Weather in Scotland in February

Is February a good time to visit Scotland?

While down south in England, things begin to warm up a little, February in Scotland remains cold and wet, due to the northern latitude.  Although notoriously unpredictable, it is likely the weather in Scotland in February will be cloudy and damp in most areas, with snow lying (and falling) in the Highlands, and rain likely in the Lowlands. Come prepared for the cold and you can enjoy Scotland’s bracing fresh air and warm hospitality no matter what the weather.

Climate in Scotland in February

While it is difficult to generalise about average temperatures and precipitation in Scotland in February, it is a sure bet that it will be cold. Expect snow-dusted mountains in the highlands, and rain showers in the Lowlands. Average temperatures are “advertised” as being between 5° C to 7°C, but this can be misleading because the moist air and/or wind chill factor can make it feel much colder. After dark (and daylight hours are around nine by mid-month, feeling shorter because of likely cloud cover), the mercury can plummet to well below freezing. Rainfall varies greatly, but is everywhere prevalent – Glasgow in February has an average of 75mm while Aberdeen experiences 55mm.

What’s on in Scotland in February

Inspired by the mountains of the Highlands, Scotland’s main February event is the Fort William Mountain Festival. If the thought of slogging through snow and ice on the winter climbing or walking workshops offered is daunting, never fear – the festival includes lectures, films and courses which keep you snug and dry indoors. In the capital, Edinburgh, February is time to feed the inner man with the “Dine around Edinburgh” event, which encompasses not only “specials” on traditional Scottish fare at local restaurants, but also whisky tasting and market events.  February is also the month for the successful new Glasgow Film Festival.

What to pack for a holiday in Scotland in February

For exploring in country or town a pair of waterproof boots and quilted waterproof coat are essentials, along with a hat and gloves. Underneath go for layers of ever-thinner clothing, bearing in mind that long evenings by the hearth can end up really warm, especially if you are going to sample the local whiskies.