What makes Scotland the perfect winter destination? The fact that the list of things to do in Scotland in the winter reads like the bucket list of a lifetime! From riding the iconic Harry Potter train to building your own ice hotel, Scotland is a winter wonderland playground. Check out our pick of the 7 top unique activities to do in Scotland in the winter and pack your bags for the adventure of a lifetime.
1. Go on a Winter Wildlife Excursion
As one of the top wildlife destinations in Europe, Scotland offers unbeatable winter wildlife experiences. Take your pick from reindeer spotting at the Cairngorm National Park to a nocturnal excursion to see bats, badgers and hedgehogs. If you are a seasoned adventurer you can even go on a five-day mountain hike to learn all about the local wildlife, such as the Mountain Hare and the Red Squirrel, and how to spot them.
2. Take on a Winter Snow Sport
Delight your inner adventurer this winter by taking on a new winter sport. From ice wall climbing to fat-biking across the snowy terrain, Scotland’s snowy landscape is the perfect playground for winter sport enthusiasts. If you are looking for something less extreme, why not go on a snow-shoe hike to explore the snowy forest trails?
3. Go on a Scenic Husky Ride
Ideal for animal lovers, this scenic husky ride is a day-long experience. Spend the morning chatting to the carers of the Siberian huskies to learn about the dogs’ special traits and history of their breed. After that, you will be given equipment in preparation for the excursion, before venturing to the great outdoors. The trail stops midway for a coffee break and to give you a chance to take in the stunning views. A great way to get to know the Scottish mountains and make some furry friends in the process!
4. Join a Snow Hole Expedition
What’s snow holing you ask? Snow holing is essentially next level camping, by which the whole group works together to create a snow hole to sleep in. Hike across the snowy Scottish mountains in the morning. And in the evening, work with your group to create a snow hole that will keep you sheltered during the night. Wake up to the blissful quietness of the remote Scottish mountains feeling accomplished for putting a “roof” over your head!
5 Warm-up with a Whisky Tour
What better way to beat the cold than with a fiery glass of whisky? Discover the secrets of Scottish whisky during a distillery excursion and learn to taste the difference between different kinds of whisky. Travel across the country with a dedicated guide, making stops at the country’s most renowned distilleries. Not only will you get to learn about the history of whisky and how it’s made, but you’ll also get to discover a different side of the Scottish countryside.
6. Ride the Harry Potter Train in the Snow
Did you know that the iconic Harry Potter train, featured in the movies, is actually in Scotland? Both the carriages and the exterior of the train in the movie are from the Jacobite Steam Train. During its 84-mile journey, the train passes by the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, which is now part of the iconic ride to Hogwart. You can catch the train near Ben Nevis mountain and travel to some of the country’s most beautiful towns and villages. If you’re catching the train in the winter there’s a good chance it will be snowing- so your experience will be even more magical.
7. Join the locals for a traditional Burns Supper
Burns night is a special Scottish holiday, on the 25th of January, which celebrates the birth of Robert Burn- Scotland’s national poet. The day is celebrated with a dedicated supper, held on the evening of the 25th, celebrating the poet’s work. The supper itself consists of traditional Scottish delicacies, including haggis, neeps, and whisky. During the course of the evening, locals will recite Burn’s works and share stories about his past. The evening is closed off with the singing of Auld Lang Syne, one of the poet’s most famous works. Trust us, if you are in Scotland on the 25th of January, this isn’t an experience you’ll want to miss!