Exploring Scotland in January and February

January and February may seem like an unusual time to visit Scotland as the Winter holiday period has to an end and a great deal of tourists returning home and the Christmas market is packing up. There are various benefits to visiting Scotland after the festive period, for starters it’s cheaper and far less busy than December. Read on to find out more about the benefits of visiting ‘Bonnie Scotland’ in January and February and you may just decide to visit yourself, and hiring a motorhome is a fantastic way to see everything Scotland has to offer.

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Visiting Scotland is Better Value in January

January and February is a great time to visit Scotland if you want to spend less money. Flights to Scotland and transport around the country often have discounts, a great advantage for those looking for a short trip on a budget. Restaurants and attractions also have noticeable price cuts during January, with many businesses looking to attract customers in what can be a bit of a slow month after the buzz and excitement of the Christmas period. Spending less money on travel and accommodation means you have more that can be spent on improving your stay by arranging to visit more attractions or by treating yourself to something nice to take home with you.

A Calmer City Experience

With the festive season having came to a close, January and February is the ideal time to visit Scotland for those wanting to experience a calmer environment in the often busy cities. Many tourists visit Scotland and Edinburgh in particular to experience the Christmas and New Year celebrations. Once these celebrations come to a close Edinburgh, and Scotland in general is much less crowded. This leaves Edinburgh and Glasgow noticeably quieter with attractions and landmarks far less busy. Popular attractions such as Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, and the Glasgow Cathedral are far less crowded, meaning shorter waits and a more enjoyable experience overall.

Explore an ancient Castle

There’s estimated to be over 2000 castles in Scotland as of today. Although many of these lay in ruins, there are still a great deal of intact castles that can visited by the public. Spread throughout the country, exploring Scottish castles and finding out about their history is a fun and informative experience for people of all ages. Visiting in January and February will allow you to enjoy the experience in a less hectic environment, especially at some of the more popular castles such as Edinburgh, Stirling and Eilean Donan.

Take a Trip on the North Coast 500

Winter is a great time to take in the stunning scenery on display as you travel the North Coast 500, Scotland’s answer to Route 66. A 516 mile round trip, the route was named the fifth best coastal road trip in the world by Travel Now magazine, just 2 months after its launch in 2015. The scenic route is famous for its breathtaking views of the rural Scottish Highlands, showcasing highland landscapes and the Scottish coastline, this is an ideal road trip for lovers of stunning scenery. A surge in popularity has seen many more visitors to the NC500 with the majority of these visitors coming in the summer months. Visiting in January or February allows you to travel and take in these jaw-dropping sites in relative peace.

Events in January & February

The Loony Dook, New Years Day

Over the past 30 years, thousands of people have taken part in the annual ‘Loony Dook’ plunge into the Firth of Forth. From what began as a joke between three friends to cure their hogmanay hangovers back in 1986, the Loony Dook has become an annual vent, raising money for various UK based charities. Participants usually dress up in all-sorts of costumes, taking part in the ‘Dookers Fancy Dress Parade’ where they are cheered on by spectators, making their way to the water. Here they are met by bagpipers and given warm bowls of porridge before taking the plunge into the freezing water. The Loony Dook takes place January 1st each year, we recommend you wrap up warm if you’re attending!

Scalloway Fire Festival, 11 January

Ideal for visitors of any age, the Scalloway Fire Festival truly is a unique experience featuring a torch-lit procession, live music and a boat burning. Similar to the renowned ‘Up Helly Aa’ festival, the Scalloway Fire Festival begins on January 11th in Scalloway. This does of course mean that an over-sea trip is required to reach Scalloway by ferry, but it is definitely worth the trip to see this amazing festival and the incredible islands of Shetland.

FebruaryFest, Glencoe, 1st Feb – 2nd March

From humble beginnings, Clachaig’s FebruaryFest has grown into a much anticipated highlight of the winter calendar in Glencoe. The festival is based on the principles of good beer, hearty food, and great craic, everything you need for a great event in amongst Scotland’s most spectacular scenery. You can enjoy live music, whisky and gin tasting, and a pub quiz.

Fort William Mountain Festival, 20th-24th February

A celebration of Scottish mountain culture that includes and wide range of entertaining and intriguing films, lectures, exhibitions and workshops. This is very much an active festival as you have plenty of opportunity to get out and enjoy the mountains that surround Fort William, including Scotland’s highest peak, Ben Nevis. You may also want to take in the red deer safari, mountain skills sessions, or take on the world’s biggest indoor ice climbing wall at nearby Kinlochleven.

Explore Scotland By Motorhome

If you’re interested in visiting Scotland during the quieter months of January and February then there is no better way to combine travel and accommodation than a luxury motorhome hire. Take in spectacular views and varying attractions throughout the country without having to worry about where you’re going to rest your head each evening. Visit our motorhomes for hire page to explore the range of motorhomes you can choose from, or get in touch to discuss your motorhome holiday.