Isle of Skye in mid-March?

Feb 15th, 2015, 05:00 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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Isle of Skye in mid-March?

My main question: is this crazy? (in terms of weather, daylight, winter gloom, etc.)
If it's not a crazy idea, any information on recommended areas and how to get around once we are on the island would be hugely appreciated.

Thank you.
akorn342 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2015, 11:56 PM
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By March the days have lengthened considerably. Hours of daylights would not be an issue.

It will likely be wet (as it could be any time of year)
janisj is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 12:00 AM
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Meant to add - in mid March there will be just a tad over 12 hours of daylight . . . Almost to the minute the same as in New York.
janisj is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 12:11 AM
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Levels/angles of light in Scotland in March are quite low, enough that people would notice the difference between the brightness of sunlight in NYC and the Isle of Skye in March. It might not only be "wet" but stormy, windy and even snowy at higher elevations, and cold (it is still winter, after all).

On the other hand, you might see the Northern Lights!

I found it best to have a car on the Isle of Skye, and I went in summer. I would most certainly want one in winter.
sandralist is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 01:54 AM
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You can't derive any useful information at all from weather generalisations about Scotland.

Particularly in spring (mid-March in the temperate parts of the British Isles most certainly is spring) and autumn, there's a huge difference between those western coastal bits (like Skye) on the Gulf Stream, the often near-Arctic conditions of the upland NE and the generally cosseted climate of the Southern lowlands.

On the other hand, weather on all our coasts around the two equinoxes is peculiarly unsettled. Winds, in particular, can be intense (or non-existent)

My limited experience of Skye in March is simply an extreme version of Glasgow: mild, often wet - but highly changeable and not predictable more than a couple of days out. Rain, in particular can't easily be forecast accurately for a specific location: those winds change speed and direction frequently.

Low sun doesn't mean gloom. But it can mean sun straight in your eyes for longer than you're probably used to, so if you're driving polarised glasses are (IMHO) an essential accessory to have in the car.

There really isn't a serious alternative to a car. There are buses, but they're sparse. Cycling is OK - but the likelihood of rain is so high, you'd really have to assume getting caught in a downpour and packing (both to go to Skye and on any given day before you get on the bike) accordingly.

It's a while since I did it: but driving on Skye can be a very unBritish pleasure. Uncongested roads, mostly straight and flat by British standards, big skies, few hedges, often extraordinary visibility.

I'd die of boredom if I lived with such empty monotony: but it's an interesting contrast to normal life.
flanneruk is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 02:57 AM
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I think your chances of needing sunglasses in March on the Isle of Skye for any extended period of time (say, longer than 7 minutes) is fairly remote, but of course if the sun is in your eyes you could hit a sheep, pack them by all means. Low angles of sun during times is also overcast/rainy diminish the effective impact of sunlight noticeably, when it comes to warmth as well as brightness of day, more so than when it is overcast in March where the angle of sun is higher. So it is more than just a matter of there occasionally being sun in your eyes if you are concerned about gloom or persistent chill affecting your enjoyment.

No one can predict what weather you would experience when it comes to precipitation and strength of wind or even temps, but your overall chances of encountering the kind of weather you seem concerned about are higher in March than they would be at many other times of the year. Or you could luck out with a dry spell and sun. People differ as to how much of a factor weather and sunshine is for them visiting the Isle of Skye. Some of it depends on why they are going.
sandralist is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 03:23 AM
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Actually, I don't want to make fun of the idea of packing sunglasses if you do decide to go in March and if you will be driving, because it is true that sun in your eyes can be a driving hazard in winter, even in places not as far north as Skye. Also, they can be a great asset if you are walking where you encounter strong cold winds.
sandralist is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 06:46 AM
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Go for it. You will avoid the crowds. The weather can be so variable you may be lucky and get a warm sunny early spring day. Take plenty of layers with you and a wind/rain restistant jacket. Hire a car as it is the best way to see most of the island.
ESW is offline  
Feb 17th, 2015, 04:04 AM
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Thanks, everyone!
akorn342 is offline  

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