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Winter in Edinburgh

Scotland Tours in December

From Edinburgh’s festive Christmas Market to the beautiful wintry landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, there’s a lot to see and do on Scotland tours in December. Take your pick from our Scottish winter tours, all planned by the local experts at Nordic Visitor.

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VISITING SCOTLAND IN DECEMBER

Interested in Scotland tours in December? We’ve got you covered.

At this time of year, you could visit Scotland by taking a scenic road trip or touring with a private guide. Travel to Scotland in December to enjoy the winter beauty of the Scottish countryside, with fewer crowds at major attractions and less traffic for scenic drives in the Scottish Highlands.

What’s more, visiting Scotland in December is a great way to experience Scottish holiday traditions and festivities. This includes Edinburgh’s popular Christmas Market and Hogmanay, Scotland’s unique New Year celebration.

When you book a trip to Scotland with Nordic Visitor, you get hand-picked accommodation, transportation reservations, daily breakfast and access to our 24/7 helpline.

Get in touch via our live chat or toll-free numbers and we'll happily plan your December adventure.

 

— WHY US?

Why book with Nordic Visitor

  • Hassle-free & seamless travel experience
  • Flexible & customisable tour options
  • Value for your money
  • Professional service from local experts
  • 24/7 emergency helpline during tour

Celebrate Christmas or New Year's in Edinburgh

Discover the magic of Edinburgh on a festive city break where your hotel and handpicked excursions are arranged for you. You’ll experience local traditions, explore the historic capital, and visit the Highlands on a guided day trip.

Scotland
Multi-Day Tours
5 days / 4 nights
Nov - Dec

A Scottish Christmas to Remember

845GBP

Eur

View map
5 days / 4 nights
Nov - Dec

845GBP

GBP

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Scotland
Multi-Day Tours
4 days / 3 nights
Nov - Dec

Christmas in Scotland

702GBP

Eur

View map
4 days / 3 nights
Nov - Dec

702GBP

GBP

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Explore Scotland on a road trip

Explore the Highlands and beyond on a self-drive tour. You do the driving, we handle your accommodations, route planning and any itinerary customisations. Tours come with a hand-marked map, attractions guide and more.

Scotland
Self-drive
8 days / 7 nights
Nov - Mar

Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye - Winter

1408GBP

Eur

View map
8 days / 7 nights
Nov - Mar

1408GBP

GBP

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Scotland
Self-drive
7 days / 6 nights
Nov - Mar

Express Scotland - Winter

1354GBP

Eur

View map
7 days / 6 nights
Nov - Mar

1354GBP

GBP

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Travel in Scotland on a private tour

Enjoy more Scottish cultural insights on a privately guided tour with a local driving you around in style. Tours are fully customisable and ideal for those interested in Scotch whisky, Scottish cuisine, Outlander film locations and more.

Scotland
Privately Guided
8 days / 7 nights
Nov - Mar

Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye Winter - Private

4142GBP

Eur

View map
8 days / 7 nights
Nov - Mar

4142GBP

GBP

Close map view
Scotland
Privately Guided
7 days / 6 nights
Nov - Mar

Express Scotland Winter - Private

3422GBP

Eur

View map
7 days / 6 nights
Nov - Mar

3422GBP

GBP

Close map view

Experience Scotland your way

We have tours for all varieties of travel styles and interests. See our options for exploring Scotland below.

What do our customers say?

The reviews speak for themselves. See what Nordic Visitor travellers said about their experience with us.

Ryan, United States
Edinburgh Complete - Loch Ness, Highlands & Glasgow - Winter, November 2023

A great adventure!

This was such a great adventure for us on our 20th! Amazing tours and time to roam around the city on our own! We fell in love with the people and cannot wait to go back!

Kathleen, United States
Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye Winter - Private, February 2023

I can't thank Nordic Visitor enough

This is our second trip in two years to Scotland with Nordic Visitor, and we are seriously thinking about another. I can't thank Chris enough for his patience and expertise when booking this trip.

Cynthia, United States
Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye - Winter, March 2023

Amazing

We went on the Scotland Winter World tour for 8 days, and overall it was great. We experienced so much and travelled all over Scotland. The detailed information that was provided upon arrival was amazing. Magda was wonderful and knowledgeable and responded quickly to emails and phone calls.

Brett, United States
Edinburgh Complete - Loch Ness, Highlands & Glasgow - Winter, January 2023

Everything was taken care of!

