11 Enchanting Places to Visit During Spring in Scotland (2023)

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

Spring in Scotland is truly unlike any other season – take it from us, our first trip there was during early May while we were studying abroad.

Scotland comes to life in the spring. After a long, bleak winter, her mossy hills erupt in color as the bluebells and saxifrage return. The lochs defrost and sparkle in the spring sunshine.

In Scotland’s cities, the return of longer days puts everyone in a good mood – the joy in the air is palpable. Spring sees fewer tourists than summer, so visitors can enjoy less crowded attractions and cheaper accommodation rates.

Spring in Scotland is a magical time, and there’s no better season to visit this spectacular country.

🚗 Don’t forget to book your Scotland rental car! Click here to check rates. 🚗

Spring in Scotland


view looking out over a city on a clear day with a river running through the middle and a bride connecting both sides

Considered the cultural capital of the highlands, Inverness sits on Scotland’s Northeast coast. You won’t be short of things to do in this buzzing city! Head to Inverness Castle, a magnificent red sandstone building that dates back to the mid-1800s. The castle sits atop a hill and hosts spectacular views over the entire city. 

The Inverness Botanic gardens are a true sight to behold in the springtime when all the outdoor species and nursery plants begin to bloom. A trip to the botanic gardens can be combined with a walk along the River Ness, where you can visit the Ness Islands.

This group of islands sits in the middle of the river, connected to both the mainland and each other by a network of beautifully designed Victorian footbridges. The picturesque river sparkles in the sunlight, and you can watch as local fishermen catch wild Scottish salmon. 


View of a city from the top of a large hill overlooking the top of all of the buildings

A trip to Scotland wouldn’t be complete without visiting its historical and charming capital. Spring in Edinburgh is the perfect time to get the most out of its many attractions, like the famous Arthurs Seat. This ancient volcano ascends to a height of 251 meters – the views at the top are dazzling. It’s not a fun hike to do in the cold or rainy weather, but in the crisp spring air, the experience is exhilarating. 

One of Edinburgh’s best-kept secrets is Dean Village, a charming cobblestoned village tucked away from all the crowds. This village was constructed to house mill workers in the 1880s, and its primary purpose nowadays is as a residential area.

The architecture in the area is a quaint mixture of hodgepodge terraced buildings, all built in different shapes and colors. A tranquil stream runs through the village, and in spring, its banks are lined with crocuses and daffodils. 

Shopping addicts will fall in love with the boutiques and eclectic shops of the Royal Mile and Grassmarket. You could spend hours here, with plenty of pit stops to choose from amongst the many traditional Scottish pubs. Street performers and buskers fill the air with the atmosphere as the evenings finally begin to get longer, and the atmosphere is jolly. 


Where should you travel next?

Trossachs National Park

group of people canoeing on a large blue loch with green mountains along one side of it

Scotland boasts some stunning national parks and Trossachs National Park is one of the best. Located in the country’s west, not too far from Glasgow, this park is home to umber-painted hills and over 20 serene lochs.

Adventure lovers adore Scotland’s relaxed wild camping laws; in the national park, there are plenty of areas to set up your tent for a night spent under the sparkling starry sky. If you prefer to camp nearby facilities, the park’s campsites and permit-regulated pitches open up for business in April – making spring the perfect time to visit. 

The sheer number of activities on offer in Trossachs National Park means you certainly won’t get bored, and the reduced rainfall in the springtime means you can enjoy them to the max. Hiking, cycling, rock climbing, angling, golfing… the list is endless!

You can’t miss a chance to get out on the water, and the park provides multiple different loch cruise options where visitors can glide peacefully along the water while learning about the history and mythology of the area.  

Isle of Skye

bright, colorful buildings lining the water's edge with a few small boats floating in the water

The enchanting Isle of Skye is the largest of the inner Hebrides, measuring 50 miles long. It’s full of mythical landscapes, and rugged views – the Isle of Skye feels like a place from another world entirely. 

The fairy pools are one of Skye’s most captivating attractions; this natural phenomenon consists of multiple waterfalls cascading into a bright aqua rock pool below. It’s not hard to see where they got their name from – the dazzling view is like something out of a storybook. The water is cold year-round, but strong-hearted travelers will love taking an exhilarating plunge in the fresh mountain water. 

Breathtaking views aren’t in short supply on the Isle of Skye. Every hike will have you in disbelief at each viewpoint, and visiting in the spring means you can enjoy them without the bitter winter chill or the pesky summer midges. 


aerial view of a city with a large historic building towering over the other buildings in the city

Glasgow’s name is Gaelic for ‘Dear green place,’ and the city is home to many parks and green spaces. This makes a great city to enjoy in the spring when the vast array of trees begins to blossom. Pollok County Park is one of the city’s best, boasting beautiful woodland walks and its own population of highland cows! 

The city sightseeing bus tour is a great way of exploring Glasgow, and the open-top deck is particularly enjoyable in the cheery spring sunshine. The route includes 21 stops, and the informative commentary throughout allows you to learn about the city’s rich history and stunning architecture. 

Glasgow is considered a bit of an underdog amongst Scotland’s cities – it doesn’t attract as many visitors as its more glamorous sister Edinburgh.

This vibrant city is not to be missed, though, particularly for art lovers – Glasgow boasts over 20 art galleries, all showcasing a unique range of artwork.

Take advantage of this season’s reduced rainfall levels by enjoying the City Centre Mural trail. This tour explores notable works of urban art nestled amongst Glasgow’s winding lanes and historic buildings. 

Dumfries and Galloway

rocky hills leading to a small sandy beach with bright blue waves crashing into it

Dumfries and Galloway is the county that covers a large part of Scotland’s south coast. It is arguably one of the most beautiful, unspoiled areas of the country – but it’s regularly missed off Scotland trip itineraries in favor of the northern Highlands and Islands.

Those who skip this county are well and truly missing out. The white sand beaches along the vast coastline are truly unique, and while the weather in spring won’t stretch to sunbathing – they’re an excellent spot for a brisk seaside walk. 

Dumfries and Galloway hold vast ancient history, so you’ll find plenty of Neolithic cairns and monuments in the area. 

One of the biggest charms of this place is its emptiness – you’re more likely to spot a cow or deer than you are a fellow tourist. But nestled within the sprawling fields lie a few fantastically quaint towns, one of the best of which is Wigtown. Wigtown is known as Scotland’s national book town and is packed with unique bookshops, each of which you could spend hours browsing. 

Loch Lomond

flowers and grass covering mountains that are split in the middle by a large blue loch

Located in the Trossachs National Park, Loch Lomond is not to be missed. Covering a whopping 27.5 square miles, this peaceful loch sits nestled within rolling verdant hills. Visiting in spring means you can take advantage of the more pleasant weather conditions and get out on the tranquil waters.

There are heaps of different ways to experience the enchanting loch – the more adventurous could try kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding or even hire a sailboat! Fly fishing is allowed in parts of the loch, as is wakeboarding and wild swimming. 

If those aren’t quite your style, fear not – there are some fantastic boat trips on offer. Think of everything from simple ferries to luxurious leisure cruises with guided historical commentary of the route.

The Capercaillie is one of the most interesting boat rides you can take – this is a 90-minute circular route, departing from the picture-perfect village of Luss (which is regularly voted one of Scotland’s prettiest places). On board, you’ll explore the historic landscape whilst listening to tales of the feuds which occurred between Viking clans in the area. 

Cairngorms National Park

street winding through a mountain that is covered by green grass and trees in the beginning and bright purple flower further back

Scotland’s enchanting highlands, located in the north of the country, are home to the UK’s largest national park. The Cairngorms National Park is bigger than the whole of Luxembourg and contains some of the country’s best scenery and wildlife.

Early spring is one of the best times to visit – the northerly latitude combined with the clear skies at this time of year means you’ve got a high chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis. What better way to enjoy spring in Scotland than by spending a night gazing up at the dancing display of the northern lights? 

