And I’m pretty sure it probably hasn’t got midges – again because of the slightly exposed sea-edge location. Just look at his wee red face! Windy days. I’m Craig, I live in Edinburgh and I love exploring Scotland’s attractions. Unfortunately, this is Scotland and blazing sunshine is about as rare as flying pigs or hen’s teeth, but at least you can avoid heading out into the Highlands when the weather’s in their favour. That’s basically a Saturday night where I’m from. The Real Mary King’s Close is a tourist attraction located in the middle of Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile. Thankfully it’s generally windy in Scotland, especially in the higher regions. Male midges feed on nectar from plants. In this website I’ll show you the best places to visit and give you lots of tips for making the most of your time in Scotland. Still, if you’re in a caravan or a camper van and you’re planning to stay in one location for a week or more a midge trap might prove invaluable for your holiday. 7 days later the females appear, they find the males, mate, and the males then disappear. The Scottish midge follows a predictable breeding pattern where you’ll start to see them at the end of May and they’ll start dying off in September – basically right in the middle of your summer holidays. Watch terns dive in summer, maybe ospreys too. No, really, it was… And some advice on finding midge-free places in Scotland. Do they have calendar notifications on their little midge iPhones?) Join the conversation today. Finally, the middle of cities are not normally associated with clouds of midges – so I’m confident on that one too. Smidge uses a combination of insect traps to record midge numbers allied with weather stations that monitor how windy and sunny it is, with the final verdict updated regularly throughout the season. Without being over-dramatic, here’s a wee post about my worst ever encounter with Scottish midges. Traditionally, our largest catches (in Midge Forecast traps) have always been the first week of June. Such a nice place to camp! Take a look at this list for a broken-down version of events. If you’re not sure about insect bite treatment you should head on over to the NHS insect bites and stings page which has a number of suggestions including applying over-the-counter antihistamine cream. And there’s a fine view back towards the town. As soon as May hits (how do they know when it’s May anyway? They are nasty little effers, and weren't called the scourge of the Highlands for nothing. Only the female midges bite. I strongly suggest you take a look at the forecast before you head on out into the Highlands and if the map shows a 4 or a 5 in the area you’re going to you might want to reconsider your plans. The most popular wooded areas are; Brodick Castle, Dyemill, Glenrickard, King’s Cave, North Sannox and South End. you and me. For the clothes, I can only recommend what I use myself, and that’s wearing convertible lightweight hiking trousers to protect my legs and a thin base layer shirt to protect my top half. They tend to live close to their food source which is cattle, below 1,500 feet. Hot, sunny days. Scotland is heading for its worst midge season since records began, with numbers of the biting insects set to be up 40 per cent on last year.The Scottish Midge Forecast warned there could be a record Generally coast as opposed to loch/river location best. We could be in for the worst summer of midges in six years . Tips for Camping in Midge Land. A perfect description!). It even has a unique experience: a unique mine and counter-mine, left over from a 16th-century siege, that you can crawl through. My experience shows that a gentle hand movement deters wasps most of the time so there’s absolutely no need to be a giant baby and start screaming and flapping about whenever a tiny 1cm insect comes into range. Whatever you decide to do, have a great holiday and stay safe. Wear perfume and aftershave without adding Smidge that Midge to the cocktail. Yes, they really are that much of an irritation, but continue reading and I’ll show you how you needn’t be one of the unlucky ones that have their holiday ruined by these horrible biting insects. We then scratch the itch to relieve it but this just increases the inflammation making it even itchier. Camping can be a challenge in some places in Scotland because of the midges. A slightly longer explanation might be required, but the age-old saying ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ is totally relevant to how unpleasant Scotland’s midges are so take a look at this BBC short clip about a guy standing still for ONE minute in a midge swarm. The larvae go through 3 stages until they pupate into adult evil vampiric bloodsuckers. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Midge free holidays in Scotland. Phase 2 of the ‘Out About Scotland anti-midge protection plan®’ is to use a quality insect repellent spray, and I’ve used quite a few in my time so I’ve got some good suggestions for you. Rose Street in Edinburgh would also work. I've been covered a black 'midge coat'. But what do we know about the Scottish Midge. ii) Craig car park, Glencarron. In the morning when the tents were taken down, all hell broke loose. 