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Scotland Hills With Snow
January Scotland

Scotland in January

Hangover month, so how is Scotland in January? Maybe your New Year resolution is to visit Scotland, so strike while the iron is hot and pack your bags.

If you are looking for what to pack in your bag, your can look here

Extra holiday for Scotland in January

Scotland has an additional holiday on the 2nd of January. Folk need to get over the massive party for Hogmanay on the 31st of January

The party goes on well into the 1st day of the new year.

But unless you are coming to Scotland for winter activities such as visiting the ski slopes, it is better to stay in or near the city and bigger towns.

The main parts of Scotlands can be crowded in the summer months, full of festivals and games, and if you are not a fan of crowds, then the winter months are ideal for you.

All the city attractions are open, and you will feel no time pressure when you visit them

Edinburgh Castle will be a leisurely visit with all the summer crowds, and queues vanished like a Harry Potter Spell

If you have your kids with you, then you can not go far wrong with the Irn Bru Carnival at SEC Glasgow is the biggest indoor carnival in Europe

Glasgow is bursting at the seams with places worth visiting and many of them for free and uncrowded in the winter season

You could try the Kelvington Art Gallery and Museum, for example. It is the most popular free-to-enter visitor attraction in Scotland and the most visited museum in the United Kingdom outside London.

Kelvington Art Gallery
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Argyle Street, Glasgow 

Weather-wise, it will be colder on the east side than on the west, but the west always gets more rain and snow is cold enough. But at least there are no Midges to bother about

The islands of Orkney and Shetland, have milder weather and rarely get snow due to being out in the Atlantic Ocean with its warm water.

It’s a special time to visit the Northern islands but be prepared for wind, lots of wind. You might get stranded if the ferries and flights are suspended because of the wind. Plan to visit at the start or mid-trip.

Up Helly Aa

No, I did not just swear at you.

Up Helly ya (Up Holy Day) is a spectacular Shetland Viking festival that always takes place on the last Tuesday of January in Lerwick, but there are similar smaller versions all around the island throughout winter.

Burning Viking Ship
Every January on the last Tuesday – Lerwick, Shetland

It celebrates the islands Viking Past and is totally community-led.

The preparations, which are extensive and secretive, take all year and brings the communities together.

The festivals were not designed with tourists in mind, and getting accommodation and tickets to the various events can be difficult. Plan well in advance, several months or more

You can read more about the Lerwick based festival here, which is the website for Northlink ferries to get to the island.  There is plenty of footage on YouTube as well.

Try a spectacular train journey in the winter if you want to sit back in the warmth and watch the world go by and try and imagine how the highlands managed 300 years ago.

Train In Snow Covered Highlands
Perth to Inverness Train Journey – Scotland in January

Scotland in January means

Rabbie Burns Birthday

Robert Burns
Scotlands Baird

He was just 37 years when he died in 1796

The first ‘Burns Supper’ was held in July 1802, on the fifth anniversary of Rabbie’s death. Nine of his closest friends gathered to celebrate his life.

It was such a success that they met on 25 January the following year – his birth date. Little did they know that their tradition would become a global phenomenon.

He was a failed Farmer. He had got two women pregnant and decided to run away to the Caribian and sold some poems that he had written to pay the fare.

The poems went viral, and he stayed in Scotland and married a woman who looked the other way when he was unfaithful. He even bought home three children from other women for her to look after, and they were all named Elizabeth.

He ended up having 12 children by four different women, and he didn’t give a hoot.

His last child was born as he was being buried. He was a party animal and a hard-drinking man, and he died of rheumatic fever that he got after spending the night sleeping by the roadside as he was so drunk.

But the other side of him could not stop producing literary works, over 700 of them. Mind you, not all were declared masterpieces, and he certainly had a naughty side to his talents for writing and composing.

For a long time, some of his work was banned in the Uk and the USA. Until the mid-1960,s it was deemed ‘Too Dirty.’

The poem “Nine inch will please a lady” would be a good example

I will leave you to search for the poem and the translation – if you dare

He is also famous for “Address to a Haggis” which is recited at all formal Burns Night celebrations on the 25th of January

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties

There are many recorded renditions of ‘Address to a Haggis’. I like this one.

If you ever get the chance to go to an organised  “Burn Supper”, jump at it.   It’s an unwritten requirement  that every man and woman with Scottish blood should experience it at least once

And where better than in Scotland itself  and let’s see if you can please a lady after an evening of Haggis, Whisky and Auld Lang Syne

Enjoy January in Scotland – I do!

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