Although often discussed in less than favourable terms, Scotland’s climate is moderate and accommodating, and only on rare occasions does it hit extremes on the temperature scale. The fascination with Scotland’s weather is almost certainly based on the changeable nature and diversity it offers – it is not unusual to experience four seasons in one day!
Scotland offers a temperate climate, and in general terms, the west cost offers a warmer (though sometimes wetter!) climate, while the east coast is often dry but with lower temperatures.
The west coast of Scotland is named by the Atlantic Gulf Stream, and this plays no small part in the decision to establish and maintain many tropical gardens up and down the west coast.
The summer months, of June, July and August, are the most popular time to visit, but the best and driest weather is often found in April/May and September/October.
For a relatively small country, Scotland can offer huge variety in its weather, and often a neighbouring region can enjoy an entirely different day to a region right next door. Some areas within Aberdeenshire are located in ‘rain shadow’ areas, and it is said that the decision to build Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s Scottish residence, where it is, was made on these grounds.
Scotland’s latitude leads to long summer evenings with extended twilight, and in the far North, there are nights when it doesn’t get dark at all, while during the winter months days are much shorter. Scotland has enjoyed some great extended ski seasons over the last few years thanks to good snowfall on higher ground, but it is rare for there to be substantial snowfall to sea level.
One of the advantages of choosing self-catering accommodation in Scotland is the ability to bring lots of additional clothing to your holiday home. In Scotland, the prudent will prepare for all eventualities! The often quoted expression ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes’ is particularly apt in Scotland, and while one minute you can be sunning yourself in a tee-shirt, the next you can be diving for a fleece as the hailstones bounce off you!
Scotland offers holiday makers such a diverse range of indoor and outdoor things to see and do, it is wise to pack accordingly. If visiting in the winter months and might be tempted up a mountain to try some ski-ing, then you will need base layers and gloves. At the other end of the spectrum, if visiting in July, some of the inland and sea lochs offer great swimming, so swimwear and sunscreen will be needed.
In all seasons, it’s a good idea to pack a lightweight raincoat (and a pair of wellies if you really aren’t that optimistic!), but whatever the weather, Scotland will keep you engaged, entertained and happy during a self-catering holiday, whatever the weather!
The following links will help you plan your holiday by helping you choose the right destination and holiday cottage that is suited for you: