Summer in Scotland: Destination and Weather Tips

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If you love exploring the great outdoors, enjoying world-class arts festivals and island hopping, summer in Scotland might just be for you. With temperatures at their highest and the days at their longest, Scottish summer offers endless opportunities for adventure.

From rich, history-laden cities hosting summertime events like the artsy Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Royal Military Tattoo to hiking the rugged national parks and even attending the legendary Highland Games, there are plenty of places to visit and things to do on a trip to Scotland in the summer.

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Weather and Temperature in Scotland during Summer

Colourful sunset at Neist Point lighthouse in Scotland in summer.
Explore the vivid Scottish landscape which are abundant throughout the country.

The summer weather in Scotland is a tale of two halves. While the days are longer, giving you more time to explore this beautiful country, the chances of rain can rise pretty high. Although the rainfall isn’t super heavy, it can be frequent, so it’s wise to bring a lightweight rain jacket.

On the other hand, the temperatures in Scotland in the summer are relatively warm, especially in the southern cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, averaging highs of around 19 °C and lows of 17 °C.

If you’re planning on scaling the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, summer is a popular time and avoids extreme weather conditions. The temperatures here average between 7 °C (44.8°F) and 3 °C (37.6°F).

  June July August
Avg high 17 ℃ (63 °F) 19 ℃ (67 °F) 19 ℃ (67 °F)
Avg low 9 ℃ (48 °F) 11 ℃ (52 °F) 11 ℃ (52 °F)
Daylight hours 18 17 15
Rainy days 20 22 21
Precipitation 60 mm 70 mm 50 mm

For a more seasonal overview, check out our guide on the best time to visit Scotland.

Other related articles:
Scotland in June
Scotland in July
Scotland in August

Why visit Scotland in Summer?

A hiker hiking the Scottish Highlands on a sunny day in Scotland in summer.
Hiking the Scottish Highlands is one of the best things to do in summer.
A moody evening view of the Isle of Skye.
Try island hopping in the summer in Scotland.

There are so many amazing things to see and do this season; here are just a few of our favorite reasons why you should tour Scotland in the summer.

  • Weather: There’s no getting around the fact that the weather in Scotland in summer is pretty great. With high temperatures and long daylight hours, you can pack a lot into your trip, whether you’re exploring the islands, wandering around cities, or anything in between.
  • Edinburgh Fringe Festival: We couldn’t do a Scotland in Summer guide without mentioning the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Taking over the capital for the whole of August, the Fringe brings together the world’s best comedians, artists, performers, and more for a world-renowned series of affordable shows all across the city.
  • Hiking season: Longer days of summer mean the hiking season in Scotland is in full flow. Hike some Munros and take in breathtaking views. Great hikes can be found throughout the Highlands as well as on the Isle of Mull, Fort William and the Isle of Skye.
  • Island hopping: If someone showed you a photo of Barra, an island in western Scotland, you’d swear it was a picture of the Caribbean. Summer in Scotland means the ferry schedule between the islands and the mainlands kicks in, making exploring the Inner and Outer Hebrides easy and feasible.

Top 3 Destinations in Scotland during Summer

If you’re struggling to narrow down where to visit in Scotland during the summer, we’ve got our picks of the top destinations for you to check out.

1. Edinburgh

A view of Edinburgh city skyline from Calton Hill at sunrise.
Discover the cultural and historical depth of Scotland's cities during your summer tour.

If you’re looking for a city that’s bustling with summer excitement, look no further than an Edinburgh tour. In summer, you can expect warm temperatures, tons of events and festivals, and a whole lot of people descending on the city. It’s going to be busy, but with so much to see and do, it’s worth it.

Major attractions: Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh Festival Festival and Holyrood Palace.


  • Many museums and galleries have special exhibitions and events for the summer holidays.
  • You can head to the beaches at Leith and relax in the sunshine, only 20 minutes away from the city center.


  • Edinburgh in the summer is so busy that accommodation, especially in August when the Fringe is on, gets booked up months in advance.

2. Oban

A scenic view of Oban with the water reflecting the buildings.
If you are looking for fresh seafood, Oban is the place to be.

