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Scotland weather in late March/early April

Scotland weather in late March/early April

Old Jan 6th, 2009, 05:22 PM
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tld
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Scotland weather in late March/early April

I'm planning a one-week trip to visit my daughter in the latter half of March or the first two weeks of April, depending upon her schedule. We'll probably be primarily in the lowlands.

I assume it will be cold and rainy, but I'm wondering what kind of temperatures I should be prepared for. I've been to the UK in October, November, and June, but never in the early spring.

For my November travels (in the highlands) I brought a 3/4-length raincoat and when it was really cold, wore a down vest underneath in addition to my other layers. That seemed to work well. I'm hoping that will also be adequate in mid-March. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old Jan 6th, 2009, 05:37 PM
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I'd take exactly the same things you wore in Nov. As long as everything is layer-able that should be fine. It could be a bit warmer in Spring -- or not.
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Old Jan 6th, 2009, 10:42 PM
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I'd expect 10-12 degrees and damp. Anything better will be a bonus
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Old Jan 6th, 2009, 10:52 PM
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it can vary so much, a couple of years ago the weather in April was suprisingly warm ,but that can never be guarenteed,as others have said.layers is the way to go,but a windproof waterproof jacket is more or less essentail.
your 3/4 lenth raincoat and down vest will probably work fine.
i often wear a down vest and a waterproof as top layers at that time of year.
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Old Jan 7th, 2009, 03:02 AM
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It'll probably won't snow and it's unlikely they'll be hurricanes & tornadoes.

Otherwise, expect everything - often in the same day
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Old Jan 7th, 2009, 10:38 AM
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Thank you, everyone. This is helpful. One last question - do I need any special footgear (i.e., waterproof)? I doubt we'll be doing any hill-walking or anything, just regular sightseeing. I have leather ankle boots and rubber-soled leather slip-on shoes, both of which I've treated with mink oil. Is that sufficient (barring my stomping around in mud puddles or something)?
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Old Jan 7th, 2009, 01:38 PM
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yes, for sure. Unless you go off piste.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 05:35 AM
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You don't say where in the "lowlands" you will be--but assuming it will be cold and rainy is probably a good guess although it could also be cold and windy or warm and sunny! I concur with the outer rain jacket/coat and a fleece or down inner layer as well as a scarf and hat (but why not wait and buy them in Scotland?).

Re shoes--what you have sound fine--I'd be particular about good socks as well.

April can be absolutely gorgeous and you may end up kicking yourself for stuffing warm things in a bag you never use--another alternative is to wait and see--and visit Oxfam for anything you're missing.

cheers!

Meg
Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
http://megrobb.typepad.com/britishtravel/
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 08:26 AM
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Expect variability. It is usually breezy at the end of March/start of April so bring a light scarf.
"April comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb".
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 12:12 PM
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Thanks again, everyone. I'll be sure I have some lightweight layers too, in case there's a gorgeously warm spell while I'm there.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 11:10 PM
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It's very possible.
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Old Jan 9th, 2009, 03:20 AM
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Bear in mind that Easter Day is 12th April so it may be cheaper if you finish your trip before the Easter holidays start.
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Old Jan 9th, 2009, 11:52 AM
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Ooh, I hadn't thought of that - haven't checked the calendar for this year! Thanks for the tip.
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 03:43 AM
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As for what the weather will be like - I just remarked on another thread that there's no point in trying to guess, as it's been -10 in parts of southern England & +12 in Edinburgh over the weekend (in degrees C). Just bring everything !
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 02:36 PM
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Caroline, I take it from your handle that you are familiar with Edinburgh. What would be on your top list of must-sees or must-dos for a first-time visitor?

I'm in my mid-40s and I love arts, history, and archaeology; my daughter is 21 and is an anthropology major. We're both fairly fit but not big outdoorsy or athletic types; and we both tend to be bookish.

Suggestions?

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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 10:49 PM
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I'm not Caroline, but I get up earlier than she does (Hi, Caroline!)

She's also more artsy than I am.

For your list of must-sees, might I politely suggest you run a search on "Edinurgh" on here. Believe me, it has been done to death.

I have some Word documents on the subject, however, and if you'de like them, email me and I'll send them back. Caroline has forced me to update them, even.

Obvious first points are the Castle, and Holyrood palace and everything in between; in other words the Old Town.

There are many museums and galleries in the City, ranging from the National Museum of Scotland- which is a MUST see- to the Dean Gallery which houses the modern Art Collection. Caroline are the buses still running between them? Or is that just in the summer?

