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Scotland in August?

So, our long-planned trip to London and Scotland may not happen this May, as today we learned my Darling Companion has to have immediate retinal repair surgery, which has a long recovery period. Thus, I ask: how is Scotland in mid to late August? Or mid-June?

Many thanks,
Marjie

Posted by
104 posts

And I was just reading about the Tatoo, etc., which ends August 27. So if we headed over around August 28 or a bit later - that may be more of something we should consider? (Not ones for massive crowds.)

Posted by
7567 posts

My sincerely hopes for a speedy, easy, full recovery on the eye surgery. We went to Scotland in mid-August 2013. While the Tattoo and Festival Fringe in Edinburgh were part of the agenda, and there were big crowds along the Royal Mile during the day, things were much less hectic and crowded in the evening. Because the Festivals were in town, some other venues even had special events and performances that weren’t officially part of a Festival - so there are things to see and do in August that don’t have a massive crowd, on a side street a few blocks off the Royal Mile, but that you couldn’t see another time of year. A special performance by piper Ben Miller, who normally performs concerts for thousands, but there were maybe 30 of us in the room at the Royal Oak, is an example.

We then headed to Shetland, and Orkney (Neolithic sights!), which never have massive crowds. Then on to Skye, another place that you won’t quite have all to yourselves in August, but “massive” will only apply to the scenery, the spacious views, and the serenity you’ll experience. Stay on the west side of Skye. Have dinner at the Three Chimneys restaurant. Fort William and Glasgow are also Scottish considerations.

You’ll likely get at least a couple torrential rainstorms that time of year - cozy up in a pub, and you’ll have a few people there, but not a massive crowd.

Posted by
27352 posts

Lodging costs in Edinburgh go up a lot in August, so that's something you might want to check on unless money is no object. I'd avoid that month if you don't have an interest in the festivals or the tattoo.

The islands are busy all through the summer, of course, and you might notice differences in rates between May and mid-June. In areas with limited infrastructure and high demand (Oban, Skye, etc.) you may find it difficult to book much of anything for June or August at this point, though if you're driving, I imagine you can find lodgings of the beaten path.

Best wishes to your partner for a quick and total recovery from the eye issues.

Posted by
1977 posts

Late to mid August still picks up some school holiday traffic. (Scotland schools go back mid August. England and Wales go back beginning of September.) Edinburgh will be very busy and VERY expensive as the Festival and the Tattoo will be in full swing. Mamny places will already be fully booked. This alsao applies to many of the more popular places in Scotland too. Yopu may find getting accommodation on Skye difficult.

If you want to avoid crowsds, any chance of delaying until early September when it will be quieter? Weather in September tends to be warm and sunny. Everywhere is still open and you still have good day light hours.

Posted by
6113 posts

I would opt for late June (longer daylight hours and fewer kids around) or early September. I wouldn’t pay significantly more in August for places to be busy unless I had to!

Posted by
104 posts

Thanks, everyone. All of this was very helpful!

It looks like June is out for personal reasons, and we must be back home by early September.

However, based upon your advice, I'm looking at some days in London, followed by 5 nights in the isles and Highlands, with our final two days in early September in Edinburgh. With that, for the most part, we're able to book the same places.

But now we wait to make sure when he can travel.

Many thanks,
Marjie

Posted by
5678 posts

I have traveled to Scotland many time in late August. You still have long days, the heather is in bloom and its Scotland so even when there are more tourists than normal you still don't face absurd crowds other than in Edinburgh for the festival. Yes, it more expensive to be in Edinburgh during the Festival, but wait you're in Edinburgh while one of the great festivals in the world is going on!

I've don't trips that are the last couple of weeks of August and I've done ones that go over into September. I've traveled there in July and June as well. I've not done May, but my sister and parents did and they loved that it time as well. I think that the advantages that August offers is the Festival and the blooming heather in the highlands.

Posted by
104 posts

Thanks, Pamela. The blooming heather is very appealing!

Best,
Marjie