Weather in Scotland in March
Spring arrives very slowly in Scotland, with winter lingering in the Highland glens, although daylight hours stretch somewhat and there is a budding of greenery in the Lowlands. The weather in Scotland in March is largely damp and overcast, with tantalising outbreaks of sunshine, but it will be cold and oft-times wet, with plenty of rain showers. Night temperatures can drop several degrees below freezing. A good rule of thumb in Scotland all year round is to remember that the higher you go, the cooler it gets.
Climate in Scotland in March
With an average of only 2.7 hours of sunlight a day, and 15 wet days in the month (measured at Edinburgh) Scotland in March sounds a little grim, although it is early spring. Maximimum temperatures have crept up to around 8°C, which can be a little misleading because it can be a lot colder in some Highland regions. Expect plenty of rain showers, but remember that Scottish weather is unpredictable and rain can give way to sunshine – and vice versa – with little or no warning. Hail and even snow in March can occur in some of the more northerly and mountainous areas.
The magical phenomenon of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) are occasionally visible in the skies above northern Scotland and the offshore islands during March – the spring equinox. Appearing at around midnight in dark, clear skies during mild weather in areas unpolluted by city lights, it is worthwhile going out to observe the skies – even if you don’t see nature’s light display, the peace, quiet and starry skies make for a rewarding Scottish holiday experience.
What’s on in Scotland in March
There’s never a dull moment in Scotland, which has a vast calendar of fairs and festivals all year round. March brings the Glasgow Art Fair, one of the most prestigious contemporary art fairs in the United Kingdom. Up north in Inverness music fills the crisp Highland air at the competitive Inverness Music Festival which runs across 10 days.
What to pack
Good quality rain gear of all sorts is essential for a holiday in Scotland in March, and some thermal underwear will not go amiss if you plan to be out and about, especially in the Highlands. Some woollen sweaters to layer up over T-shirts and jeans or cargo pants and a pair of stout boots will be well used.