It’s true! It rains frequently in Scotland, but no worries if you have the right gear!
Weather by nature is unpredictable. There can be weeks of rainy weather and weeks when the weather is clearer.
We experienced bursts of brief showers almost every day but the rain didn’t last long and we only got caught in downpours a few times where we had to “make a run for it”. Making a run to the nearest café, pub or shop isn’t such a bad thing, just some more impromptu fun to be had.
The ever-changing weather creates the most stunning views and amazing photos. The movement of clouds, with peaks of sun, shape scenic skies over the rolling landscapes. The misty fog along the hills and glens is both magical and mystical. During one day, on the Isle of Skye, we saw nearly a dozen rainbows. The weather in Scotland can be amazing!
We vacationed in Scotland during the first two weeks in September and experienced temperatures that mostly ranged from the mid-fifties to the lower sixties (Fahrenheit).
Here is an average temperature weather guide, averaging the temperatures between Edinburgh and Inverness:
January-February (37°F – 41°F) (3°C – 5°C) average lows hover just above freezing
March-April (43°F – 45°) (6°C – 7°C) average highs in the upper 40’s to low 50’s
May-June (48°F – 55°F) (9°C – 13°C) average highs in the upper 50’s to mid 60’s
July-August (57°F – 59°F) (14°C – 15°C) average highs in the mid 60’s
September-October (48°F – 55°F) (9°C – 13°C) average highs in the upper 50’s to low 60’s
November-December (41°F – 43°F) (5°C – 6°C) average lows in the mid 30’s
Late spring to early summer tends to be the sunniest in Scotland. November through February tends to be the snowiest, with a higher tendency for snow and ice in the middle of winter. March can be the most unpredictable month. July and August are the warmest months.
Layering clothing is the best way to dress. Our daytime attire was usually a long-sleeved shirt, a layer of fleece and a raincoat. We did a lot of walking and a lot of layers changing, finding the temperatures perfect for walking and exploring – no sweating. If you travel to Scotland during colder times of the year, you may need a heavier jacket, a hat and a pair of mittens.
You will want a waterproof coat with a long hood. Many think an umbrella is a necessity, but if you aren’t an umbrella person, you can get by with a good hood and maybe an emergency poncho to help protect anything you might be carrying. If you do take an umbrella, invest in one that holds up to high winds. A cheaply made umbrella may get destroyed. Speaking of winds, if you have longer hair, you may want to keep a hair elastic or a hair band handy. You don’t want hair strands in every photo, or impaired vision at scenic stops. 🙂
Unless you are stepping out for a special event, leave the heels at home! High heels can get stuck between the pavers and cobblestone streets. Maneuvering around stones would not be fun, especially if you just indulged in a few whiskeys!
Waterproof boots with a low-wedge or flat heel are the best footwear. Make sure the boots are broken in before you go or you will most likely end up with blisters. You don’t need that suffering!
It’s always good to have a pair of sunglasses, just in case!
You may want to bring a Ziploc bag or waterproof cover for things that could get damaged, if wet, such as your passport. Also, bringing a lightweight, water-resistant shopping tote is a good idea. It not only helps protect your purchases, but it’s convenient to throw everything in one bag if you are away all day. For a small fee, you can also ask for a plastic bag for your purchases at stores.
No worries if you aren’t a planner or you travel lightly. You can pick up most anything along the way!