Winter on the West Coast

Although our tours only operate from April to September, spending the festive season on Scotland’s western isles is still one of the best ways to take some time off this winter.

From the variety of festivals, changes in wildlife and beautiful scenery, travelling west over winter can be a memorable experience for any first timer.

Winter on the West Coast

At Oban’s Winter Festival, which takes place between the 20th and 29th of November 2015, attendees are treated to a variety of markets, parades, ceilidhs, live music, art exhibitions and much more.

If festivals aren’t quite your thing, the drop in climate brings remarkable changes to the islands’ wildlife over winter which can make for spectacular viewing. During winter, the changes in temperature from the Gulf streams allow the islands otters to benefit from the warmer waters and begin their breeding season, providing visitors with a rare, seasonal experience. Ptarmigan and hares can be spotted on the mountains sporting their winter coats which help them to cope with the frosty weather, whilst red deer are also frequently visible at this time of year, providing visitors with excellent opportunities to see and photograph rare wildlife.

Whilst the West Coast of Scotland generally does not get as much snow as other parts of the country, Ben More, the islands’ highest mountain is often covered in snow from October to April, which can make for spectacular viewing and photography.

For photographers, this is the perfect time to capture photos of the west coast due to changes in light and contrasting colours, which can really help to make the most of the West Coast’s beautiful locations. This time of year could also provide for the perfect retreat or walking holiday for those looking to avoid the hectic bustle of the city Christmas shoppers.

Whilst transport links over winter to the Hebridean islands are on a reduced service due to weather and various other factors, there are organisations who run a less frequent service out to Mull, Iona and other western islands, providing tourists with the perfect opportunity for a unique winter vacation.

If you already have your holiday booked for this winter, why not take a look at the tours we have on offer from April – September!

[lead image courtesy of Michel amateur photography]