Weather in Scotland in July

When July brings its mild warmth to Scotland, the country enjoys the peak of summer under predominantly sunny skies. The weather in Scotland in July is usually a charming combination of lengthened daylight hours, warm mornings, and even warmer afternoons with occasional rainfall that accentuates the rich greenery of the surroundings. This time is ideal for the adventurous, looking to walk through lush valleys and explore ancient stone cities drenched in the soft summer sun.

What is the weather like in Scotland in July?

July is the height of the summer season in Scotland, characterized by a combination of pleasant temperatures and varying amounts of rainfall from region to region. However, the local climate is known for its unpredictability, and sudden downpours are common, so you should be prepared for both rain and sunshine when traveling and planning outdoor activities.

Among other things, July in Scotland is a high tourist season, which is explained by favorable weather, an increase in daylight hours to 16-17 hours, as well as a busy schedule of cultural events and outdoor activities.

As for rainfall, the average amount in July depends on the area: cities receive moderate amounts of rainfall, around 80-83 mm, while coastal and island areas receive more, for example in Oban, around 153 mm. Despite this, the weather in Scotland in July is generally conducive to a wide range of outdoor activities, from hiking in the highlands to exploring historical sites and attending festivals.

Overall, July is a great time to visit Scotland: the weather is conducive to outdoor activities, the cultural scene is vibrant and the longer daylight hours enhance the experience. 

However, it is important to be prepared for sudden changes in the weather and plan accommodation and transportation in advance, as this is also the peak time for tourist activity.

Rough Guide tip: A trip to Scotland is an amazing adventure, so for the best travel experience, consult our travel experts.

 Edinburgh Castle © VisitScotland

Edinburgh Castle © VisitScotland

Temperatures in Scotland in July

In Scotland in July, average temperatures generally range from pleasant to moderately warm. Average high temperatures are 17-20°C (63-68°F), while average low temperatures at night can drop to 11-12°C (52-54°F). 

These temperatures can vary considerably between regions: for example, cities such as Edinburgh and Dundee have warmer climates, while the Shetland Islands and coastal areas are cooler and receive more rainfall.

This range of temperatures suggests that the weather in Scotland in July is generally not too hot, but rather comfortably warm, making it suitable for outdoor activities and exploration. 

By more southerly standards it can rarely be described as 'hot' and evenings can be quite cool, especially in the Highlands and coastal areas. With this in mind, it is not unreasonable to prepare for different weather conditions, as Scottish weather can be unpredictable.

Set on taking a trip this summer? Read up on the best places to visit in July.

Is July a good time to visit Scotland?

July is considered the prime time to visit Scotland due to the relatively warm and pleasant weather. From bustling cities to picturesque mountainous areas, the climate in this month is ideal for exploring nature. In addition, the increase in daylight hours to 16-17 hours allows you to enjoy all kinds of activities to the fullest.

However, the impact of weather on travel plans should be considered with a certain degree of flexibility. Although there are plenty of sunny days in July, the weather in Scotland is generally known for its unpredictability and heavy rain is possible. It is therefore worth taking waterproof clothing with you and making alternative arrangements for staying indoors.

It is also worth taking into account that due to favorable weather conditions, July falls on the high tourist season in Scotland, which lasts until August. This period sees the highest number of tourists, which can mean crowded attractions as well as a lively atmosphere and a busy calendar of events. Overall, if you're looking for a balance between good weather, long daylight hours, and cultural events, July is a great time to visit Scotland.

Can't decide on the season to travel? Explore our Scotland year-round weather guide.

Mountain biking near Dalbeattie, Scotland

Mountain biking near Dalbeattie, Scotland @ Paul Tomkins, VisitScotland

What about crowds and costs?

July, being part of Scotland's high tourist season which runs through August, is characterized by a significant tourist surge. This surge is driven by the appeal of warmer weather, longer daylight hours for sightseeing and outdoor activities, and a busy calendar of cultural events and festivals. As a result, popular destinations and attractions can be crowded, and accommodation and transportation costs tend to peak due to increased demand.

Despite the crowds and higher costs, visiting Scotland in July has its perks. The weather at this time is some of the best of the year for outdoor activities, from city walking tours to hiking in the Highlands. Longer days allow you to fit more activities into each day, and the lively atmosphere of summer festivals offers a unique cultural experience.

Compared to the quieter shoulder seasons of spring (April-May) and fall (September-October), when crowds thin out and prices drop, July offers a full range of summer experiences but requires advance planning to secure reservations and manage your budget effectively.

Festivals and events in Scotland in July

July in Scotland is full of festivals and events to suit all tastes. Highlights include the Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival, offering a wide range of performances across the city, and the Hebrides Celtic Festival, showcasing traditional and contemporary music in a vibrant atmosphere. 

Car enthusiasts should definitely check out the Scottish Car Show. Other notable events include the Stonehaven Folk Festival, which celebrates folk music, and TRNSMT in Glasgow, known for its lively music scene.

These events offer unique experiences, from live music and cultural celebrations to interactive activities and local traditions. However, due to the popularity of these festivals, it is recommended to book accommodation and tickets well in advance to guarantee availability.

Beautiful ruin of Melrose Abbey in Scotland

Beautiful ruin of Melrose Abbey in Scotland © Shutterstock

Ready for your dream trip to Scotland in July?

Depending on the weather in Scotland in July, make your dream trip a reality by selecting one of our tailor-made trip services. We simplify planning by providing Scottish itineraries created by local travel experts.

  • Scotland's Wildest Natural Scenery (11 days): Want to lose yourself in some of Scotland's wildest natural scenery? This itinerary is a breath of fresh air and the perfect place to explore the most enchanting landscapes of the Highlands. It will allow you to experience Scotland's wildest landscapes, its fast-paced history, and amazing traditions.
  • A true 'Outlander' Adventure (7 days): To all the Outlander lovers out there - you're in luck! Who would like to follow in the footsteps of Nurse Clare Beauchamp on her journey to Scotland in 1743? We've designed the perfect itinerary to explore some of the most charming corners featured in the series.
  • Walking around vintage England and picturesque Scotland (14 days): Visit two traditional capitals, London and Edinburgh, and enjoy a hike in Loch Lomond National Park. This trip allows you to discover the quiet Scottish islands on foot, as several days of detailed walking tours are included in the trip.
St Ninian's Isle, Shetland, Scotland

St Ninian's Isle, Shetland, Scotland © Shutterstock

Olga Sitnitsa

written by
Olga Sitnitsa

updated 29.04.2024

Online editor at Rough Guides, specialising in travel content. Passionate about creating compelling stories and inspiring others to explore the world.

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