Scottish weather prediction is by no means an exact science. Scotland has a temperate climate, and can be very changeable. We really can expect to experience 4 seasons on a typical day. In fact, the Scots have more descriptive words for ‘rain’ than any other nation, we love the wet-stuff so much (See Below). However, Scottish weather is rarely extreme. Snow these days is an very occasional sight in the Edinburgh, and rain more often than not comes in showers than as a deluge. Temperatures normally stay a few degrees above freezing during the winter, and mid-teens to mid-twenties in the summer.
We have a saying in Scotland, ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad choice of clothing’. So next time you take part on a bike tour in Edinburgh, or anywhere around Scotland, don’t let a bit of unfavourable weather ruin your day. A few tips on how to dress appropriately, even in the height of summer, can make the difference between a memorable tour for the right reasons.
Preparation for a tour is key. A rain jacket and gloves are advisable, although we provide our bike tour customers with these items if your suitcase is already full of beach gear and sun-tan lotion. Layering 3 or 4 layers of clothes is something I personally practice much of the year. I like to wear merino wool for this purpose, although layers of any moisture wicking material will help trap heat at the core, even when wet, and you can always shed layers if it does get too warm. Lastly, wear comfortable shoes for cycling with warm socks, and very importantly, have a good hearty breakfast.
Scots words for rain and bad weather:
Dreich (Dreary, Bleak)
Yillen (a shower of rain, especially with wind)
Uplowsin (heaving rain)
Smirr (a fine rain drizzle)
Goselet (a soaking, drenching, downpour)
Lastly, Scotland is a beautiful country no matter what the weather. Expect the worst and anything else is a bonus.