For those who have never ventured to the islands in winter, the weather will most likely surprise you, with both wild stormy days and tranquil frosty ones equally likely. Inspirationally low sunlight days are perfect for the artistic minded where high and lowlight add drama to the picturescape.
If wild storms hasten across the horizon and the ultramarine skies drags sheets of rain up from the sea, why not simply embrace the child inside, get wet, splash puddles, kick leaves in the air, even stand on the beach and get splashed by the sea-spray flying off the rocks. Windswept and rain-lashed, you’ll feel satisfyingly exhilarated while toasting your toes by an open fire with a wee dram and rich fruit cake.
Wild isn't your style? ... then grab some culture browsing studios, shops, exhibitions, museums and visitor centres or find a cafe or restaurants to linger at lunch. And if simple relaxation is what you’re after then curl up with a book and hot chocolate, to watch the weather from fireside comfort.
Of course you get postcard picture days too, with wintry sunsets and perfect reflections of snow dusted mountains in lochs held peaceful and calm by quiet and light easterly winds. Very little snow is experienced at low level on the islands and is rarely the cause of transport problems.
Winter island life is a time to gather thoughts, restore energy and catch up with friends after the demands made by the long summer daylight. Communities return to a slower pace of island life, and there is often a vibrant cultural scene happening with rich local drama, music and ceilidhs.
Many communities now actively encourage winter visitors ensuring a cooperative 'open policy' offering places to visit, restaurants open and things to do. Discounts on long stays, writer and photographer sabbaticals, discounted second weeks, all make winter promotional breaks an attractive opportunity to seek out.