Located on the west coast of Scotland, Oban is a beautiful seaside town with a major distillery and tons of high-end restaurants. However, Oban's real draw in summer is the fact that the island ferries go from here. If you don’t want to hop from island to island, you can easily base yourself in Oban and enjoy day trips to the Isle of Mull, Staffa, Lismore, Barra and more.

Major attractions: Oban Distillery, McCaig’s Tower, Dunollie Museum and Castle and Grounds.


  • Oban is best experienced in the summer when all the vendors are open and restaurants have their al-fresco seating.
  • The summer ferry schedule means that there are multiple ways to get from Oban to a whole host of Hebridean islands.
  • The restaurants get a huge amount of fresh seafood and produce summer-specific cuisine.


  • As it’s peak season, the town does get very busy and reservations for restaurants are hard to secure.
  • The prices tend to go up during the summer, especially for accommodation.

3. Loch Lomond

Beautiful mirror like conditions at Loch Lomond.
Hike around Loch Lomond during the amazing summer conditions.

If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure that isn’t too far from Glasgow, Loch Lomond in the summer months is for you. This amazing lake is a hugely popular spot for hiking, kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, and biking trips in Scotland. There are numerous towns and villages around the lake where you can base yourself and, with the longer days, summer is the ideal time to visit.

Major attractions: SEA LIFE Loch Lomond, Dumbarton Castle, Balloch Castle and Country Park.


  • All accommodations around the lake will be open for peak season.
  • Similarly, you’ll be able to hire any watersports or cycling kit you need from the area as the peak summer season means that the shops are all open too.
  • The long summer days mean that you can have bigger adventures around the lake and enjoy longer hikes or rides.


  • Loch Lomond is massively popular in the summer so the popular car parks and trails may be busy.
  • If you’re staying on the loch itself, accommodation rates will be at their highest for the year.

From city adventures to outdoor hikes, there is no shortage of places to visit in Scotland in the summer.


Looking for the best things to do in Scotland during the summer? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

  • Hiking and walking: Scotland is full of amazing mountain ranges, valleys, villages and vast open spaces, making it one of the best places in Europe to enjoy multi-day hikes and walking tours. In the summer, the long daylight hours mean you can have more time on the trail and enjoy much better visibility from the peaks. The top areas to hike are Fort William, the Cairngorms, and the West Highland Way. If you don’t love hardcore rugged hiking, try the short Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail or pick a section of the Fife Coastal Path for a chilled seaside stroll and quaint village lunch. Check out our hiking trips in Scotland.
  • Festivals: While we’ve mentioned the Edinburgh Fringe, outside of the capital, you can find a whole host of festivals all around Scotland. From the amazing TRNSMT music festival in Glasgow in July to the Highland Games across the Stirling region, there are plenty of events to choose from.
  • Whale Watching: Surrounded by world-class fishing habits, Scotland is a great place to go to see whales. The whale watching season in Scotland is from May to September, so summer is the perfect time to see these giants. The Isle of Mull in the Hebrides is one of the best places to spot them.

With these amazing activities on offer, your summer holiday in Scotland is bound to be a great one.


View of the beautiful nature of the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland
Enjoy cycling along lochs or hiking up mountains in Cairngorms National Park.
  • Book as far in advance as possible, especially in Edinburgh, where accommodation gets booked quickly during the summer.
  • Make sure to get a day trip out of the cities to one of the many Scottish lochs and Munros. They’re especially beautiful in the summer sun and the perfect place to stretch your legs.
  • Ensure that you have the correct ferry schedules if you visit the islands, as they change slightly each season - you don’t want to get caught out and trapped!

There you have it! If you’re looking for a sunny place to visit that’s full of outdoor adventure and culture, summer in Scotland is perfect for you. Check out the Fringe festival, hop across the islands, climb a crag and explore a loch or two - it’s all possible here!

Sometimes you need a helping hand planning your next trip, so why not reach out to our dedicated travel experts? They’ll create a customized trip to Scotland especially for you that hits all your criteria!

Published by Tim Green, updated on May 5, 2023

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