A Magic Winterland
Tips for visiting the Scottish Highlands in winter
So you’ve decided to get out of the big city and head up to the most beautiful country on earth? But what can you expect when you leave the comforts of Edinburgh or Glasgow behind for the majestic Highlands? We’ve done some first-hand research to find out the best ways to enjoy the Scottish Highlands this winter so that you can make the most of your trip up to Bonnie Scotland!
Probably the most important thing to realise about Scotland is that we are rather far north and that means the deeper into winter we head, the less time you have to see Scotland’s stunning scenery in the sunshine. The sun is usually up after 8 and down (at the height of winter) around 3 pm. That’s a 7-hour window to get the most out of your day in Scotland, so make sure to leave the city as early as you can. Trust us, it’ll be worth it for the views!
Organize your accommodation well in advance
While a few areas of the country continue as per usual, a lot of Scotland’s Highland towns aren’t busy enough during the winter to stay open. This means that accommodation may be at a premium or completely booked out in a few places, so make sure to book your spot well ahead or risk having to wild camp for a night. Luckily, our Fort William Backpackers and Skye Backpackers are open year-round; so you’ll have a spot to warm yourself and relax after your day in the Highlands.
Dress warmly & go find some snow
We may not get the arctic temperatures of Canada, but there’s nothing worse than being unprepared for a trip to the Highlands. Get yourself some gloves, a big jacket and some thermals at Mountain Warehouse without breaking the bank and really enjoy exploring the country. Once you’ve gathered up all the warm stuff you can find, get out of the car and find some snow. The easiest place to find snow is probably the Cairngorms where you can climb a variety of Munro’s which are often topped by snow. A stopover in Pitlochry (just an hour and a half from Edinburgh) allows you to climb the awesome Ben Vrackie in around 4 hours, which has stunning views of the area and is often coated in snow for most of winter.
For most people, the idea of a Scottish Roadtrip is like a fantasy. Winding through the mountains, over ancient bridges and past castles without a care in the world sounds like the ideal winter day out. But, with the cold weather gripping the country there are some dangers to hiring your own car for this adventure. Black Ice can make driving hazardous, while mechanical issues are bound to appear if you are not used to driving in the cold. Luckily, we have a solution! A fully guided bus tour through the Scottish Highlands. With our passionate Scottish guides, warm buses, included accommodation and fun backpacker attitude; MacBackpackers offers the best way to see the Scottish Highlands. You can book a MacBackpackers tour here!