.
In Edinburgh, the sun rises at 5:15 AM and sets at 9:20 PM at the beginning of the month. By the end of August, it becomes a little shorter with daylight hours between 6 AM and 8:10 PM.
If you head north, into the Orkney or Shetland Islands, you can expect slightly longer days.
Does it snow in Scotland in August?
It is unlikely to snow in Scotland in August. To see mountains topped with snow, come between December and March.
Are there midges in Scotland in August?
If you’re visiting during the summer months, you can expect midges to be out and about. Midges are tiny insects that bite, found especially in the Highlands and islands of Scotland.
The months of July and August are usually considered the worst period for midges in Scotland.
They are at their most active in the early mornings and evenings. You can try to avoid being outside in the countryside at those times of the day. Or we recommend carrying the Avon Skin-So-Soft body oil spray, the repellent of choice for Britain’s Royal Marines.
Can I see the northern lights in Scotland in August?
In August, it is unlikely you’ll see the northern lights. This is because during the summer months there are few hours of proper darkness. During the winter months, when daylight hours are shorter, it is possible to see the aurora borealis in remote corners of Scotland, but it’s still rare.
For your best chances of spotting the auroras, we recommend heading north into the “Northern Lights Belt” between October and March. You could pick a northern lights tour in Iceland, Lapland or Northern Norway.
How to tour Scotland in August?
There are various ways to travel on your Scotland tour in August. Depending on your personal tastes and requirements, you could either go for a guided or self-guided vacation.
Road trip around Scotland
August is a great time to visit Scotland on a self-drive tour, which would allow you to stop at the sights you want to see at your own pace. At this time of year, the road conditions are good for touring and you’ll enjoy long daylight hours to drive and explore.
Pick up your rental car from Edinburgh or Glasgow and drive to iconic locations. You could visit St Andrews, Loch Ness, Inverness, the Isle of Skye and Fort William, amongst many more.
Depending on the amount of time you have, there are many options and regions of Scotland you could visit. Do an express tour into the Highlands in 5 days or take 2 to 3 weeks to do a complete tour, including the northern and western isles.
Driving in Scotland is an adventure that you won’t regret! Especially if you book with Nordic Visitor, as we offer collision damage waiver, free GPS, and a 24/7 helpline for emergencies.
It’s good to note that August is one of the busiest months on the Scottish roads and for accommodation availability. For that reason, we recommend booking your August road trip in advance so you don’t miss out.
Good to note: In Scotland, and the wider UK, motorists drive on the left. If you’re not used to that, make sure to hire an automatic car or you could join a guided tour.
Join a small group tour of Scotland
Do you want to leave the driving to someone else? Between May and September, you could opt to join a small group tour. This way you could explore the highlights of the Highlands and the Isle of Skye with like-minded travellers.
A small group tour offers an enriching experience, allowing you to get the most out of your trip thanks to the expertise of a local guide. What’s more, you’ll be travelling alongside 14 people at most, so the trip is still personal for you.
Learn about Scottish history and culture with a private guide
On the other hand, you might prefer to be accompanied by your very own local expert throughout your Scotland experience.
A privately guided tour is one of the most exclusive ways to see Scotland and learn all about this beautiful country. You’ll have your own personal guide to show you the best locations and teach you about the local history.
Whatever tour you choose, you’ll take advantage of all our signature benefits. These include charming accommodation, daily breakfast, transportation, such as car rental and ferries, our Nordic Visitor Scotland Travel Guide, and a hand-marked map with your route and highlights.
You’ll also have activities, like entry to castles and distilleries, included in some packages. All our self-drive tours include a Historic Scotland Explorer Pass or a Scottish Heritage Pass so you can pick what sites you want to visit.
Good to know: Our Scotland itineraries aren’t set in stone. Our Edinburgh-based Scotland experts know the country inside out. They’ll help you see the country your way, tailoring your itinerary and adding all the best excursions to suit you.
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