Scotland in December

Old May 30th, 2006, 01:06 PM
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Scotland in December

Anyone ever been to Scotland (Edinburgh in particular) in December? Because my niece and her family cannot come home to the states for the holidays, we thought we would go visit them. What is the weather like? Is it extremely cold or just cold? What is there to do especially if it's cold? We'd probably stay through New Year's and enjoy Hogmanay which I hear is a blast!
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Old May 30th, 2006, 01:42 PM
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Cold - sometimes VERY cold. And very, VERY short days. But a great place to visit in the winter. Are you going to stay w/ your niece? If not, you should book your rooms as soon as your plans are firmed up. Space over Hogmanay books up months in advance.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 02:22 PM
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Grey, damp & not much daylight
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Old May 31st, 2006, 03:28 AM
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Yes, I went December 26th one year for three weeks. It was an unusual winter though and my first week there it was in the 50s during the day. Warmer there then in my hometown of Cleveland. The next week there was a dusting of snow (definitely not like the snow we get here!). It all depends though! I would plan to bring warm clothing and plan for dull dark days.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 05:16 AM
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As to how cold is cold -- at lot depends on where you are from. Edinburgh can be cold in December for sure - but not anywhere near Minnesota, Maine, or Chicago-type COLD.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 12:50 PM
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The cold that one experiences in December in Scotland is a damp cold that penetrates one's bones. This is why whisky is so popular in the country. When I lived there, I used to wear a woollen hat, gloves and thick track pants and that was in bed. I kid you not. Admittedly, that was in the days before central heating.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 01:20 PM
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Mid West cold is a dry cold so there isn't much evaporation & so is easlily dealt with by wearing lots of clothes. UK cold is a damp cold with a lot of evaporation which sucks heat from your body making you feel even colder
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Old May 31st, 2006, 02:19 PM
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I don't care (personally) if it is damp - I would MUCH rather have 30F and damp in Edinburgh than 18F and w/ -10F wind chill in Minneapolis.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 06:42 PM
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Where are you from? I'm from SC and cold natured to start with but I would go back in December in a heartbeat.

Go Christmas shopping at Jenners. (Hope the name hasn't changed yet to Frasers). Try Christmas pudding. Go skiing (snow optional) at Hillend.
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Old Jun 1st, 2006, 03:34 AM
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<<I don't care (personally) if it is damp - I would MUCH rather have 30F and damp in Edinburgh than 18F and w/ -10F wind chill in Minneapolis.>>

Believe me, you won't. Wind chill is easy to take care of whereas damp just gets to your very core & remember that at 30F the damp will be evaporating from your body cooling you even further
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Old Jun 1st, 2006, 03:48 AM
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It doesn't tend to get *that* cold in Edinburgh in December. I'd say that the really chilly weather often comes later, in January and February. I can count the number of white Christmases I've had in Edinburgh (where I was born and brought up) on one had. I don't think it's *that* damp, either (although perhaps I have some innate resistance to Scottish weather?)

The main weather issue tends to be the wind. Edinburgh is a windy city, and that can really make sightseeing tough during the winter months. Having said all that, I love the city and really enjoy the Christmas and New Year season there (there's always lots of music, dancing and entertainment (indoors and out) laid on for Hogmanay).

If you're looking for indoor things to do, there are lots of great museums and galleries in Edinburgh (most of which are free), there are always plenty of pubs and restaurants to warm up in, there are some good theatres (check out the Traverse for example - www.traverse.co.uk) and if you really want an insight into Scottish/British humour, then book seats for the Pantomime at the Kings Theatre.

The days *are* short, but that won't stop you from visiting the main sights (you can do that during the morning and early afternoon) and, anyway, Edinburgh is stunning when it's all floodlight, plus there'll be Christmas lights and trees sparkling everywhere.
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Old Jun 1st, 2006, 03:49 AM
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"one had" => one hand
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Old Jun 1st, 2006, 05:00 AM
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alanRow: "Believe me, you won't"

You and I must have different constitutions. I'm from the States but lived in the UK for several years. I know about the damp. In general I prefer cold-ish and damp tp FREEZING cold and howling wind.
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Old Jun 1st, 2006, 01:49 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. I am so excited and hope our plans continue to proceed forward. I am from Texas (Houston) so we don't really ever have a winter although I love the cold (just couldn't live in it). Guess I'll take my woolies and hope for the best.
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Old Jun 1st, 2006, 02:03 PM
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Best advice - Silk Long Underwear - takes up no space in the luggage and is very warm
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Old Jun 8th, 2006, 04:11 PM
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I've been to Scotland every December for the last **??!! years cos I live here. Temperatures will fall to around freezing but in the cities are unlikely to go much lower. We often get a snowfall in early December that melts a few days later. Between Christmas and New Year is a common time for real winter weather, road closures etc, though in the central belt these rarely last more than a day. In the city centres the roads and pavements / sidewalks are usually clear of snow and ice.
Wet is more likely to be a problem than cold. Expect every variety of wet, rain, sleet, snow, hail, but you can also get spells of crystal clear dry weather with not a cloud in the sky.
The traditional Scottish Hogmanay hardly exists in the bigger towns now - inviting a complete stranger into your home at 1 or 2 in the morning is a risky business in most "civilised" (?) societies. Edinburgh and many other towns have open air street parties, these will always be ticket only and the tickets will sometimes be gone as soonas they go on sale. Evens if you don't go to the official party, try and be somewhere that has a good view of the fireworks at midnight.
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