Scotland in November: Travel Tips for Scottish Winter

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The colors of autumn give way to shorter and colder winter days in Scotland in November. And if you happen to visit Scotland at the beginning of the month, you could catch the last glimpse of the fall foliage. As the month progresses, the landscape becomes starker and you might experience the season’s first snowfall. This is the time to explore and discover the art, architecture and cuisines of Scotland. You can get plenty of these in Glasgow and Edinburgh. November is also the perfect time to take advantage of off-season rates and go on road trips around the Scottish Highlands.

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Scotland Weather in November

Visit Scotland to watch the Monteath mausoleum blanketed in snow in winter.
The Scottish weather in November is very chilly so remember to pack your warm clothes.

The nights in Scotland get chillier and darker through November. Hills in the northern Highlands also begin to get blanketed by layers of frost. In the latter half of the month, the weather in Scotland can become unpredictable. A sunny day might suddenly turn rainy and snowfall cannot be ruled out either. Glasgow is rainier with cool temperatures running from 5°C to 9°C. Weather in Edinburgh and other parts of eastern Scotland, meanwhile, is characterized by less rain but equally low temperatures of 3°C to 9°C. Inverness, the largest city in the Scottish Highlands, is colder and windier. On the coldest November nights, the mercury can drop to around -4.5°C.

For a seasonal overview, check out our guide on the best time for visiting Scotland.

Weather in Scotland in November - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)1397
Avg Nightly (°C)732
Avg Daily (°F)564945
Avg Nightly (°F)453836
Avg Rainfall (mm)807070

Why Visit Scotland in November

You can enjoy visiting The Royal Mile during amazing weather in Edinburgh.
The cold weather means fewer crowds in November which is great for Scottish sightseeing tours.
Fireworks which you can see while visiting Scotland.
November is the month of festivals in Scotland so indulge yourself in Scottish culture.

Though most tourists prefer other holiday destinations to Scotland in November, there are some very good reasons to plan your trip to the country during this time. Here are some.

  • Fewer people: The tourist rush is a thing of the distant past if you travel in November. This means you can enjoy the top-rated destinations and admire the scenic vistas of the country freely and at your own pace.
  • Discounts galore: The other advantage of the low tourist season is that most hotels slash their rates while airfares and car rentals are also cheaper. A Scottish holiday in November will certainly be easier on your wallet. Check out our budget tours in Scotland.
  • Castle calling: Many of the most spectacular castles stay open through winter. Top picks include Edinburgh Castle, which is perched atop an extinct volcano; and the historically important Stirling Castle, once the residence of the Stewart monarchs.
  • Festivals throughout: November is lined with lovely festivals and fun events. These include Oban Winter Festival, featuring music, street events and craft fairs; Festival of Small Halls in Ceilidhs, which is full of music and dancing; Saint Andrew’s Day, the National Day of Scotland; and Glasgow Whisky Fest, where you can learn about Scotch whisky from experts and take part in tastings.

Where to go and what to do

You can visit the Glasgow Botanic Gardens on your trip to Scotland.
The Glasgow Botanic Gardens is one of the most popular venues around the world and looks stunning in November.

Despite the cold weather, Scotland in November is full of dreamy destinations and exciting discoveries. Your shortlist of best places to visit in Scotland must include Glasgow. See the superb Glasgow Botanic Gardens, which was first laid out in the 19th century; explore Glasgow Cathedral, a fine example of Scottish Gothic architecture; and enjoy the artwork at display at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which is housed in a beautiful red sandstone building and includes works by European masters like Monet, Titian and Rembrandt.

November is also a great time to explore Edinburgh in greater detail. Enjoy the stunning views over the city’s skyline from Calton Hill, home to Greek-style monuments; shop at Victoria Street, which has Edinburgh’s finest independent boutiques; and go on a whisky-hopping tour of the capital to find out what makes Scottish whisky so special.

While Edinburgh and Glasgow are Scotland’s largest and most famous cities, there are smaller gems too, like Inverness, where you can walk along the sparkling waters of Loch Ness, admire the views from the top of Urquhart Castle, and enjoy the hilarious pantomime performances at Eden Court Theater. Here are our tours to Inverness.

If you want to explore the outdoors, head to Scotland’s two grand national parks. The Trossachs National Park boasts beautiful hiking trails and lovely lakes. Cairngorms National Park is home to five of the UK’s six highest peaks and rare wildlife, like the pine marten and wildcat. November is also a good time to visit the Isle of Skye, arguably the most beautiful of the Inner Hebrides archipelagos, with its glens, rock pools, mountains and deep valleys. And what better way to beat the winter blues than a tour of an Islay distillery? This windswept island is Scotland’s leading whisky tasting destination.

You can combine delightful city-hopping with breathtaking outdoor adventures in Scotland in November. The weather can be a bit iffy, but that means nothing when you can see and experience this beautiful country with fewer tourist crowds around and without breaking the bank.

Our travel experts in Scotland are always available to help you plan a customized tour to Scotland.

Check out our tours to Scotland in November for more information.

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Published by Tim Green, updated on January 8, 2024

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