Spring is in the air, or just around the corner, and it’s perhaps one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets that it’s actually the best time of year to visit.
And Moray in particular has a springtime beauty that is hard to find anywhere else in Scotland. People don’t call it the ‘Riviera of Scotland’ for nothing.
There are literally miles of sandy beaches, recognised as amongst the best in the world, and they are deserted. The sands are clean and almost white in many cases, but whether you’re going for a stroll, walking your dog, or just soaking up the sun, it’s a really special place.
Spring is known for the emergence of new life, both in plants and animals. But also, this area has a very special quality about it in the months of April and May.
There’s a crispness in the air, clear skies that are a vivid blue from one horizon to the other. Of course, there is always a chance of April showers, but that just makes the colours pop and you’re suddenly surrounded with a verdant and vibrant landscape.
Temperatures start to increase in March and by April, you can have a fair run of balmy days that could put summer to shame.
Technically the high season months of June and July, are slightly warmer, but they’re not the driest. You’ll almost certainly get less rain in April and May than June, July or August.
We’ve had customers stay in Spring who have enjoyed the nicest weather of the year. And once they’ve sampled it, they come back year after year.
A Visit Scotland blogger wrote: “When spring rolls into Scotland, the season beats the winter blues and brings something magical to our lives. Green spaces are suddenly blazing with colourful flowers and trees in bloom, the hills and mountains look stunningly beautiful and sounds of wildlife start to fill the air again. Close your eyes and you can almost smell the fresh spring air…”
Read the whole article and see some of the pictures: Stunning photos which prove that Scotland is staggeringly beautiful in Spring
By April, temperatures are starting to rise, but it’s the clear still air that makes Spring so gorgeous. The cold bite of winter has gone. New life is bursting through and, this is the best bit. It’s actually quiet. Coming north at this time of year means quite often, you’ll have the place to yourself.
Our cabins are spaced comfortably apart, but even out on the beaches, the roads and the hills are not packed with people at this time of year, that’s why it’s one our best-kept secrets.
It’s also cheaper to stay, which is an added bonus!
Picture postcard scenes
Snow on the high mountains of the Highlands and the Cairngorms adds a touch of beauty too. Photographers will be grateful for the lack of haze, which often spoils many summer-time photos.
Kids love seeing the playful new-born lambs leaping into the air like acrobats, but let’s face it, the adults love them too. Cars are often queued up on the roadside to get pictures of the fluffy white creatures.
The hairy Highland cows are a big attraction as well. They’re gorgeous and they know it. They’ll even come right up the fence for you get a selfie for your Instagram. But watch those horns!
But for the wildlife enthusiast, there’s a lot more to see if you dig deeper. Moray is a haven for birds, particularly birds of prey such as Golden Eagle, Osprey and Buzzard. We’ve got the RSPB Osprey centre not too far away. They arrive back from Africa in late March and April, so it’s the perfect time to see them settle down in their native land.
This ‘Riviera of Scotland’ is also known as the Laich o’ Moray, an area of low-lying land that stretches from Fochabers in the east to Brodie in the west.
It’s a coastal plain that provides wonderful views from the higher hills and mountains that skirt it. How lucky we are to have such a mix of terrain in one small county. But take a look at the weather forecast, there’s a high chance that winds, rain and cloud seem to skip our area. It’s not the Caribbean all the time, but it does seem to get favoured by the weather gods!
Opening for business
Spring-time is also when any of the businesses that close for the winter start to open their doors. It’s becoming more popular to stay open all year round, but there’s something very fresh about visiting locals as they embark on a new season. They’re full of the joys of Spring themselves and meeting visitors is what makes them tick.
Easter or just before is when any seasonal businesses open up, and of course it’s a great opportunity to put on family activities. Egg hunts are a favourite, and you don’t have to have children to enjoy a treasure hunt!
Whisky tasting is a popular activity for the grown-ups and with more distilleries in this part of the world than any other, you’ll be an expert by the time you’ve visited them all. But tasting it is only part of the fun. Not far away from here you can watch the traditional craft of barrel-making at Speyside Cooperage.
Saving the best till last, April is midge-free. Can you believe it? Now that is a secret to keep to yourself, because once people latch onto this, April will be the new ‘high season’.
It’s just not their time of year, it’s as simple as that. They start hatching in May, and they start to drop off in September. It’s maybe why the air is so clear in Spring!
So that’s Spring all summed up and what’s not to like? It really is the best time of year to come to Scotland, and Moray has that extra advantage of having its own micro-climate, but just remember, it’s a secret, we don’t want everyone to know.