We’ve had a fantastic autumn season here in Scotland this year. For the most part, I am happy that I got to experience it as much as I could. I hope that, wherever you are, you did too. I am happy that this year I kept saying to myself to pull myself back from the rush of the moment and just enjoy a place for a few minutes, not just rush from one location to another trying to “chase light” or get that perfectly timed shot.
Here’s my favourite spot from this autumn! I can still remember taking my shots and then just sitting there on a rock and just seeing the mist roll through and enjoying a cup of tea. I would like to hear what yours have been in the comments below or anywhere on My Saturday Drive’s social media!
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Scotland Through The Seasons 2021 Calendar
Anyways, now that the days are getting shorter and shorter with temperatures regularly plummeting below 0 degrees, winter has finally arrived. Despite Scotland’s popularity during summer, I think winter is equally if not an even better time to visit and explore, if you can.
Below, I’ll list what I think are some of the most beautiful winter spots in Scotland. Ideal for walking, enjoying calm scenery, possibly winter hiking, snow and more!
Yeah, the obvious. If you are a winter lover, Glencoe should definitely be on your list. Specifically, Glen Coe valley which is surrounded by glorious mountains and has some of the most stunning winter scenery in Scotland, especially when it snows!
Even though we’re quite far north in Scotland, snow is still hit or miss but on higher ground, such as Glen Coe, the likelihood of snow increases and you get amazing scenery and conditions.
Glen Coe is also popular for winter sports enthusiasts. If you like skiing/snowboarding, Glencoe Mountain have you covered. As of writing this article on the 8th of December, they are open and the ski lift is open too. Check it out here Home – Glencoe Mountain Resort.
Close to Glencoe is another winter sports center called the Nevis Range – more information here Home – Glencoe Mountain Resort.
2. The Cairngorms
Yes, another obvious one. Cairn Gorm has a summit elevation of 1,245 metres and is amongst the highest peaks in Britain. This means that it gets cold up there, quite consistently and there is lots of potential for snow.
There are a few locations where you can go in the Cairngorms: Cairngorm Mountain – Scotland’s Premier Snowsports Destination, Glenshee Snowsports Centre Sking and snowboarding in Scotland (ski-glenshee.co.uk) and The Lecht 2090.
All have fantastic snow sports potential and there you will find the highest chances of seeing snow in Scotland.
But what about regular people stuff, like walking/hill walking?
3. Glen Coe..
Ok don’t shoot me! Besides snow sports, there are obviously loads of other hikes/trails you can do in Glen Coe. When there’s snow on the slopes, there’s snow every where there so you can experience winter even if you are not into that.
By far my favorite hike is the hike up Beinn A’Chrulaiste. It has some of the best views from up the top as I am sure you can agree from the photos below! I actually wrote a wee bit about it separately here.
Another awesome hike you could do is the hike to the Hidden Valley. It too provides some stunning winter scenes.
Further north from Glen Coe, in the Nevis Range, the Steall Waterfall walk is one of my favourite in the area! Perfect for winter views.
4. Loch Lomond National Park
The hills and surrounding area around Loch Lomond can also get pretty decent snow coverage during winter. Maybe you can try Ben A’an in the Trossachs, or wander around Loch Katrine. Loch Arklet is beautiful too and, most times, if you drive to Stronachlachar you can have a nice warm meal at the Pier Cafe with stunning mountain and loch views around you.
5. Pentland Hills
Pentland Hills is another favorite of mine during winter. I don’t know if you notice a theme here, but usually places that are in higher altitude and away from built up areas can get some decent winter conditions when temperatures drop.
There are plenty of walks around Pentland Hills and you can find more here Pentland Hills and West Lothian walks (Walkhighlands). When I get to do more of them I’ll write my own impressions as well.
I definitely prefer the mountains during the winter snowy months. But there’s definitely something about the raw beauty of a deserted beach during winter. With that being said, basically any beach around Scotland is a great place to explore during winter, especially since it’s most likely to be deserted. During winter, the sea can be quite wild and you can experience some very dramatic scenery.
Here’s one of my favorite “winter” beaches, Talisker Bay on the Isle of Skye!
One of my favourite things during the festive period in December is the opening up of Christmas markets around towns. Glasgow and Edinburgh have some of the most vibrant and most fun Christmas markets in Scotland. After you’ve had all the fun out in the snow, it’s good to come back into town and grab a hot dog and a beer or mulled wine in the city centre.
So there you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed this little read. I am also putting this up for my own benefit, to remind myself of all the wonderful winter memories I’ve had over the years and fid new inspiration in revisiting certain places. I hope it serves as inspiration to you too in planning your trip to Scotland or, if you live in Scotland or the UK and are in a position where you can travel, I hope this helps!
If you are still doing Christmas shopping, here’s another reminder for my 2021 Scotland Through The Seasons Calendar. It would make an amazing gift for someone who loves Scotland.
Scotland Through The Seasons 2021 Calendar