There are hundreds of hiking routes to experience in the Cairngorms, and the area is home to a high concentration of mountains. Summiting whichever mountain you choose will reward you with breathtaking views over the National Park, and there are routes for all ability levels. 

The Cairngorms National Park is steeped in rich history, and there are many fascinating castles and remains located in the area. Ruthven Barracks is a remarkable place to visit – the British government constructed this hilltop structure to defend against the bloody Jacobite uprising of the 1700s.

When the Jacobites failed their battle, they retreated to the barracks, and upon receiving orders to flee, they destroyed what they could. The remains atop the hill are a chilling memorial to this part of Scotland’s history. 

Loch Ness

remains of a historic stone building overlooking a large dark blue loch with people walking to and from the building

Loch Ness is one of Scotland’s most famed attractions, thanks to its resident monster. Nessie is believed to have been dwelling in the loch’s dark waters for decades, and the folklore surrounding this mystical loch attracts many tourists. 

A visit to Loch Ness wouldn’t be complete without a boat trip to one of the country’s most historical landmarks, Urquhart Castle. This castle holds over 1000 years of dramatic history and has seen a vast amount of conflict.

During the countries, multiple wars of independence, and control of the castle was passed back and forth between the Scottish and English. A visit to the castle provides a taste of what life would have been like for the leaders and soldiers who fought tirelessly during the long-lasting power struggle.

If you opt to experience this boat trip, guides will take you back in time as you cruise along the loch to the castle, educating and entertaining you all while you soak up the stunning surroundings of Loch Ness. 

🛥️ Click here to book a boat trip to Urquhart Castle! 🛥️

St. Andrews

Remains of an old stone church with a cemetery along the left side of the church

St Andrews is a small town with a big status. It’s situated on Scotland’s east coast, just north of Edinburgh. It’s famed for its prestigious university, which has educated many of the British royal family, and its reputation as the birthplace of golf. 

There is no shortage of unique things to do in St Andrews. Make the most of the spring sunshine and enjoy the Spy Mission Treasure Trail, an interactive self-guided tour of this historic town. Follow a map leading you around the city’s historical buildings and statues, solving sneaky clues, and learning all about St Andrews along the way. This activity is a fun way for families to explore; kids will love it. 

Golf fans can enjoy a guided tour of St Andrews Old Course, one of the oldest and most famous courses in the world. Expert guides will lead you around some of the holes, following in the footsteps of the sport’s biggest legends. The tour can be combined with a visit to the R&A World Golf museum, an immersive exploration of the history of the sport. 

In addition, you’ll find a range of medieval castles and ruins as well as plenty of scenic walking routes. Spring in Scotland makes for the perfect time to enjoy St Andrews as the city is extraordinarily green and full of bloom during this time. 


Square clocktower rising up over other brick and stone buildings in a small city

There are hundreds of things to enjoy in Aberdeen, and its coastal location in the northeast of the country makes it the perfect place to visit during spring in Scotland.

Duthie Park is one of Scotland’s most loved gardens, and visiting in springtime as the plants burst into life is a magical experience. The park opened in 1883 and contains some beautifully restored Victorian features, including a boating pond, bandstand, and many stunning fountains. The 44 acres of land are packed with beautiful flora and fauna, and it’s one of the highlights of Aberdeen. 

The quaint area of old Aberdeen is a must-visit – wander along cobbled streets and admire the ancient architecture, some of which dates all the way back to the 14th century.

Seaton Park makes for a scenic walk during the springtime when its flower beds are bursting at the seams with bright yellow daffodils. The area hosts charming independent shops and cafes, making it a great place to spend an afternoon exploring. 

Final Thoughts: Scotland in Spring

Spring is, without a doubt, the best time of year to visit Scotland. As a country jam-packed with outdoor activities and incredible landscapes, the milder weather combined with nature’s re-awakening means there is truly no better season to appreciate this magical place.

Spring in Scotland is a truly remarkable time, and you don’t want to miss it during your Scottish adventure. 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.