With its dramatic castles, mountains, moors and coastlines Scotland is an adventurer’s dream. Whether it’s the rolling hills of the Borders, the natural beauty of the Highlands, the remote islands of the north, Scotland is a country that demands exploration. Away from the dramatic landscapes, vibrant cities, like Glasgow and Edinburgh, offer you the famous Fringe Festival, historic streets and cutting-edge contemporary culture.
Scotland is at its best in the summer, and this is the peak season for tourism. In July and August the weather is at its warmest, but average temperatures still hover around 70°F. During this time Edinburgh is packed to the rafters for the annual Fringe arts festival, the biggest in the world.
November to March is low season: the nights draw in and the temperatures plummet. Some tourist attractions close their doors but there are still reasons take advantage of cheap fares to Scotland. There is skiing in the Cairngorms and Glencoe and the New Year’s Hogmanay celebrations are hard to beat.
Spring and fall are often the best times to visit, with cheap fares and plenty to see and do. The countryside is a riot of color in the spring and the spectacular fall colors are at their most intense in September and October.
You have a choice of airports in Scotland and flights depart from many US cities. Use the ‘Nearby airports’ option, under your chosen departure and arrival airport when your search results are returned, to explore deals available – bearing in mind that Glasgow and Edinburgh are just 50 miles apart.
Another great way to bag a bargain is to be flexible on the dates you travel. Click in the ‘My dates are flexible’ tick box to find the cheapest flights to Scotland on different days.
You can filter and sort your results on the left-hand side of the results page by price or duration, explore only direct or connecting flights, filter by airline and airport, limit your results to refundable flights and look for flights at certain times of the day.
Optimal flight times from US cities to Scotland include:
Direct flights from the US arrive at two airports in Scotland: Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Located six miles west of the city center, Edinburgh Airport is the busiest in Scotland handling more than 13 million passengers a year. There are coaches into the city every few minutes and plenty of car hire companies.
Glasgow Airport is the second-busiest in Scotland, with 10 million passengers arriving and departing each year. Just 10 miles west of the city, buses run regularly into the city and to the main railway station. Car hire is also widely available.
US airlines flying to Scotland include:
Scotland has an excellent public transport system. The major cities have plenty of bus routes, Glasgow has a subway system and Edinburgh is served by trams. There are also train stations in all the major cities and there are some spectacular train journeys that will take you on a scenic journey through the countryside.
Buses also link most places, but there are some areas off the beaten track that you will need a car to get to. Hire cars are readily available in major cities and airports.
Ferries link the islands to the mainland, and there are plenty of internal flights available around Scotland.
Sitting atop Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle dominates the city skyline. The site has been occupied for nearly 2,000 years and parts of the castle complex date back to the 12th century. It plays a prominent role in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a key part of the Edinburgh Festival.
Loch Ness is home to Scotland’s most famous legend, the eponymous monster. Claims that the vast waterway is home to a prehistoric beast have never been proved, but nor have they ever been completely debunked.
Travel to Fort William and follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter by catching the Hogwarts Express, more prosaically known as the Jacobite steam train that chugs along to Mallaig. The journey, which includes the Glenfinnan viaduct which features in the films, is spectacular.
In the summer arm yourself with mosquito repellant as midges abound in coastal areas. Whenever you travel pack wet weather gear as Scotland is blessed by more than its fair share of rain and the conditions can change in an instant.