Featured Destination

May: The Best Time of Year to Visit Scotland?

If you’re keen to visit Scotland, whichever part of the year you choose you’ll see stunning landscapes, wilderness and wildlife. However if you’d like to maximise your time, and get the best from the weather, the breeding seasons of the seabirds, the wildflowers and the sunsets, as well as avoiding crowds (and the dreaded midgies!), then we suggest May is the best time to visit Scotland. This is especially true for a sailing holiday, as the days are long and light, and conditions for island hopping on the West Coast couldn’t be better!

Weather in May

May is one of Scotland’s driest and sunniest months, with significantly less rainfall that the peak summer season. This means you can enjoy bright and mild days (average daytime highs of 15°C) with a good sailing breeze.

An added bonus of May sailing in Scotland is the glorious light. Days are around 16 hours from dawn to dusk, with sunset falling, slow and golden, at around 9.30pm. Sitting on deck with a glass of something, having eaten a lovely dinner, basking in the glow… it’s pretty much the best way we know to end a day.

To find out more about the weather in May, visit the MetOffice website.

Wildlife Spotting

You may spot otters on one of those golden evenings (or hear their playful ‘peep’s). Dolphins too, can be seen year-round, but the calmer waters of late Spring make them easier to spot.

Migratory whales such as Minkes are arriving back in May, and the juveniles can be very inquisitive. Basking sharks also enjoy feeding in Scottish waters from late spring.

Don’t forget to watch the skies, too, as White Tailed Sea Eagles, the UK’s largest birds, are often on the hunt over the waters around Skye and Mull. May is also a fantastic time for spotting nesting seabirds all around the Hebrides. Puffins will be in full parenting mode at this time of year.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust has lots more information on what you could see if you visit Scotland in May.

Avoiding Midges

May is one of the best months for avoiding the dreaded midge, as they don’t like bright sunlight or dry weather. Even better is May on a a sailing boat, as the midges especially don’t like bright sunlight combined with a breeze.

A Riot of Wildflowers

In May, Scotland pops into colour. The land turns ever greener, anemones, sorrel, campion and bluebells (among many others) light up the landscape, and the sea pinks are starting to come out.

This all makes for stunningly beautiful shoreside jaunts and leg-stretches in the woods.

Far from the Madding Crowd…

Peak season for tourism in Scotland is June to August (why, when May is so beautiful, is a mystery to us, but let’s just hope they don’t all catch on). This makes travel planning easier and any shoreside adventures before or after your sailing break more enjoyable.

Take Me There!

Provident has some fantastic voyages from the West Coast of Scotland in May, exploring the Inner Hebrides from the stunning harbour of Oban. Owner-crew Morag and Steve know the area intimately, so you can be sure of seeing the best that this beautiful region has to offer. And at the most beautiful time of year!

Sail Provident 4th to 11th May Sail Provident 24th May to 1st June
Provident under full sail

Colourblind sailor and jumped-up cook

More Stories

sunset over the sea

25/03 Climate Change

Top Tips on making travel more eco-friendly

These top tips are from the book ‘Sustainable Travel’ by Holly Tuppen. It would be great if you could take these ideas into account

Read More

17/03 Announcing New Voyages

Introducing De Tukker – Cargo and crewing.

This is De Tukker’s inaugural season sailing cargo under the ownership of EcoClipper, and you can join them! With engine use kept to an

Read More

15/03 Climate Change

High Seas Treaty

Roughly two thirds of the worlds oceans are classed as the “High Seas” – areas of open water not governed by a single country.

Read More