With balmy days and lush green scenery, summer in Scotland is a magical time. But yes, even in the summer it sometimes rains. Where do you think all the lovely lochs, luscious woodlands and world-famous whisky comes from?
Although the sun does often shine in Scotland, we’re used to having a rainy day or two so we’ve got great ideas to keep you entertained, even if it’s a bit wet outside!
Sunny – North Berwick Beach
A day at the beach is one of the best ways to spend a sunny day in Scotland! Treat yourself to luxurious ice cream in North Berwick and enjoy it at the beachfront. The fantastic Scottish Seabird Centre is just a short walk away too.
Rainy – National Museum of Flight
Keep dry in the traditional WWII aircraft hangars, located at East Fortune Airfield, and see impressive aircraft, such as a Concorde, a Spitfire and a Tornado F3.
SCOTLAND’S TAY COUNTRY
Sunny – Pick your own fruit
Head to a pick-your-own-fruit farm when the sun is shining and gather punnets of fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and more. Scotland produces some of the best soft fruits in the world, particularly in areas such as Perthshire, Angus and Fife.
Rainy – Visit a distillery
Discover how the ‘water of life’ is crafted on a distillery tour and listen as your talented guide brings the process to life. You can even enjoy a warming dram at the end too. Eden Mill St Andrews, Fettercairn Distillery, Edradour Distillery and Lindores Abbey Distillery are just a few of the places you can visit.
ARGYLL & THE ISLES
Sunny – Sea kayaking
Enjoy a paddling adventure as the sunlight glitters on the water around you. Great places for sea kayaking include the waters around Argyll & The Isles, the Isle of Cumbrae and up towards the Outer Hebrides.
Rainy – Inveraray Castle
Shelter indoors and take in the splendor of a real Scottish castle (if it has a roof, of course!). The romantic Inveraray Castle perched on the shores of Loch Fyne is one of Scotland’s finest stately homes and dates back to the 16th century. Explore the historic tapestries, incredible Scottish, English and French furniture and, if the weather brightens up, the spectacular natural beauty that surrounds the castle.
Sunny – Highland Wildlife Park
Head to an open-air wildlife park and watch the animals enjoying the warm sunshine. At the Highland Wildlife Park, you can see 4 polar bears – two adult males, Walker and Arktos, a female called Victoria and a young male called Hamish. In January 2018, the park announced that Victoria had given birth in December – this was the first polar bear to be born in the UK for 25 years! You can also spot native Scottish animals, such as wildcats, across the park too.
Rainy – House of Bruar Foodhall
A rainy day is a perfect time to visit a Scottish food hall or farm shop to try tasty Scottish produce. The food hall at House of Bruar is crammed with mouth-watering treats to enjoy. You could even pick up goodies and hold your very own (indoor) picnic!
A Bharal, or Chinese Blue Sheep, at the Highland Wildlife Park, Kincraig
Sunny – John o’Groats
The most northerly point of mainland Britain, John o’Groats is a must-visit. Only 11 miles from Dunnet Head, this small coastal village is the iconic starting point for many explorers embarking on the famous ‘End to End’ journey to Land’s End in England – a staggering 876 miles away. Soak in the dramatic scenery, rugged cliffs, and fascinating wildlife, or why not venture on a boat trip out to Orkney?
Rainy – Surf’s Up!
Since it’s already raining, you wouldn’t mind getting a bit wetter? Head to the coast and try out a bit of surfing with North Coast Watersports – whether you are a beginner or seasoned pro, you’re bound to have waves of fun!
Or if you’d rather stay dry, why not head to the Castle of Mey? This 5-star visitor attraction is the Royal heart of historic Caithness – come along and explore the castle, grounds and visitor center. Or head to Lyth Arts Centre for a range of music, theatre, film events and much more to keep you and the family entertained.
Sunny – Shetland
Shetland’s glorious landscapes are awesome at the best of times, but on a sunny day the views really will take your breath away. Enjoy a walk in the sunshine out to the majestic cliffs and see if you can spot whales off-shore. In 2019, Shetland was voted as one of the Top 10 Destinations in Europe by Lonely Planet – if that isn’t a reason to visit, I don’t know what is!
Rainy – The Shetland Museum & Archive
Wet weather is a great time to uncover treasures from the past at a fascinating museum. Learn about Shetland’s history at the Shetland Museum and Archives, see exhibits including delicate Shetland lace and Pictish art and visit the renovated Boat Shed to watch vessels being constructed by hand using age-old techniques.
THE ISLES OF ARRAN AND BUTE
Sunny – Isle of Arran
Pedal power is one of the best ways to see Scotland (and enjoy the sunshine). At only 20 miles long and 10 miles wide, Arran is perfect for a cycling adventure and you’ll find lots of glorious viewpoints and fascinating attractions to stop off at too.
Rainy – Mount Stuart
As well as plenty of castles, Scotland is home to more than a few historic houses and opulent mansions. Rainy days are the perfect opportunity to see what treasures lay behind their doors. Visit Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute to marvel at the magnificent Victorian Gothic architecture and fine furnishings.
Other fun things to do:
Visit Edinburgh Castle and see the Scottish Crown Jewels, known as the Honours of Scotland.
Snap pictures of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, near Fort William.
Take a Loch Ness boat cruise and see if you can spot Nessie.
Indulge your tastebuds on the Seafood Trail.
Stand amidst the Calanais Standing Stones.
Stretch your legs on a walkout to the Striding Arches.
Scotland is packed with great golf courses to choose from, and nothing will beat playing around in the country that gave the game to the world – especially on a sunny day!
By: Hayley Wilkins