Bow Fiddle Rock, Portknockie, Moray


What's On This Year - An Annual Scottish Events Calendar

Scotland's waiting for you. As the seasons unfold against remarkable landscapes, discover a calendar filled with natural splendour, outdoor adventures, Highland games, fantastic music, whisky, the world's biggest arts festival extravaganza and more. Are you ready for it? Start planning ahead now!

Wondering what to do in Scotland in March, April and May? We've pulled together some suggestions for you.

Naturally awe-inspiring

Come March, spring is calling, and boy, she's magnificent! As the frost-bitten landscape begins to thaw, snowdrops, crocuses and rhododendrons begin to bloom, adding a welcome burst of long-absent colour to the Scottish countryside. See these delicate, pretty blooms at the Scottish Snowdrop Festival.

Another unmistakable sign that spring is on its way is the return of the ospreys from Africa to their Scottish nests at the end of March and throughout April. Pay them a visit at the Loch Garten Nature Centre and Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre.  

Embrace the outdoors

The milder weather and longer days of spring are great for walking, cycling and hiking. At the start of May, it's time to get into the swing of things when the Scottish golf season officially gets underway. This is also a fantastic time for canoeing and kayaking as trickling rivers swell with heavy rainfall and melted mountain snow and ice. Then there's salmon fishing; Scotland is one if not the best country in the world for catching Atlantic salmon, with the season peaking in early April and again in early autumn.

Experience unmissable events

Raise a glass to spring, the season when we enjoy drams of fine Scotch whisky and culture in hearty measures. The Glasgow International Comedy Festival kicks off in March, followed swiftly by the pagan spectacle of the Beltane Fire Festival in April. Raise a glass during Whisky Month with lots of events in Scotland in May that are dedicated to Scotland's National Drink. May also brings lots of action at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William.

Wondering what to do in Scotland in June, July and August? Here are some awesome suggestions we think you'll love.

Naturally awe-inspiring

Bring your binoculars! Life in the animal kingdom is at its most restless with creatures from the otter to golden eagle busy raising their young. Most spectacular of all are vast colonies of puffins, guillemots, gannets and other nesting seabirds which congregate on coastal and island cliffs - an essential sight for birdwatchers in the summer.

Embrace the outdoors

In midsummer it barely gets dark save for a few hours of semi-darkness between sunset and sunrise, which means one thing - you can fit more into the day! Make the most of all those extra hours of daylight to really explore the countryside on foot or bike, or hop into the car and follow a breathtaking driving route.

Or why not try some of our outdoor activities in the warm summer sunshine? Hiking, mountain biking, kite-surfing and canyoning are just some of the many exhilarating things you can have a go at!

Experience unmissable events

Prepare to be spoiled for choice when it comes to seriously Scottish events. May signals the start of the Highland games continuing until September. Experience the amazing atmosphere of Stathmore Highland Games, Luss Highland Games, the Cowal Highland Gathering and much more. The games are a Scottish spectacle unlike any other. Make merry at drinking festivals such as Drambusters Whisky Festival in Dumfries. You can also get a feel for Scotland's creative pulse at the arts and crafts extravaganza Spring Fling in Dumfries & Galloway, taking place in early June, followed by the abrdn Scottish Open in July.

August sees Edinburgh transformed into the world's summer arts capital. Choose from more than 3,000 shows staged over 300 venues at seven incredible festivals including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Festival and Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Wondering what to do in Scotland in September, October and November? We've gathered a great selection of suggestions for you to enjoy.

Naturally awe-inspiring

Autumn is when Scotland is bursting with colour. Not surprising considering it boasts no fewer than six forest parks - nearly one fifth of the land is tree covered - and an abundance of leafy gardens and estates.

Go leaf peeping and witness dramatic autumn colours alongside some of Scotland's greatest wildlife sights: from huge flocks of migratory birds to the grey seal pupping season on the coastline; and from roaring red stags to leaping Atlantic salmon.

Embrace the outdoors

Long-distance trails and lofty Munros beckon walkers, climbers and pony-trekkers while golfers can enjoy a more peaceful game at this time of year. You can even forage for your supper! Get your hands on edible pickings on guided woodland and coastal walks including wild-growing berries, mushrooms and shellfish.

Experience unmissable events

Summer might be over, but there are still plenty of events to fill chilly days and brighten dark nights. October sees windsurfers flock to the beautiful Isle of Tiree for the Tiree Wave Classic. Hear the best in traditional music at the Royal National Mod and Shetland Accordion and Fiddle Festival.

This is also the land of Halloween where you can party like a pagan at the Samhuinn Fire Festival and enjoy all manner of ghoulish fun and games. And of course, autumn simply wouldn't be autumn without the magic of Scotland's light festivals including the Enchanted Forest.

Wondering what to do in Scotland in December, January and February? Get festive and cosy up warm in the festive months with some of these great suggestions.

Naturally awe-inspiring

It may be cold but Scotland in winter is truly enchanting. Amid a frost-bitten landscape of snowy mountains, glens, forests and steel-grey lochs, discover a winter wonderland.

Head up north for some truly incredible scenery. From the towering peaks of Ben Nevis to the majestic beauty of Glencoe and the Great Glen, walking in these iconic landscapes dusted in snow is simply spellbinding. In the Cairngorms National Park you might have some close-up encounters with mountain hare, ptarmigan, red grouse and red deer.

Embrace the outdoors

The night sky is at its most spectacular in winter when stargazers can enjoy crystal-clear visibility thanks to low temperatures. Pay a visit to Galloway Forest Park, Britain's first Dark Sky Park, Tay Forest Park and Rannoch Moor for one of the brightest, starriest skies you've ever seen. Scotland is also the best place in the UK to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis. The best places to spot it are the Caithness coast and Shetland and Orkney isles from November to January.

Experience unmissable events

The Christmas period is full of cheer, sparkle and the merriest of traditions. The cities host week-long festivals throughout December, culminating in Hogmanay where the whole country welcomes in the New Year with whisky, fireworks and ceilidh dancing long into the wee hours. Edinburgh is the biggest of the Hogmanay celebrations, but the smaller Comrie Flambeaux and Stonehaven Fireballs Ceremony also kick-off January in spectacular style. Looking for something different? Head to the annual Stromness Yule Log Competition on Hogmanay. Running since the 1930's, watch the 'Northenders' and 'Soothenders' of Stromness battle it out in a classic game of tug o' war. The festive spirit continues elsewhere throughout the month with the Viking fire festival of Up Helly Aa in Shetland, and across the country on Burns Night, there are lots of birthday celebrations for our National Bard including Big Burns Supper and Burns and Beyond.

So... start planning!

Take a look at our travel information and find the perfect accommodation for your next break in Scotland.