It’s not just the weather that is heating up, Scotland is preparing for a sizzling array of events and festivals this May! Discover some of the best things to do around the country to make your holiday an unforgettable one. From the Highland Games to golf putting, watch Scotland come to life with lots of unique experiences to be enjoyed!
1. RAISE A GLASS TO WHISKY DAY AND MONTH
Whisky lovers will be in high spirits this May as Scotland welcomes World Whisky Day on the 16th as well as Whisky Month. Enjoy the very best of Scotland’s national drink as you celebrate in style with friends and family for a good old knee’s up! Edinburgh takes center-stage for Whisky Stramash where you will expect nothing but a good night while sampling an amazing selection of whiskies from Scotland and around the world. It’s not just the capital that are celebrating, the party continues across the country with many other whisky festivals taking place.
Get the party started at the Highland Whisky Festival where you will visit eight distilleries in eight days situated along the North Coast 500. Get the hottest ticket in town for this year’s Stirling Whisky Festival. The ticket will grant you access to exclusive whisky masterclasses where you will even have the opportunity to taste your very own concoction at the end. Once you have had your fair share of whisky festivals why not explore for yourself and go on your very own whisky expedition? Head to the West of Scotland and follow the Hebridean Whisky Trail.
The island’s untamed and rugged landscape is an easy appeal for visitors who want to discover more of Scotland’s whisky heritage. Highlights on the trail include Torabhaig Distillery, the Isle of Raasay Distillery, Talisker Distillery and much more.
Looking for more whisky experiences? Check out our Malt Whisky Trail.
2. SEE RHODODENDRONS AT BOTANICAL GARDENS ACROSS SCOTLAND
Bring some color into your life this spring by seeing some beautiful rhododendrons. Known as Scotland’ssecond national flower’, the rhododendron is renowned for its vibrant colors, with over 1,000 different species to discover. From the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh to Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye, there are many of Scotland’s most well-known attractions and public gardens opening up to visitors which are guaranteed to look blooming marvelous!
3. SEE CHERRY BLOSSOMS IN FULL BLOOM
Who needs Japan when Scotland is the place to make your cherry blossom dreams come true! With spring in the air and cherry blossom season in full swing, there really is no other place like Edinburgh to experience this, with the flower symbolizing hope and purity in Japanese culture. Looking for the perfect picnic spot? The Meadows has got you covered! Shade yourself amongst the gorgeous pink-hued trees while you sit back and watch the world go by, or take a leisurely stroll through Princes Street Gardens, which boasts scenic views of Edinburgh Castle, to wander along with the cherry blossom-lined pathways.
4. MAKE THE MOST OF THE LIGHTER NIGHTS AND EXPLORE THE GREAT OUTDOORS
With summer on the horizon, there really is no excuse not to get out and embrace the great Scottish outdoors! Feel at one with nature at Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park as you explore what the park has to offer with its wonderful array of things to see and do. From climbing and mountaineering to golf, the park has simply everything to cover all tastes and budgets.
If you can’t get enough of walking, then the Speyside Way might just be for you! Embark on a walking expedition like no other as you take on the terrains of the Highlands. The route is a great place to try many other outdoor pursuits too – such as biking between Fochabers and Ballindalloch or between Nethybridge and Aviemore. Dram lovers will be in high spirits with Speyside, which is home to more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries.
Enjoy some of the finest malt whiskies as you follow your way through the heritage trail, visiting seven of its magnificent distilleries. Fancy going on an unforgettable biking holiday but stumped for places on where to go? The Hebridean Way has got you covered! The route stretches along the length of the Outer Hebrides from Vatersay in the south to Lewis in the north, taking in Scotland’s most stunning landscapes as you pedal away.
5. HEAD ALONG TO THE HIGHLAND GAMES
Running out of things to do this spring? The Highland Games is a great day out for the whole family where you will experience the very best of Scottish culture. Every Highland Games is different and brings its own unique character and traditions to the most scenic locations across Scotland. From battling it out with other opponents at tug of war to other classics such as the caber toss and shot put.
It’s not just games that can be enjoyed at these events, there are a wide range of things to sink your teeth into. Listen and enjoy the sounds of pipes and drums from different bands across the country. Keep your eyes peeled for competitions like the solo piping championships where competitors will showcase their talent playing in a range of different styles, including the Pibroch which is also known as the classical music of the bagpipe. Watch Highland dancers show off their fancy footwork while they take to the stage for an electrifying performance that will be sure to entertain audiences.
Take a look at our Highland Games Guide e-book to see what is taking place this May!
6. SAMPLE THE VERY BEST OF SCOTLAND’S SEAFOOD
There has never been a better time to visit Scotland, especially when it comes to food and drink! Seafood lovers will definitely not want to miss out on the opportunity of venturing on the Seafood Trail. Make the most of Scotland’s wonderful natural scenery as you take in the sights of the West Highlands, Southern Hebrides and the Isle of Skye while sampling some of the finest and freshest shellfish that the country has to offer. There are also a plethora of seafood shacks located across the country to help whet your appetite even more, from Ullapool to Skye, Scotland is bursting at the seams when it comes to delicious fish dishes waiting for you to try!
7. GO GOLF PUTTING
For all the keen golfers out there, now is the perfect time to get out and have some fun at a putting green while the weather is (hopefully) dry! Swing by the Cairngorms Golf Putting Green at Forbes of Kingennie. The course, which is designed to replicate the Cairngorms Mountain Range, has a wide range of surfaces to play on, making it the perfect place to hone your skills. The Pitlochry Golf and Putting Green is another great alternative if you are ever nearby. You will be spoilt for choice with the club’s wide selection of excellent golfing gear, as well as friendly expert advice on all things golf, so you never know, you might pick up some useful tips and tricks!
Looking for some more golf inspiration? Take a look at what golfing experiences Scotland has to offer and all the latest scoop on major upcoming events!
8. SPOT A HIGHLAND COO
Have an experience like no other at Kitchen Coos and Ewes. Get up close and personal as you meet some new furry friends while visiting this unique farm experience. There is a great selection of tours to choose from, including the Insta Coo Tour. Make all your followers jealous by sprucing up your profile with wholesome pics of Highland coos while you learn all about the different breeds and habitats before sitting down to a delicious treat. We recommend booking ahead to avoid disappointment!
We hope that we have given you enough inspiration for visiting Scotland in May. Still unsure and need more ideas? See why no one does spring-like Scotland to make your May a month to remember or let the pictures do the talking to get a taster of how beautiful Scotland really is during spring.
By: Emily Buchan