Made my trip so much easier! Everything was taken care of and I did not have to worry about a thing! Very professional service!

Rosanne, United States
Edinburgh Complete - Loch Ness, Highlands & Glasgow - Winter, March 2023

Our travel consultant was great!

We worked with Rebecca in planning our tour. She was very prompt in answering our questions. Her hotel recommendations were very worthwhile. Our documents arrived in a very timely manner. She also left extra tour information at the hotel for when we checked in.

Colette, United Kingdom
A Scottish Christmas to Remember, December 2022

Our travel consultant went above and beyond

Our tour representative in Scotland was Duncan and he was excellent, going above and beyond to make sure that we had a wonderful holiday even before we stepped foot in Scotland. We did the whisky tour, we had afternoon tea at the Astoria Caledonian, we did a Highland tour and a walking tour of the Royal Mile. All were excellent and along with our accommodation made for a fabulous holiday!

Javier, United States
Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye - Winter, February 2023

Excellent service from Nordic Visitor

I want to thank everyone that helped with the trip because it was an excellent service. I will recommend you to people I know, because all of Nordic Visitor's recommendations were great and the hotels and B&Bs were amazing. I will probably do another trip with you guys. I hope you expand your services to more countries.

Stacy, United States
Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye - Winter, December 2022

So convenient

It was so convenient to have the logistics already planned for us. The accommodation was all nice and the suggested outings were perfect.

Scotland Travel Guide

Start preparing for your trip by doing some research before your Scottish adventure.

Flights to Scotland

The two biggest international airports in Scotland are in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, and in Edinburgh, the capital city and usual starting point for Nordic Visitor tours. Flight times to Scotland are, for example, 6.5 hours from New York City and 1.5 hours from London. Major international airlines with flights to Scotland include (but are not limited to) British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta and KLM.

Scotland and the rest of the UK is on GMT time. If your journey to Scotland involves one or more connecting flights, or if you're crossing several time zones to get here, your dedicated Nordic Visitor travel consultant can add extra nights in Edinburgh to your package so you can rest up after arrival.

Please note that flights to Scotland are not included in Nordic Visitor packages.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SCOTLAND IN DECEMBER

Whatever you’re wondering about visiting Scotland in December, we’re here to answer your most commonly asked questions.

December is a good time to visit as there is less traffic on the roads and less visitors at popular attractions like Edinburgh Castle. It’s good to be aware that some sites will operate on reduced hours, but you’ll find you have them more to yourself.

It is one of the best months to experience Scotland’s winter wonderland, with Christmas markets aplenty and snow-capped hills.

Read below to find out all the details from our local travel experts.

What are the best things to do in Scotland in December?

A huge benefit is that many of Scotland’s amazing attractions are accessible all year long. What’s more, even with short daylight hours and cooler weather, if you’re travelling to Scotland during the winter months, you’ll find plenty of things to do.

Here are the 10 best things to do in Scotland in December:

  • Drive around the beautiful Scottish Highlands
  • Taste the local whisky flavours at distilleries
  • Admire the stunning, natural scenery
  • Visit the buzzing cities, charming towns and fishing villages
  • Walk along the lochs and glens
  • Explore picturesque, ancient ruins and castles
  • Head off the beaten path in the islands
  • Meet the local wildlife
  • Attend the Christmas markets in Edinburgh and Glasgow
  • Stay up until midnight with Hogmanay, Scotland’s New Year’s Eve celebrations


What are the best places to visit in Scotland in December?

December is a great month to travel to Scotland. It’s still easy to drive around and visit the top attractions, including its lovely towns, historic sites and natural highlights.

Here are some of the best places to visit in Scotland in December:



What is the weather like in Scotland in December?

As December is the start of winter in Scotland, you can expect mild and wet weather. On average, there are highs of 11°C (55°F) and lows of 0°C (32°F).

Does it snow in Scotland in December?

It is possible you will encounter snow in Scotland in December. In the lowlands it is more likely to rain. However, if you drive into the Highlands you may find more snowfall, especially in Cairngorms National Park.

Is it difficult to drive in Scotland in December?

Winter in Scotland can bring icy and snowy conditions. However, in December, you’re more likely to encounter rain, making it an easy location to do a winter road trip. Just make sure you come ready to drive on the left!

