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Scotland in September?

Happy Derby Day!

I'm going to be in Scotland during the first two weeks of September and am wondering what sort of temps/day length I might expect? Will trees etc. have started changing to their fall color or will it still be a little early for that?

Posted by
5678 posts

This is a wonderful time to go to Scotland. The weather can dip into the 50's, but is usually in the 60's and 70's. It will rain so bring your Gortex. The heather will be past peak. The leaves aren't changing, but since there are more pines and firs I'm not sure it's as noticeable. It's a particularly good time as the crowds are down. Watch it if you plan on being in Edinburgh the first weekend in September as that can be the last of the festival. On the plus side that means that there are some exhibits and shows. On the down side the prices are higher, so it would be better to be in Edinburgh at the end of your trip. If I remember right you're getting sunrise around 7 and sunset is not until around 8, but there is a good dusk. You'll have plenty of light. It will be a marvelous trip for you.


Posted by
808 posts

If I could choose any time of the year to see Scotland...It would be the first few weeks of September! Good choice, we have a winner!

BTW, what is "Derby Day"?

Posted by
505 posts


Mid September is the best time to visit Scotland - once the festivals are over, it's usually very quiet and relaxed. Some restaurants may be closed for holiday, but everything else will be open - and much less crowded. The last day of the International Festival is August 31 this, so any time after that is fine.

Weather is a toss-up. It can be sunny and 70s or raining and 50s. Up in the Highlands & Islands you can have 40s (or occasionally worse) at night by mid or late September, but Edinburgh tends to be mild. Pack a lightweight rainjacket and layers.

We don't really get a spectacular fall like many parts of the US. Some years it seems like the trees have all their leaves one day, and then the first big winter storm comes in and the next morning all the leaves are on the ground. Early September will probably still be summer green, but you never know...

Have fun!

Posted by
45 posts

Kentucky Derby! Mint juleps and gorgeous horses. Good race, though with a slightly bittersweet end this year.

Sounds like it should be lovely, similar to Seattle weather that time of year. First trip to Scotland, third abroad, I can hardly wait!

Posted by
45 posts

Thanks Kate!

Sounds very similar to the weather here. We don't get much fall color either, not like the NE. Mostly a subtle changing of the maples and alders from green to various (non-vibrant) shades of yellow--with the few exceptions of one lovely native variety and the imported east coast trees and Japanese maples planted around business/housing developments. I enjoy it though. Here too all it takes is one good rain and all the leaves are gone. I have a feeling I'm going to like Scotland! Places like Paris are fantastic, but I start to miss the trees, water, and mountains.

Thanks for the advice on the weather. Though knowing it's as variable as here doesn't make the minimalist packing any easier! lol

Posted by
25 posts

I've been to Scotland a number of times in September and to real honest the weather is just like the Seattle area. Maybe a degree or 2 cooler but again just like here in September I have seen almost all types weather. So pack like you would if you were spending the week up in Vancouver.

Posted by
208 posts

Enjoy your trip! September is a good time to visit. The crowds are starting to thin out and the weather isn't horrible. Depending on where you'll be in the country, the first weekend in Sept. is the Braemar Gathering if you're interested in seeing any of the Royal Family.
Goretex - top and bottom - and boots ae important!
The only thing I would suggest is that if you're looking at B&B's or small lodging establishments, make sure they're not closed for the season. Also look at some of the museums/sightseeing places that you're interested in. Some of them may have shorter hours.