9 January 2008 at 4:21PM edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning 50 replies 114.1K views How to Tour Scotland by Train - The Definitive Guide. Such a nice place to camp! First off, if you’re choosing between staying in a tent or a hotel you might want to consider the hotel, even though it’ll be a lot more expensive. One of the best anti-midge sprays is Smidge, but if you’re not sure about insect bite treatment you should head on over to the NHS insect bites and stings page which has a number of suggestions including applying over-the-counter antihistamine cream. These cookies do not store any personal information. They then move up and down through the soil looking for organic debris to eat which will keep them going until they’re ready to emerge again in May. Midges in Scotland are one of the first things many tourists mention when on holiday in Scotland. I’ve also heard from people who swear that applying heat from a hot water bottle helps with the itch, but then the NHS website says to apply a cold compress so I’d give the heat treatment a miss personally. High-content DEET sprays work fantastically well but the downside is they’ve been known to irritate the skin of some people. How well it works I can’t say, but I guess even if you get bitten you’ll at least have nice silky-smooth skin afterwards. Midges feast primarily on mammals, most of which have a thick layer of skin protecting the gooey bits inside. That first batch is produced using the female midges own protein reserves, but if there are to be any more broods she’ll need more protein, and that’s when they start hunting for sources of blood – i.e. If you’re in a group you could consider investing in a midge trap (this and all following are amazon links). I've only really been into the Higlands in Winter and I would prefer to avoid the worst time for these if possible. The path to the mountain Suilven from Inverkirkaig, the carpark at Stac Pollaidh, the island of Jura…round the point from Arisaig, all along the shore from Inverie in Knoydart – the list goes on…bad language on the sacred isle of Iona, endless scratching in the far-too-popular Glen Etive (thanks again, Mr Bond). This is really quite painful and always seems to result in a red inflamed lump that’s much worse than you’ll ever get from a midge. You’ll find these relatively large flies in the northern Highlands between June and September and they have a notoriously vicious bite. Now, Berwick-upon-Tweed has got impressive town walls, a good art exhibition centre and lots more – but it’s also got a very long pier. See the T&C below for full details. The worst place in Scotland for midges. No breeze, or at least any windspeed under 5mph (8km/h). On a similar note, you could try burning wood in a campfire as the smoke will usually deter insects – but only if it’s directly in their flight path. You’ll also find them in their greatest numbers close to their food source, so basically anywhere there are sheep, cattle and deer – which roam right across the Scottish Highlands. During midge season the Scottish Forestry Authority estimates that 20% of working days are lost due to midge attacks but this probably pales into insignificance when compared to the impact on tourism. Their bite is much worse than a mosquito and the raised sore they leave behind is unbelievably itchy so I advise you to stay away from their hotspots of Speyside and Aviemore in May when they’re most prevalent. Lovely place. These produce a strong scent when lit and are a natural way to keep midges away and I absolutely recommend you buy a few for your next Scottish holiday. How Much Does it Cost to Visit Scotland in 2021? Smoke is as much use as a chocolate teapot if the wind blows in the wrong direction. If they were that much of a problem, 5 million people wouldn't be living here, and the vast majority certainly wouldn't decide that Scotland was as good a place to holiday as anywhere else. However, it is Culicoides impunctatus - otherwise known as the Highland Midge - that earns its place as Scotland’s most ferocious foe. Midges in Scotland – Keep Midges at Bay . You can visit on a tour, going down a slope into the mountain on a wee bus for 1.1 km (getting on for three-quarters of a mile) to a viewing gallery. Midges are wreaking havoc across Scotland with those brave enough to venture outside claiming it's the ‘worst year ever’ for the ravenous flies. Besides, they’re only attracted to the food people can’t be bothered to dispose of properly anyway, so if the litter is cut down the wasps will be less of a problem. Scotland isn’t alone in the world for having midges but we do seem to suffer from them more than most, mainly due to the fact that our climate offers them the perfect breeding conditions. The back of your shirt, just everywhere females are laying more broods ready to annoy the plans... No biting midges, but take care if they’re about group you consider... 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