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Read all about December in the Highlands

Winter In Scotland’s Highlands

Scottish winter breaks in the Highlands can take you to magical wonderlands, giving you experiences you will never forget. December winter breaks in Scotland in and around Inverness might be chilly outside, but you are sure to receive a very warm welcome from the resident Scots.

A Scottish Highlands winter means shorter days, giving you much more time to spend curled up next to a log fire. Or to enjoy starry sky’s in search of the Scottish northern lights. If you want to get out, why not join us in one of our friendly pubs for a quiz, sing along or just great Scots banter? Or perhaps you’d like to get in some Christmas shopping, or see in the new year in our beautiful city? However you choose, you’ll have a fantastic time!

Snow Capped Mountains & Misty Glens

From snow-capped mountains to the misty glens, the Highlands in December can be an emotive place to spend time. Of course, there will probably be a bit of rain, but that’s no reason to put off seeing our stunning glens and wildlife. Be sure to wrap up warm and watertight though – average temperatures range from 5°C to -1°C, and precipitation is very likely. But on things for sure, December Winter Breaks Scotland are magical!

A December Highland Winter

Loch Ness is famous for its whisky. So where better to warm up than with a visit to a distillery? There’s plenty to choose from. One of our favourites is the Glen Ord Distillery, open in winter until 4 pm. But whisky isn’t all the highlands are famous for. Read on for some ideas for you’re December winter breaks in Scotland.

Eagle Brae Highland Log Cabin wilderness resort in winter in the snow

Cosy Winter Holidays

Firstly, we have some of the most magical places to stay, here in the Highlands. From Eagle Brae’s wilderness log cabin resort, where you can snuggle by log fires hidden in up in the glens. All whilst watching wild deer roam around your cabin! Or Foyers Lodge, on the wild South banks of Loch Ness. Here you can sit by the open fire with a dram and a good book in a stunning historic Scots building. Or perhaps you’d choose to live like gentry in a country house hotel. Whatever your style, whatever your needs, we have the perfect accommodation for you. Whatsmore, it’s only an hours drive from Inverness to the furthest tip of Loch Ness, at Fort Augustus. So don’t worry about getting there. Simply pick the perfect location for you.

Scottish men standing in kilts by an open fire

Christmas in Inverness

Winter in the Highlands of Scotland is far from bleak. Inverness comes alive with festivities designed to get you into a festive mood! If travelling with kids, why not book a Christmas party with Santa? Each year, the Kingsmill Hotel holds Christmas Afternoon Teas and Christmas parties with Santa. The city also hosts plenty of Christmas parties, discos and dining, full of festive spirit. Or you can enjoy our Winter Wonderlands, bursting to the brim with Christmas fun, complete with Santa and his reindeer! And at Eden Court Theatre you can pop along for some panto fun. A fun day out for all! Oh yes, it is! Travelling without kids? You’d be surprised how many of our attractions and activities are open in December. Plus we have wonderful shopping for Scottish Christmas gifts.

The River Ness with lights reflecting on the water at night in winter

Christmas Shopping

In Inverness city, you will enjoy all the expected high street brands in our Eastgate shopping centre. Whilst on the high street and in our Victorian market you will find some hidden gems. But head further afield on a day trip around Loch Ness for some wonderful finds. Here you are sure to pick up some special Christmas presents in some fabulous Scottish country shops. The newly opened An Talla in Drumnadrochit hosts high-end Scottish delights and handcrafted specialities. Whilst, further along in Beauly you will find Campbell’s tweeds, cashmere and Scottish country wear. Here you may rub shoulders with Royalty and some of Lonon’s elite. All around Loch Ness you can enjoy gift shops and boutiques. From Fort Augustus to Loch Ness Shores. To Cameron’s Tea Room to Loch Ness Spirits. You will be truly spoilt for special Christmas gifts.

