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Scotland in March - worth it?

My husband and I are expecting our second baby and want to take one last trip with just our daughter (almost 2 years old). Late March and a few days into April is about as late in the year as I'm willing to travel. But from what I'm reading, it seems like many attractions are still closed in March, no wildlife viewing, etc. And the weather might be pretty bad (we're from central Texas, so not exactly pros at cold weather). I was pretty sold on Scotland but now I'm not sure if it's worth going at that time of year. Any thoughts? Should we look elsewhere? Thanks!

Posted by
901 posts

Hi, adaugherty7,

If it was just you and your husband, I'd say go for it. However, with a two year old, you'd find yourselves hard pressed to maintain her interest in March/April.

I've been to Scotland several times during the March in to April period, and the weather is really iffy. You could be blessed with a couple of weeks of fine weather, or it could be overcast and raining for days on end. That's just the chance you take at that time of year. Chances are the weather would be good, but if you're from central Texas, the daily temps aren't going to be much above the 50s or low 60s (Fahrenheit).

It's not completely true that you won't see much wildlife. Early lambing season should hit the Borders around early April; Edinburgh has a world class zoo; Deep Sea World in North Queensferry could compete with aquariums anywhere; and there are Highland cows and red deer as you venture farther north. And you stand a pretty good chance of seeing dolphins if you're in the right place at the right time. Plus seabirds abound at any time of the year, especially along the East Coast.

A lot of the smaller castles will be closed, but enough castles and museums are open to make it worthwhile. The Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh would definitely be open. There's lots of live music during that time period. However, you'd need to find enough to interest your daughter. You could try www.efuf.co.uk for some help, although they'll probably try to sell you their book. I'm sure that there are other websites that will provide you with things to do with children in Scotland, but most of them are probably aimed at older children. Fortunately, Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal" was directed at Irish parents, not Scottish. :)

If you decide to go, you'll have a good time in Scotland!

Best wishes,

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
452 posts

I live in the Midwest but the UK is home for me. Last Spring Break (March 11, 2018), i went back to the UK for a visit. I found it to be quite cold and damp and I could just not get warm. Skies were grey and it rained for most of the week and then snowed! The weather in Scotland can be quite dreary in March. We visited Scotland on our return trip in July and it was beautiful. Its just a wonderful part of the UK to visit - but not so much in March. I am heading to Spain this Spring Break.

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you both for the thoughts! I was thinking of Spain as our possible other option, so that's interesting that you mention it mpaulyn. We were mostly interested in exploring a lot of outdoor areas, like Isle of Skye, a few of the glens, and a couple of castles. You have a point auchterless, while my husband and I could do it, I'm not sure how a toddler would handle the weather and chance of being cooped up indoors...

Posted by
901 posts

Hi again, adaughtery7,

Almost every pram in Scotland is equipped with a rain cover/shield. I guess that's for a reason!

BTW, if you do end up going, BBC ALBA broadcasts children's programming in Gaelic from 5:00 p.m. until 6:30 or 7:00, so your wee one could learn a second language while you're over. As could you!

Slainte!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
1 posts

The thing about Scotland is the weather can be anything at almost any time of the year. It can, and often is, warm and dry at the end of March/beginning of April, and it can be wet and cold for periods during the summer. Generally, it tends to be drier in Spring.

Posted by
1069 posts

We had some snow in April when we were in Scotland; just saying! Wait for your kids to be hike ready before you go to Scotland to really enjoy climbing the Castles, etc. Spain could be a warmer choice.