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Midsummer Nights in Scotland

From a music festival to a beach barbecue and spectacular sunsets over beautiful vistas, to a dusk walk at 10pm, the extended daylight hours of a Scottish summer provide lots of time for experiences that you’ve maybe not considered before. Make the most of Scotland this midsummer, with some of the suggestions below.

1. Enjoy a midsummer event

Get along to one of these brilliant midsummer events. But don’t forget there’s also a massive selection of festivals, including the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Edinburgh Book Festival, which take place across the capital city throughout August.

The Village Storytelling Festival

The festival in Glasgow this year explores the theme of RE:Connection and Transformation – Storytelling in a Precarious World through performance, screenings, exhibitions, talks and workshops from 5-10 July 2022.

Find out more about the Village Storytelling Festival

The Moray Walking & Outdoor Festival

The walking festival hosts lots of different events between 17 – 27 June 2022. There are themed walks, foraging, family events, mindfulness and photography at Scotland’s midsummer walking festival.

Find out more about the Moray Walking & Outdoor Festival

The Solas Festival

Taking place between 17 – 19 June 2022, in Errol near Perth, the Solas Festival offers a packed programme of live music, talks, storytelling and recitals with lots to keep the wee ones entertained.

Find out more about the Solas Festival

St Magnus International Festival

Make a trip to Orkey from 17– 24 June 2022 and enjoy the midsummer festival of the arts, with music, drama, dance and literature all featuring in this well-loved community event, where visitors are very welcome.

Find out more about the St Magnus International Festival

2. Head for the hills at dusk

View across loch to Glen Affric valley at dusk., Loch Affric, Highland, Scotland.

Loch Affric and Glen Affric, Highlands © VisitBritain/Britain on View

There’s something a little bit magical about the idea of heading into Scotland’s mountains as the sun goes down, when everyone else is returning home from their day in the hills.

Long midsummer evenings, moonlight and a forecast of clear skies, are the perfect combination for enjoying sunsets over summits, high-level star gazing and nocturnal nature. With the right planning, preparation, skills and respect for the risks, midsummer hillwalking around dusk can be an awesome experience.

Mountaineering Scotland has given us some great advice for twilight hillwalking:

  • Choose the right night – clear, warm, settled
  • Don’t be too ambitious – follow good paths and start out low
  • Take the essential kit – head torch, shelter, clothing layers
  • Get the hills skills – navigation, navigation, navigation
  • Keep company – find a friend, a club or a guide

Read Mountaineering Scotland’s ten tips for heading to the hills from dusk to dawn before you venture out.

3. Try twilight golf

LOOKING OVER THE 6TH GREEN AT THE ROYAL DORNOCH GOLF COURSE, ON THE EAST COAST OF THE SUTHERLAND DISTRICT, HIGHLAND. PIC: G.SATTERLEY/VisitScotland

Royal Dornoch golf course, Sutherland © Glyn Satterley

Fancy teeing off at 10pm or even midnight? The Highlands and the northern and western islands can have up to 19 hours of daylight in summer. So why not play a round of golf with a difference and tee off in the still of twilight?

Whilst clubhouses and facilities might be closed for the day, courses aren’t and if there’s no-one to take your green fees, honesty boxes are a charming and easy way to pay for your round.

Some of our top recommendations for golf with a view are:

Read more about golf in Scotland

4. Experience a spiritual summer solstice

Ring of Brodgar, Mainland, Orkney

Ring of Brodgar, Mainland, Orkney © Iain Sarjeant

Step back in time during the summer solstice and explore fascinating historic sites on Scotland’s islands.

5. Taste Shetland’s ‘Simmer Dim’

Shetland Reel Simmer Dim (summer twilight) gin

Shetland Reel Simmer Dim gin © The Shetland Distillery Company Ltd

The sun barely sets in the Shetland Islands at this time of year, so why not plan a trip and really make the most of summer?

Visit the Saxa Vord Distillery (the UK’s most northerly) on Unst and try some Shetland Reel Simmer Dim Gin, which is flavoured with orange peel, orris root, liquorice root, caraway and juniper.

Discover more about the Simmer Dim gin

 

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