Scotland in June: is early summer a good time to visit?

Early summer is one of the most popular times of year to visit Scotland and June sees the country welcome in lots of visitors, especially from overseas. The warmer weather and relatively quiet locations rightly tempt so many to make Scotland their summer vacation destination!

Scotland in June is getting warmer but with it being Scotland it can still be variable to say the least! The days are extremely long which makes it an ideal time to come and visit as you can have so many hours of light to explore.

Things to do and events are plentiful in June including the iconic Highland Games which happen all over the country. You’ll definitely not be short of ideas.

Read on if you’re planning an early summer trip to Scotland and it includes the month of June because this post is exactly for you! We’ll be looking at the weather, what to do, and any festivals happening in the month of June.

A note from the writer: Hey! I’m Kirsty and I’m a UK travel expert – while I grew up in Scotland, as an adult I now return to visit almost every year – there’s so much to see! Shout (or comment below) if you have any questions about your next trip and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Booking in advance – is it recommended in June?

Yes – definitely! While we’re still not in the very busy months of July and August, June is still a very popular time and hotels do book up. The local British schools aren’t on break this month so that makes it quieter than the rest of the summer.

The weather starting to warm up and nights being at their longest means visiting Scotland in June is in demand and so if you can I recommend booking in advance.

Accommodation is always worth booking as far in advance as possible for trips in June and this goes for whether you’re traveling for a city or a countryside break. Check (best for hotels and also has some apartments/cottages) and also VRBO (similar to Airbnb).

If you have any activities or tours you wish to do then it’s also advisable to get these booked. Many could sell out in the busy weekends of June.

If you’re worried about the weather, providers such as Viator and Get your Guide offer good cancellation policies (although do check the fine print).

Scotland in June
Visiting in June gives you so many hours in the day to explore the wonderful scenery

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Is Scotland worth visiting in June?

While Scotland is worth it at any time of the year I definitely would recommend visiting in June for a variety of reasons.

It’s summer, but the crowds haven’t arrived yet. The schools haven’t yet broken up for the summer break and so, with the exception of weekends, you can enjoy some of the sights with good weather and peace (hopefully!)

All attractions through the country will be open and running now and some, like Scotland’s Harry Potter train, add more options in to accommodate the extra volume of visitors.

June sees the summer solstice and since Scotland is so far north it really enjoys the days lengthening. Evenings stay lighter for longer and this makes wandering and walking in the outdoors a lot easier!

The weather in Scotland can always be tricky even in June. Definitely expect it to still be warming up but bank on some days of rain which can make the temperatures drop. The day to day temperatures will vary depending on where you are in Scotland but as a guide expect highs of around 15-17°C (59-63°F).

Scotland weather in June

As I just mentioned, Scotland in the month of June is getting warmer but if you have any wet days it can bring on fairly cool temperatures. As always, you will want to be prepared for the wet days – they can and do happen even in summer!

June, being in the summer months, has a great chance of having warm, clear days. But, with it being Scotland you also have a chance of grey, wet days too! All different possibilities of weather happen in Scotland – sometimes all in one day!

Where you are based in Scotland can also dictate the weather you’ll experience. Sometimes if you travel from one side of the country to the other, or from North to South, you can experience different weather. If you’re flexible in what you’re doing in Scotland you could go where the weather is best!

Sunset and sunrise times

The summer days in June are the longest you’ll get all year which is so much better for exploring in Scotland. You’ll be able to enjoy light well into the evenings after your meal time – perhaps it will still be light when you’re trying to sleep! Depends on how early to bed you are…

As we move towards the summer equinox, the further north you go in Scotland the longer the days get. After June 21st it will reverse and the days will get steadily shorter again.

June 1st4.35 am/ 9.46 pm4.28 am/ 10.01 pm
June 15th4.26 am/ 10.00 pm4.18 am/ 10.16 pm
June 31st4.30 am/ 10.01 pm4.22 am/ 10.18 pm

What to pack for Scotland in June

With the weather still having potential for rain and changeable you’ll want to be prepared for a trip to Scotland in June.

  • A lightweight jacket is worth packing if you are planning hiking, even in early summer. I’d probably go for a lightweight packable one to keep weight down and not be too warm.
  • A waterproof layer is always essential for the wet days and should hopefully keep you warm enough when exploring cities as well. Go for something lightweight for the summer months.
  • a refillable water bottle is a must to have with you when sightseeing to keep you hydrated.
  • binoculars are an essential if you’re exploring the countryside or islands so you can spot some Scottish wildlife
  • Skin so soft – midges can be an issue in June if you’re in the midge prone areas. Sounds weird but locals swear by it! (check this post if you want to avoid midges on your Scotland trip)

Festivals and events in June

Public holidays in June

June doesn’t have any public holidays in Scotland which is one reason it’s a quieter month.