Visit Britain Picture of an Inverness restaurant overlooking the River Ness at night in the winter

Where To Eat

December Breaks in the Scottish Highlands are delicious! Inverness enjoys your expected city restaurants, cafes and some wonderful Scottish inns. But, if you are looking for something a little different; high-quality Scottish food that is both local and delicious, then the Highlands has this too. Enjoy a view over Inverness from the Contrast, or the Kitchen Brasserie which has a terrace, heated in winter. The Rocpool Reserve is another highly rated fine dining restaurant in Inverness, open year-round. It offers you a taste of modern Scottish gourmet cuisine set in a Georgian mansion. Whatever your taste, you are spoiled for choice with places to eat here in the Highlands. You can take a look at some of our favourites here.

Scotland New Year’s Eve

Scotland is famous for many things, including whisky, golf and scenery. But one of the things people love about us is our hospitality. We love for a good party, and New Year is one of those times! In Scotland, New Year’s Eve is called Hogmanay, and it’s a time when we look forward to the year ahead with family, friends and those around us. Celebrating Hogmanay in the Highlands will be a time you will never forget!

Here’s a top tip: in Scotland, we like to sing Auld Lang Syne after the bells ring. It’s a poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and later put to music. Popular now in countries across the world. You can find the words here – as well as an explanation of what, exactly, you are singing!

We also enjoy a spot of dancing, and a trip to the Highlands at Hogmanay wouldn’t be complete without learning how to ceilidh! Pronounced ‘kaylay’, this is when the fiddles and drums come out and we join together on the dancefloor to swing out to the Strip the Willow or Dashing White Sergeant. Don’t worry, we will help you along, and there is usually someone who shouts out what you need to do next. Popular events include “Bogmanay” and Bogbain Farm. This is a wonderful night for beginners, who are always made most welcome!

Finding the right Scottish Hogmanay packages is simple. Most of our accommodation providers in the area offer seasonal breaks. And you can find our favourite hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses here. Places to stay range from large hotels to cosy lodges, and from grand estates to comfy canal boats. There’s something for everyone in the Highlands this December.

December winter breaks in Scotland

Bring the whole family to the Scottish Highlands this winter to enjoy a season of fun, festivities and fine food. Scottish winter breaks in the Highlands hold something for everyone, so take a deep breath and jump on in this Christmas and Hogmanay.


Explore our Winter blogs

Explore our ready-made itineraries for day trips already planned for you. Or pick from our Winter guides below to find out what’s on and what’s not to be missed on your perfect Winter Holidays in Scotland’s Highlands.

An Autumnal view over a loch with hills in the background in the Highlands Autumn Colours Are Alive In October FIND OUT MORE A Man in the distance running the peaks and troughs of the mountains on the South Loch Ness Trail Magical Winter Breaks In November FIND OUT MORE Inverness at Night Overlooking The River Ness in Winter December Is Full Of Festive Fun FIND OUT MORE Eagle Brae Self Cartering Log Cabins in Scotlands Highlands, Northern Lights in winter January Winter Wonderland FIND OUT MORE Mountain Bikes and Northern Lights at EAgle Brae Self Catering Loch Ness February Romantic Highland Getaways FIND OUT MORE A holiday boat sailing down Loch Ness in Spring Springtime Awakens In March FIND OUT MORE Arieal view of Fort George and the Morray Firth in the Spring sunshine Discover Our Destination In April FIND OUT MORE Bike parked in a passing place at Loch Tarff on the South Loch Ness Trail Breath Taking Adventures In May FIND OUT MORE Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness in Summer with a boat cruising up Loch Ness Endless Daylight To Explore In June FIND OUT MORE A Visit Britain photo of two people Water Zorbing on Loch Ness on a beautiful Summers Day July Memory Making Experiences FIND OUT MORE The spectacular Inverness Castle and River Ness in Summer August Adventures, Activities & Attractions FIND OUT MORE Couple canoeing through the mist on the caledonian canal on Loch Ness Spend Quality Time In September FIND OUT MORE