Driving past a packed Inverness caravan park this morning it struck me again how much our city, and indeed the Highlands as a whole, buzzes with tourists during the summer, only to be abandoned over the winter months. According to Visit Scotland, around 65% of tourists to the Highlands visit between April and September…but is this really the best time to visit?! Take a look at our top reasons for visiting off season, and maybe we can entice you…
1. Ssssh…it’s oh so quiet
In the winter time you truly get a sense of how remote and isolated the Highlands are. Although we go out of our way to get off the beaten track with our customers year-round, there are certain must-see sights and in the winter, more often than not, we can enjoy these places without anyone else to disturb us.
2. Events aplenty
As the summer season winds down there are plenty of events to keep tourists and locals alike entertained. At the start of September each year we tap our toes and toot our tin whistles during the week long BLAS folk festival and Loopallu, then at the end of the month the more energetic amongst you can sign up for the Loch Ness Marathon (supposedly the most scenic marathon in the UK, the route follows the shore of the famous Loch Ness – over 26 miles surely you will see Nessie?!) October and November have plenty of highlights too so, whilst the nights might be longer, they certainly don’t drag!
3.Whisky and a log fire
What could be more quintessentially Scottish than that?! As the temperature drops the fires are lit in all of the traditional pubs and, after a hard day’s sightseeing, little can be more satisfying than sitting toasty with your feet up and a single malt in hand.
4. Luxury hotel? Yes please!
Despite the plethora of accommodation choices in Inverness (there are over 300 Bed & Breakfasts alone!) it can sometimes be difficult to find your ideal spot in the summer, particularly if you are booking last minute. In the off-season, there are a fantastic array of choices, and you are much more likely to be able to bag yourself a great deal in one of the region’s top hotels, some of which reduce their prices by over 50%.
5. That first dusting of snow
Scotland has quite a temperate climate (contrary to what a lot of people hear about our chilly winters, average day time temperatures between October and December are 40-48oF, compared to our hottest month of July which peaks at just 57oF). In line with this, we don’t usually see much snow between September and December, but there can quite often be a dusting on the hill tops…simply beautiful.
We still have some availability in September, although it is booking up pretty quickly now, and have plenty of dates free for the rest of the year so, for 100 more reasons why you will love Scotland off-season, come on a WOW tour and find out!!