Is Scotland the same time as England? And other time related questions for tourists

This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you buy or book after clicking, I may get a commission.
This is at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

When planning a vacation to Scotland it’s handy to get your head around the time zones early on, especially when considering flights, jet lag and possibly even phoning home to family and friends.

What time is it in Scotland right now?

This is the current time in Scotland right now.

It doesn’t mattter whether you’re in Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Highlands, or Islands you’ll be on the same time.

smart phone showing Scotland is the same time as England
As you can see, Edinburgh is exactly the same time as London

Is Scotland the same time as England

Yes, the entire country of Scotland is on the same time as England and the rest of the United Kingdom.

As far north as the Shetland islands and as far west as the Outer Hebrides is all the same timezone as the city of Edinburgh in the east.

A funny story – when I first moved to England I heard some locals on the bus in front of me asking if Scotland was the same time zone as England! I was quite astounded, but I guess if you’d never thought about it before it’s a good question. Hence the reason I thought this quick guide would be good!

What timezone does Scotland use?

Scotland always stays on the same time zone as England which is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) also known as UTC. In the summer months, like England, Scotland adopts British Summer Time (BST) which is UTC+1

Does Scotland get dark at night?

Even on the shortest day of the year, the summer solstice around June 21, Scotland will still get dark at night.

The sun sets around 10 – 10.30pm in June, depending on where you are. The further North the later it sets. It then rises again around 4.30am, again varying depending on where exactly you’re located.

Why does it stay lighter longer in Scotland?

Scotland enjoys much longer nights and stays lighter longer than England through the summer months. This is due to the effect of the tilt of the Earth on its axis.

The further north you go in the world, or in the United Kingdom, more of the sun stays on you longer during the summer, as the earth tilts the northern hemisphere towards the sun. The opposite is true in the winter though which is why it gets darker earlier.

Late spring and summer months are great for visiting Scotland for this very reason – you’ll get so many hours of daylight to explore. In the autumn and winter you’ll need to bear in mind that it can be dark before you have your evening meal!

Does it get darker later in Scotland than England?

So with this in mind, does it get darker later in Scotland than in England? First of all it depends on the time of year that you’re asking about.

In the summer it gets darker later in Scotland than in England. At the summer solstice this can mean a difference in around 2 hours of daylight between Inverness in the Highlands and Truro in Cornwall.

Conversely, in the winter, Scotland gets darker earlier than England and the change takes place around the spring and autumn equinoxes. At the equinox time the sun sets at pretty much the same time in Scotland as in England.

Photo of author

Kirsty Bartholomew

Kirsty has been getting lost around the world for over 30 years and writing about it for 10 of those. She loves to help people explore her favourite places in Scotland, England and beyond. She cannot stay away from historical sites.

Leave a comment