FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SCOTLAND IN SEPTEMBER
If you want to know more about Scotland tours in September, read on for our expert advice. We’re here to answer your most commonly asked questions to help you with your Scotland travel plans.
Is September a good time to visit Scotland?
Yes, September is a great time to visit Scotland! As summer turns to autumn, you can still catch some good weather and 11 to 14 hours of daylight per day.
In September you might like to go along to exciting events, ranging from literary festivals to the traditional Highland games. Taste the flavours of late summer by tucking into freshly caught seafood and perfectly ripened fruit and vegetables. Or watch some live music at a festival or concert.
September is also a great time to admire Scotland’s gorgeous scenery. By the end of September, the natural landscapes and tree-lined city streets are made even more beautiful with autumn hues of ruby, amber and gold.
What are the best things to do in Scotland in September?
There are so many things you can do in Scotland in September, whether you want to immerse yourself in nature or Scottish culture. Plus, the good daylight hours and fair weather allow you to enjoy more of the fun travel experiences Scotland offers.
Here are the 10 best things to do in Scotland in September:
Drive around the beautiful Scottish Highlands
Admire the natural scenery, including stunning beaches
Go hiking in the rugged hills and national parks
Sail to one or more of the Scottish islands
Explore picturesque, ancient ruins and castles
Learn about Scotland’s Viking heritage
Taste exquisite food and drink, including Scotch whisky
Walk along the lochs and glens
Attend the Highland games
Visit the buzzing cities, charming towns and fishing villages
What are the most popular events in Scotland in September?
Travel to Scotland in September and you could attend some of the varied events hosted around the country. Why not go along to some Highland games on the weekends, taking place all over Scotland? These involve a series of traditional athletic competitions (with lots of kilts and bagpipes!).
The most famous Highland games event in Scotland is the Braemar Gathering, taking place on the first weekend of September. Come to watch the sporting traditions and Highland dances in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Members of the royal family – including the Queen – attend every year.
As well as this, you might like to experience some music concerts, food festivals or sporting events. If you love golf, don’t miss the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in St Andrews.
Can I attend Highland games in Scotland in September?
Yes, you can attend the Highland games in September. As a tradition going back centuries, the games are a great Scottish cultural experience. Watch Highland dancing, “tossing the caber” (log-throwing), races, tug-of-war, and bagpipe processions.
You’ll find games held across the country, from Oban and Stirling to the Isle of Skye and northern Highlands. The Braemar Gathering is the most popular Highland games event in September.
Are there any festivals in Scotland in September?
Take your pick from an array of cultural festivals in Scotland in September. These are the most popular ones:
Largs Viking Festival
Stranraer Oyster Festival
Skye Live Festival
Tidelines Book Festival
Deeside Local Food Festival
Linlithgow Folk Festival
Islay Jazz Festival
Dundee Flower and Food Festival
What are the best places to visit in Scotland in September?
Take advantage of the late summer weather to get to know Scotland's towns, historic sites and natural highlights.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Scotland in September:
What is the weather like in Scotland in September?
Visit Scotland in September and you’ll find the weather is mild as it gradually transitions from summer to autumn. On average, there are highs of 15°C (59°F) and lows of 7°C (45°F). You’ll notice that the foliage begins to show its fall colours, particularly towards the end of September.
Bear in mind that you might experience all sorts of weather, as Scotland’s climate can be a little unpredictable. It could rain, be windy or very sunny!
What are September temperatures in Scotland?
Scotland has average high temperatures of 15°C (59°F) and lows of 7°C (45°F) in September.
Are there midges in Scotland in September?
If you come to Scotland in September you are less likely to encounter pesky midges compared to the summer months. Midges are tiny insects that bite, found especially in the Highlands and islands of Scotland. July and August is 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.
What to wear in Scotland in September?
Like in many of the Nordic countries, Scots have the saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”.
Since the weather is changeable in Scotland, we recommend layers. That way you can remove or add clothes depending on the day’s weather. Make sure to bring some lightweight and warm under layers as well as a rain jacket.
What are the daylight hours in September in Scotland?
Although the long days have ended, you’ll still get a good amount of daylight hours when you visit Scotland in September. Depending on where in the country you go and the time of month you visit, you’ll have between 11 and 14 daylight hours per day.
Come at the start of the month and you’ll have more hours of daylight to explore Scotland. In Edinburgh, the sun rises at 6:15 AM and sets at 8 PM. At the end of September, the sunrise takes place at 7:15 AM and the sunset at 6:50 PM.
Does it snow in Scotland in September?
You are unlikely to see snow in Scotland in September, as it’s only just the beginning of autumn. However, it is possible to catch sight of some snow at the tops of the tallest mountains.
Can I see the northern lights in Scotland in September?
You probably won’t see the northern lights in Scotland if you visit in September. It is possible to see them in the Scottish winter (November to March), when daylight hours are shorter, 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.
What to pack for Scotland in September?
For a trip to Scotland in September, you should prepare for all kinds of weather. From warm days to windy and rainy weather, 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 an essential packing list for your Scotland tour in September
Lightweight layers, including t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, and shorts
Warm jumper or fleece
Jeans or warm trousers
Waterproof jacket or shell layers
Wool socks for hiking
Warm hat and cap
As well as these essentials, be sure to bring good sturdy hiking boots depending on what activities you may want to enjoy.
How to tour Scotland in September?
There are various ways to travel on your Scotland tour in September. Depending on your personal tastes and requirements, you could either go for a guided or self-guided vacation.
Road trip around Scotland
September is a fantastic time to visit Scotland on a self-drive tour. At this time of year, the road conditions are good. Additionally, the 11-14 hours of daylight give you plenty of time 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.
Good to note: In Scotland, and the wider UK, motorists drive on the left. If you are not used to this, we recommend hiring an automatic car. Alternatively, you could choose a guided tour instead and have a local expert do all the driving.
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 tour 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 pick, 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 and day trips, like entry to castles and whisky 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.
Scroll down to learn more about Nordic Visitor’s services.