Best Time to Visit Scotland to Avoid Midges and Enjoy the Fullest

Best Time to Visit Scotland to Avoid Midges featured image

Scotland is a dream destination for travel enthusiasts, but the midge problems keep them from experiencing the true beauty of the country.

If you are searching for the best time and places to visit Scotland and still escape midge bite, this article is for you. So let’s start!

Midges – The Tiny Flying Insects

You must know the ins and outs of midges to plan your Scotland trip more wisely. That tiny creature can cause big trouble if you are unprepared to tackle it.

Midges are small biting insects specifically prevalent in the Scottish Highlands (also present in other parts of the country).

These pinhead-sized flies are known for their painful bites and can be a nuisance for people visiting Scotland during the summer months. You can get bad itching and rash if your body is sensitive to allergies.

Another disturbing fact about midges is their swarming behaviour. They are known to fly in large groups and swarm around people, making it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities.

Midges Tiny Flying Insects

Areas Where Midges Are Real Trouble

Not all the areas of Scotland are under midges attack, all the time. However, some places have a higher ratio of these insects than others. Biting midges can be very problematic if you are a traveller.

Following are some areas that are indeed the home of these flying insects. We suggest you avoid them in high breeding seasons for a good trip.

·       Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands

Highlands are the best places to experience the scenic beauty of Scotland, but the highland midge will be your biggest hurdle. The East coast near Inverness can be visited even in peak midge seasons.

·       The West Coast

The West Coast

Bad news for beach and sea lovers! All the west coast is affected by midge swarms from north to Galloway and Dumfries.

·       Scottish Islands

Scottish Islands

Beaches, rivers, and waterbodies are the breeding grounds of Scottish midges, and The Isle of Rum has the highest midges’ number explicitly.

What Is The Peak Season For Scottish Midges?

As you have read about the high-midge areas, you should consider the peak seasons of these insects before planning your trip. Summer months are known as a high season for midges.

The peak season generally falls between June and September when millions of highland midges swarm in areas with high humidity, such as boggy areas, forests, and the coasts.

You might experience midge bite and related allergies if you visit Scotland in the high midge season.

If you wish to spend your summer holidays in Scotland, particularly on beaches or islands, you must take precautions to prevent midge bites.

Peak Season For Scottish Midges

Escape the Midges – Visit Scotland at the Right Time

Are you wondering, “what’s the best time to visit Scotland to avoid midges?” As we have discussed, visiting Scottish landscapes during midge season can be a challenging experience as it reaches its peak during the summertime.

However, chilly weather is your best weapon against midges.

Although the summer months provide long days and pleasant weather to enjoy on beaches, a midge-free trip can be experienced from late September to April or early May.

Escape the Midges

Cold conditions call for the dormancy period of the Scottish midges, and visitors can enjoy all the colours of nature and landscape beauty in Scotland.

Also, there are fewer visitors and reduced accommodation costs throughout the cold season. You can enjoy the full bloom of spring in March and April to make your tour memorable.

The vibrant oranges and yellow leaves, crisp air, and captivating scents of early autumn attract tourists from around the globe.

Midges-Free Areas to Explore In Scotland

Midges-Free Areas to Explore

You can ditch the insect bites by travelling to those areas which are midge free. Here are some places in Scotland where you can completely avoid midges:

1.  Museums

Museums in Scotland offer a fascinating insight into the rich history and culture of the country.

The National Museum of Scotland is famous worldwide for covering natural history, science, and technology from prehistoric to contemporary times. 

Another masterpiece is the Highland Folk Museum, which is 300 years old. This open-air site represents the beauty of the Scottish Highlands.

Others include art galleries and historical museums that are the true picture of the dense culture and Scottish history.

2.  Castles

Castles In Scotland

You will find some magnificent castles in Scotland and more exciting is that you can stay in their great historical rooms as well. At one point in its history, Scotland was the home of more than 3000 castles.

Edinburgh Castle, the iconic 1000 years old symbol of Scottish pride, Stirling Castle, Eilean Donan Castle, and Dunnottar Castle are some of the renowned and picturesque heritage places to visit in Scotland.

3.  Distilleries

Distilleries In Scotland

If you visit Scotland and want a full experience of traditions and culture without worrying about Scottish weather and midges, try to explore some traditional distilleries.

You can book special tours to know the history and rituals of these sites. Some famous tours include Tomatin, Glenfarclas, Glenlivet, etc.

You can visit Speyside Cooperage, where traditional coopers work to make and refurbish the casks.

4.  Cairngorms National Park

Cairngorms National Park

It is one of the most popular spots in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. The largest national park in the UK is spread over an area of about 4500 and is home to diverse flora and fauna.

Although the forest woods can shelter some midges, the number is manageable even in high seasons. Just take some extra precautions, and you are good to go in Cairngorms National Park.

Other Ways to Avoid Scottish Midges During Your Travel

Other Ways to Avoid Scottish Midges

You can travel to Scotland in the summers, enjoy festivals and landscapes, and avoid midges. Adopt the following ways.

  • Avoid Going Out At Dawn And Dusk: You can prevent biting insects and male midges by adjusting your timings for outdoor places. In early autumn, you should refrain from exploring the highlands at sunrise and sunset.

    It’s essential to take precautions such as wearing protective clothing and others if you have to go out during these times. Otherwise, set your trip schedule in the daytime only.
  • Use Midge Repellent: The next option for a trouble-free vacation is incest repellents. The local suggests and use the moisturizer called Avon skin midge repellent.

    It is easily available in all shops in Scotland, or you can buy it online and save yourself from creepy flying midges. In case of being bitten, use anti-inflammatory medicines or consult a nearby doctor.

Bottom Line

Now that we have explained the best time to visit Scotland to avoid midges plan your trip right away. It's your time to enjoy the picturesque beauty of the country and delve into the cultural heritage.


Are Midge Traps Useful During Travelling?

When exploring the west coast, midge traps can be effective in these areas. You should pair these insect traps with midge repellents to protect against bites and allergies completely.

What Is The Best Weather In Scotland For Tourists?

Scotland is the home of breathtaking scenery, amazing landscapes, and natural sites. The best season to visit Scotland is spring and early autumn.

The summer months of June to August, with mild temperatures and long days, are also exemplary. However, you need to take additional precautionary measures to avoid midges.

How Does A Midge Forecast Help Travellers In Scotland?

These forecasts help tourists to plan their trips and outdoor activities and take necessary measures to avoid midge bites.

They provide information on midges activity levels in specific areas and the peak seasons of these flying insects.

Hermillis Haden
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