During your trip check weather and road conditions regularly. For your peace of mind, our team is on hand 24/7 should you need to contact us at any point. And if there is an unexpected event or severe weather, we’ll get in touch and modify your itinerary while keeping you safe and informed.

When you book a self-drive tour with Nordic Visitor, your car rental comes with collision damage waiver and a hand-marked map of your route. You also get two named drivers on the insurance policy so you can share the driving with a travel companion.

What are the daylight hours in December in Scotland?

In December, the days are the shortest of the year as we approach the winter solstice.

Early in the month in Scotland, the sun rises around 8:20 AM and by the end of December rises at 9 AM. Throughout the month, you can expect the sun to set around 3:40 PM.



What are December temperatures in Scotland?

The daily average for December is 5°C (41°F). But you can expect average temperatures to be anywhere between 0°C (32°F) and 11°C (55°F).

What to wear in Scotland in December?

Like in many of the Nordic countries, Scots have the saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”.

As the weather is mild throughout the winter in Scotland, we recommend a mix of thin and warm layers.

For a trip to Scotland in December, it is best to be ready for all kinds of weather. From rainy weather to the colder mountain climate, make sure to pack all the necessary clothing. That way, 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 December:

  • Lightweight layers
  • Warm jumpers or fleeces
  • Waterproof winter jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Scarf, gloves and a warm hat
  • Sturdy boots for forest and hill walks

Can I see the northern lights in Scotland in December?

In December, it is possible to see the northern lights in remote corners of Scotland, but it is a rare occurrence.

For your best chances of spotting the auroras, we recommend heading north into the “Northern Lights Belt”. You could pick a northern lights tour in Iceland, Lapland or Northern Norway.



What are the most popular events in Scotland in December?

December is a month of celebration in Scotland, so you’ll find some fun Scottish events and festivals to attend around the country.

Some of the most popular events in December include:

  • Christmas markets across the country
  • Irn Bru Carnival in Glasgow
  • Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee Santa Dash runs
  • Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony
  • Hogmanay and New Year’s fireworks in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and more

How to tour Scotland in December?

There are various ways to travel on your Scotland tour in December. Depending on your personal tastes and requirements, you could either go for a guided or self-guided vacation.

Road trip around Scotland
December 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, there are fewer visitors and less traffic on the roads.

Pick up your rental car from Edinburgh or Glasgow and drive to iconic locations. You could visit Loch Ness, Inverness, the Isle of Skye and Fort William, amongst many more.

Driving in Scotland is an adventure that you won’t regret! Especially if you book with Nordic Visitor, as we offer collision damage waiver and a 24/7 helpline for emergencies.

Good to note: In Scotland, and the wider UK, motorists drive on the left. If you’re not used to that, we recommend you hire an automatic car or book a private tour.



Tour Scotland with a private guide
Do you want to leave the driving to someone else? 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 pick, you’ll take advantage of all our signature benefits. These include charming accommodation, daily breakfast, our Nordic Visitor Scotland Travel Guide, and a hand-marked map with your route and highlights. All our winter tours include a Historic Scotland Explorer Pass so you can pick the attractions 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.



Scroll down to learn more about Nordic Visitor’s services.
 

— OTHER DESTINATIONS

See more of Northern Europe

  • Like combining culture with nature? Discover Scandinavia
  • Want more stunning road trip ideas? Venture to Iceland
  • Want to meet Santa Claus or try dog sledding? Head to Lapland
  • Keen to go off the beaten track? Explore remote Svalbard

 

Our Services

Whether you travel independently or with a guide in your Nordic Visitor package, you will receive personalised service from a designated travel consultant and high-quality travel documents. What's more, all self-drive clients receive a hand-marked map that outlines the driving route, overnights and highlights along the way. Travel with ease knowing that Nordic Visitor has close professional relationships with local service providers, which are carefully selected by our staff for their consistently high standards.

Book With Confidence

  • Protect your money & plans with our flexible booking terms  .
  • 97% of customers say they’d recommend us to friends.
  • We work closely with trusted, high-quality suppliers.
  • Enjoy personal service from Scotland travel experts.
  • Get peace of mind with a 24/7 helpline during your stay.
  • We’re here for you in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Contact us

Whether you’re looking to add a night in Edinburgh, want restaurant recommendations or have questions about your tour, we’re happy to help so get in touch with our friendly team to answer any of your travel queries.

Call

Our Scottish phone number is
+44 (0)131 344 4630

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