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Kilchurn Castle in Scotland

Scotland Tours in January

Take advantage of off-peak flights and fewer visitors at top attractions by visiting Scotland in January. You can explore historic castles, charming cities and myth-inspiring lochs in the Highlands with a January tour itinerary crafted by the local Nordic Visitor travel experts.

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Looking for your ideal Scotland trip in January? You're in the right place!

January is part of the off-season when there are fewer visitors at attractions and less traffic on the roads. But the country is just as beautiful as ever, from the old cobbled streets of Edinburgh to the wintry landscapes of the Scottish Highlands.

At this time of year, you could visit Scotland by taking a scenic road trip or touring with a local private guide. Our Edinburgh-based travel consultants will craft a package with their local knowledge to make it a memorable time for you in Scotland!

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

Browse below for more tour ideas or get in touch via our live chat or toll-free numbers and we'll happily plan your Scottish adventure



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

Experience Scotland on a road trip

Explore the Highlands on a self-drive tour. You do the driving, we handle your accommodation booking, route planning and any customisations you desire. Enjoy a personalised itinerary, hand-marked map, attractions guide and more.

8 days / 7 nights
Nov - Mar

Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye - Winter



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8 days / 7 nights
Nov - Mar



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7 days / 6 nights
Nov - Mar

Express Scotland - Winter



View map
7 days / 6 nights
Nov - Mar



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Travel on a private tour in Scotland

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.

Privately Guided
8 days / 7 nights
Nov - Mar

Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye Winter - Private



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8 days / 7 nights
Nov - Mar



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

Express Scotland Winter - Private



View map
7 days / 6 nights
Nov - Mar



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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


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.


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

January 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.

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

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

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 January:

  • 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
  • Take on a winter activity like skiing
  • Attend a traditional Burns Night

What are the best places to visit Scotland in January

January 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 January:

What is the weather like in Scotland in January?

In terms of weather conditions, if you travel to Scotland in January, you can expect cool temperatures, wet weather as well as snowfall. On average, there are highs of 5°C (41°F) and lows of -1°C (30°F).

What are January temperatures in Scotland?

The daily average for January is 3°C (37°F). But you can expect average temperatures to be anywhere between -1°C (30°F) and 5°C (41°F).

What to wear in Scotland in January?

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 January, it is best to be ready for all kinds of weather. From rain 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 January:

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

What are the daylight hours in January in Scotland?

As January is just past the winter solstice, the days are still short, but slowly growing longer.

Early in the month in Scotland, the sun rises around 8:45 AM and sets by 3:45 PM. By the end of January, you can expect a slightly longer day, with daylight between 8:10 AM and 4:45 PM.

Does it snow in Scotland in January?

While snowfall can be expected on many days of the month, you’ll find it doesn’t settle on lower ground. It is in fact more likely to rain. However, if you head up into the Highlands and especially up the many hills, such as Cairngorm Mountain, you can expect more snow.

How is driving in Scotland in January?

Winter in Scotland can bring icy and snowy conditions. However, in January, 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!

The winter days are short, especially in December and January, so we recommend not overloading yourself with too much driving. This way, you can enjoy the sights along the way during the daytime.

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.

Can I see the northern lights in Scotland in January?

In January, 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 aurora borealis, 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 January?

January is a quieter month in Scotland, after the festivities of December. You will still find some fun events and festivals to attend around the country.

Early in the month, you may still catch the leftover of the Hogmanay celebrations as Scotland enters the new year. In Edinburgh, the Christmas market usually lasts until early in January if you want to stay in the festive spirit.

It’s good to be aware that the 1 and 2 of January are public holidays in Scotland. This means that some attractions and public transport may be shut on those days.

The 25 January is a date to keep in mind as Scotland celebrates the national poet Robert Burns on that night. Nicknamed “Burns Night”, this evening comprises traditional dancing (ceilidh), haggis dinner, poem readings and whisky drinking.

Other popular winter festivals and events in January include:

  • Celtic Connections in Glasgow
  • Up Helly Aa, a Viking fire festival in Shetland
  • Sled Dog Rally in Aviemore
  • Start of the Snowdrop Festival in Fife

How to tour Scotland in January?

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

Road trip around Scotland
January 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.


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.


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


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