There's some decent archaeological interpretation in the National Museum. The University has a collection, but I THINK most of the stuff in it is from overseas. Checking up for you, I found thisbr /> http://www.cyberscotia.com/ancient-lothian/

The City is very walkable, and there are some very good walking tours, mostly run from the High Street or the Mound.

Edinburgh's full of people and very good for people watching.

Buy "The List" when you get off the plane for What's On in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

And read before you get here. If you have a context you will get so much more out of what you are looking at.
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Old Jan 13th, 2009, 07:27 AM
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Hi Sheila ! Hm, I got up at 5.15, how about you ? However I only have computer access at work, so have been good & waited for my lunchbreak Then, infuriatingly, I couldn't log in to Fodor's (maintenance presumably) it's just back now (4.30 here & time to go home).

Anyway, Tld, yes, I live in Edinburgh, and we have quite similar interests !

Sheila has already given you lots of good info.

The main sightseeing areas are the Old Town (mediaeval) and New Town (Georgian) which are respectively north and south of Princes Street.

In the Old Town, as Sheila says the main sights are the Castle & the Palace and the Royal Mile which runs between them. I generally advise first-time visitors to get one of the open-top sightseeing buses (Guide Friday is the best of 3 or 4 different ones) and do a complete circuit first; then go around again and get off at the stop nearest the Castle, walk up to the Castle and tour that, then walk down the Royal Mile (downhill !), then tour the Palace and our new Parliament building which is opposite. Then get back on the bus and get off anywhere else you want.

Also in the Old Town are the main museums the Royal Museum is closed for renovations but the National Museum of Scotland, as also mentioned by Sheila, is only a few years old and very good. Look out for the Andy Goldsworthy artworks in the basement (with the prehistoric & Roman stuff) and on the roof.

The New Town is kind of a 'sight' in itself and it's pleasant just to walk about. Most of the commercial art galleries are there, on Dundas Street. Some other interesting contemporary art spaces are the Fruitmarket, doggerfisher, Edinburgh Printmakers, the Collective and Stills galleries, which are all in or on the fringe of the city centre.

Here's the website for the National Galleries of Scotland www.nationalgalleries.org. The main hub is the RSA / National Gallery / Hawthornden Link complex on Princes Street. The RSA is where most of the big temporary exhibitions are and the National Gallery, behind it, mainly houses the permanent collection of older art. There are lots of free lectures, mainly at lunchtime, in the Hawthornden Link. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is on Queen Street, in the New Town most of the collection doesn't do much for me, apart from the contemporary section, but it's well worth a visit to see the building itself which is spectacular. (It's closing soon for renovations but I think will still be open when you visit.) The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Dean Gallery are both on Belford Road, outside the city centre, but walkable from the city centre if you are only averagely fit. Sadly the bus which used to run between the national galleries has been scrapped, and the regular number 13 which currently goes along Belford Road is facing the axe soon.

As Sheila says, when you get here get 'The List' which is the fortnightly listings magazine covering Edinburgh and Glasgow exhibitions, music, theatre etc.

I know I am a city person and probably biased; but given your interests and the fact you say you are not outdoorsy, there's more than enough to occupy you for one week just in Edinburgh, maybe with a day or two in Glasgow (which also has good museums and galleries, with more cutting-edge contemporary artist spaces and the like).

Where in Edinburgh will you be staying (in case I think of anything else good nearby) ? And let me know when you know your dates, so I can let you know of anything good that's on then.
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Old Jan 13th, 2009, 07:53 AM
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Thank you, Sheila and Caroline, you've both helped immensely.

I haven't booked flights yet, but unless there's a terrific sale for earlier dates, I will probably be in Scotland roughly 4/3-4/11. My daughter will be attending spring semester at the University of Stirling, so I'll probably base there. We'd like to be in Edinburgh for at least three days; I need to spend one day in Glasgow, and may also have to take a quick trip to Dublin for a business meeting, so the week is already too full for my liking.

I may be able to stretch it to ten days by arriving a couple of days earlier, but I'd prefer to be gone by Easter.

If you have any more thoughts or suggestions, I'd love to hear them. I'm new to Fodors, and I've found that the ability to ask questions and get direct answers saves me a fair amount of time compared to my usual approach to trip planning, which I appreciate.

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Old Jan 14th, 2009, 03:49 AM
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You're welcome ! If you think of anything else specific you want to know, just ask.

I assume you know that Stirling is a campus university a few miles outside Stirling itself ?
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Old Jan 15th, 2009, 08:57 AM
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Yes, the location's not optimal, but the price is right!
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