The March heat wave sweeping the UK has given Scotland its hottest Spring day since 1965. Reaching 23.6C in Aboyne on the 28th, the heat wave has lasted three days so far and is set to continue. Beach goers flocked to the Scottish coast yesterday and the parks and gardens of Glasgow, St Andrews and throughout Fife. Spring holiday makers have received a pleasant surprise over the past week as Scotland wide is revelling in the sunshine as though it were the peak of summer. Holiday makers are taking advantage of the many hotels in Scotland and enjoying the famous scenery.
Scotland has hit the headlines several times in March for its good weather, contrary to a common belief on the continent that the weather there, and across most of the UK, is cold and unaccommodating either side of summer. In fact, Scotland has been warmer than Majorca, Barcelona and Nice this week. Many Scottish holiday makers who travelled to Europe in search of the sun have actually experienced colder climates than they would have done in their own back garden. In a strange turn of events, Scotland was thus one of the hottest places to be on holiday in Europe.
With the Easter holidays just around the corner, it is hoped that the good weather will continue as many English families head to Scotland for their Easter break instead of forking-out for a foreign trip.
At the same time, Scotland, along with the rest of Europe, has seen a drop in hotel room prices. The change comes as the economy struggles to recover after the recent recession, and reflects the fact that people are more reluctant to make big spends on foreign holidays.
The drop in prices, though, could see more people booking last minute summer breaks, and Scotland could see an influx of tourists this summer as people look for fun and adventure closer to home. Scotland has an enduring reputation as the best place to go in the UK for adventure and activity holidays, with sports such as mountain biking and kayaking perfectly suited to the Highlands and lochs.
World class golf, particularly in St Andrews, also lures tourists looking for a luxury break, with opulent 5 star hotels priding themselves on tradition and heritage that is exclusively Scottish. Live performances have also become an important factor in the Scottish tourist industry, with Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival, the largest arts festival in the world, attracting more and more visitors every summer.
So, Scottish hoteliers and outdoor adventure centres will be hoping to see the unusually hot weather continue over Easter, and into the summer. With so many reasons to spend a UK break in Scotland, it will be interesting to see how its tourist receipts and international visitors increase this year.