Sometimes the very beginning of the month will be busy as schools are off the last week in May and it can roll over into the first days of the month. This is the case in 2023:

  • 29th May 2023 – Spring Bank Holiday – often accompanied by the following week off at schools

BVAC Classic – Festival of Motoring

18th June 2023

The BVAC Classic – Festival of Motoring is one of the UK’s largest and most exciting car events, held annually at Thirlestane Castle in the Scottish Borders.

The festival attracts car enthusiasts from all over the world, with a diverse range of vehicles on display, from vintage and classic cars to modern supercars. You can admire the cars up close, watch them in action on the track, and even take a spin in a vintage vehicle themselves.

Anstruther Fishing Village
Fishing village of Anstruther in Fife

Anstruther Harbour Festival

2nd – 4h June 2023

The Anstruther Harbour Festival is a charming seaside event held annually in Fife in the picturesque fishing village. The festival celebrates the village’s rich fishing heritage, with seafood stalls, live music, and a boat muster.

Edinburgh Whisky Festival

17th June 2023

The Edinburgh Whisky Festival is a celebration of Scotland’s national drink, held at the Assembly Rooms in the heart of the city.

You can sample whiskies from all over Scotland and beyond, with expert guidance on hand to help you discover new favourites. While learning about the distilling process and the history of this iconic drink you can also enjoy live music and delicious food.

Royal Highland Show

22nd – 25th June 2023

The Royal Highland Show is Scotland’s premier agricultural event, held annually in June at Ingliston in Edinburgh (easy to get to via tram from the centre). Visitors can experience the best of Scottish farming, with livestock shows, food and drink exhibits, and a bustling marketplace. It’s a fantastic day out for all the family, with loads to see and do.

Things to do in Scotland in June

Here are just a few ideas of things to do if you’re visiting Scotland in the month of June. Obviously not an exhaustive list but should get you started!

Head north

With days getting longer the more you head north why not really take advantage of that by heading towards the islands in the far North of Scotland.

Orkney is the group of islands closest to the mainland and has a lot of ancient sites to discover as well as some more recent WW2 history too.

Shetland is even further north and is where to go if you love a bit of solitude!

Both have amazing wildlife both on land and in the surrounding seas – it attracts no end of nature lovers!

You can arrive at both by plane – each one has its own airport – or you can get boats from places like John o’Groats (for Orkney) or Aberdeen.

standing stones at clava cairns
The Stone Circle at Clava Cairns near Inverness

Visit an ancient stone circle

With the summer solstice happening in June it’s a perfect time to explore some of the Scotland’s ancient sites including many of the stone circles.

Often they have been built to make use of the sun at the solstices or equinoxes – or at least that’s what experts tend to think! Who really knows!

They can be a wonderful place to take in the amazing Scottish nature though and celebrate the longest day.

Ben nevis near Fort William in Scotland
Is climbing Ben Nevis on your list of things to do in Scotland?

Climb Ben Nevis

Scotland’s highest peak is Ben Nevis which is situated near Fort William. June makes an excellent time to attempt the climb to the top if your fitness allows (mine sadly doesn’t at the moment!)

With long days you can start really early and get back in plenty of time to relax! Don’t forget to enjoy the town too – did you know you can get the Harry Potter train from there?

Not quite ready to tackle Ben Nevis? There are loads of other places that you can hike in Scotland – why not try Arthur’s Seat which will give you amazing views over Edinburgh?

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🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Scotland Travel FAQ 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Do I need insurance for traveling to Scotland?

YES! I always recommend people take travel insurance when exploring the world!

Check Travel Insurance Master for quote comparisons from different providers.

Do I need a car for visiting Scotland?

YES – If you’re wanting to explore Scotland fully then a car is worthwhile. It will get you to all the best sights and on your own timetable

I recommend DiscoverCars to compare car rental prices in Scotland

How to book accommodation in Scotland?

For hotels I recommend

For apartments and cottages check out VRBO

Will my phone work in Scotland?

Perhaps – it depends if you have roaming enabled and beware this can be an expensive way to use your phone.

If you need a SIM for use in Scotland I recommend GiffGaff which you can get and set up before traveling.

What to pack for Scotland

Keep yourself dry be prepared for any weather is my motto for Scotland! A rain jacket and comfy shoes are a must.

See my post about what to pack for Scotland

Do I need midge spray for Scotland?

YES – if you’re traveling in the summer months to any of the west coast, highlands, islands or lochs it’s recommended.

Locals swear by Avon’s Skin So Soft!

If you’re sticking to the cities or traveling in winter, early spring or late fall then you likely won’t need it.

What’s the best guidebook for Scotland?

I really like the Lonely Planet Guidebooks

Where to get flights for Scotland

Skyscanner is my first port of call for finding cheap flights to Scotland.

Do I need a visa for Scotland?

Many countries don’t need a visa for visiting Scotland as tourists (USA, Canada, Aus, NZ and Europe) – it’s always best to check first though.

Photo of author

Kirsty Bartholomew

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

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