Updated: Feb 17
What comes to your mind first, when you think of Scotland?
Perhaps, the vibrant colors of clan tartan or the crumbly sweet taste of shortbread? Maybe it’s the bittersweet flavours of whisky or the roaring sound of the waves of the North Sea…
Whatever it may be, ‘springtime in Scotland’ may not be the most obvious answer and there is a good chance that you wouldn’t know quite what to expect in this season from this country, famed for strong stone, wind and accent.
Let me give you a brief tour of the sights you might expect to see in these lands, where to find them and some might really surprise you!
Bring your camera along when you go exploring – some of these lovely things don’t stick around for very long, so be sure to catch them in their prime!
I’ve added the suggested months for when each of the items are in their prime, but from personal experience, this can vary wildly one year to the next – usually depending on the winter and weather in general. What a better excuse to keep popping back out exploring!
At the end of this blog, I’ve got a real sunny treat for you from half way around the world! Keep on reading to find out...
Snowdrops - you can't miss 'em! [February/March]
Perhaps, the first hint of spring's imminent arrival are the tender white snowdrops.
Scattered around the gardens, woods and most unexpected, yet obvious places around the entire country (pay special close attention to a flurry of Snowdrop Walks, held at various manors, estates and castles), there are many varieties to spy on your wanders.
House of Dun and Cambo Estate have been some of our favorite locations to enjoy snowdrops (and other early blooms) in the past few years!
Blossoms – Dawson Park, Dundee and woodlands near you [April/May]
Ahhhh, the cherry blossom.
What a lovely, romantic sight. And, living in the North East of Scotland, you don’t necessarily need to transport yourself to Kyoto to enjoy the fluffy pink blooms.
Have you heard of Dawson Park in Dundee? In springtime it absolutely comes to life with the cherry blossom trees lining a number of alleys and a giant, old cherry blossom ‘Ent’ sits close to one of the entryways.
The park itself is a lovely space to take your little ones, as it has a number of playgrounds and a vast field on its grounds and would be perfect for romantic walks, as the cherry blossom petals fall at a gust of wind.
If Dundee is a bit too far to go, you will find pink cherry blossom trees lining a number of roads and alleys around Aberdeen, Montrose and other smaller towns, but there are also ‘wild blossom’ tree that can be seen in many woods and parks of Aberdeenshire and Angus.
I find myself constantly eyeing up the beautifully decorated trees on my drives around the coast and even along A92!
Bluebells – woodlands of Aberdeenshire, Angus and Perth & Kinross [May/June]
First things first…
Should you go looking for this lovely, but delicate (!) flower, please tread carefully! Bluebell patches are abundant and generous and line the woodlands’ floor with their gorgeous, varied shades of blue, lilac and even hint of pink. Unfortunately, becoming quite an attraction for amateur and pro photographers alike, these striking locations are at risk of retreating.
Did you know that if a bluebell is trampled upon, it may not return? There are ways of taking photographs around the areas without disturbing the flowers:
Always use the paths around the flowersBe cautious of children and animals trampling (at my first encounter with the bluebells by the Balmakewan Farm, I literally lifted and placed my son into a bald patch behind the flowers and lifted him back out of it three seconds later – once I took the photo)
Don’t pick the flowers. Don’t mean to be a bah-humbug, but they look best (and last longest) when left untampered for the next person to admire – in their natural habitat
The Woodland Trust lists a number of woods embellished with the bluebell flower each spring, so see which one works best for you. Though, there are certainly a bunch of cheeky little patches in many woods near you!
Daffodils – fields in the shire [March/April]
Perhaps, one of the most spectacular sights of the shire in spring is the golden fields of daffodils.
A wholehearted ‘Thank You’ to the lovely farmers treating us to such a delectable sight – for a number of years we’ve had daffodils all around our house and it’s an incredible sight and experience – enjoying my morning coffee while staring into an infinity pool of daffies.
Did you know that there are over 13,000 distinct daffodil varieties? We’ve been seriously honoured to have a patch of the lovely ‘pink’ kind growing next to our home, though I must admit, I am no snob, they are all so beautiful and so appreciated.
If you live in the North East of Scotland, you will know that daffodil fields are no rarity, we are spoiled with them around here, but did you know that there is also a place where this spring you can pick some other spring flowers too?
NJ McWilliam – a farm based on the outskirts of Laurencekirk is welcoming visitors to their ever-so-popular last year ‘Pick Your Own’ flower field – to pick spring flowers!
Will I see you there?
Gorse – countryside and coast [April/into the summer months]
I used to question my mind, thinking that these spiky, but beautiful yellow flowers, covering the countryside in spring (and well into the summer!) smell of… coconut! But, having heard a few people agree with me, I invite you to find out for yourself.
Gorse is a spectacularly bright yellow bush, with spiky branches, but smelling oh-so-sweet (and on a warmer day you don’t even need to get too close, the aroma just hits you!)
Best colors to match with the deep shade of green and vibrant yellow of the gorse are lilacs, browns and blush pinks!
Tell me, do you smell the coconuts?
That does it, my list of top colourful sights and experiences to enjoy in Scotland this spring – bring your camera!
And, if you’ve got things that you could add to my list, what would they be?
and now for that treat I promised - I have joined forces with some incredible photographers again this month and delighted to introduce Lindsay - Austin Family Photographer - to you! Check out her blog for one of the fun-best idea for a shoot I ever did see! Did someone say ‘turquoise bus’? 🤩
Chtefan. Photography is a family lifestyle portrait and commercial business photographer based in Laurencekirk, Aberdeen - Scotland.
I specialise in beautiful, natural photography of children, families and professional portraits, personal branding and headshots.
Chtefan. Photography covers the following areas: Montrose, Inverbervie, Arbroath, Ellon, Westhill, Banchory, greater Aberdeenshire and Angus regions and would be delighted to travel on both national and international assignments.