Please sign in to post.

Tough Decisions 2021 Your thoughts please!


As an RN, I must schedule all of my vacation time almost a year in advance. We still have Scotland in our future since our 2020 trip was cancelled. What exactly are the best months for weather in Scotland? We always travel in May, does anyone have that crystal ball that May 2021 the borders will be open and we can have some type of life back? Not that we are interested in “The Fringe” but is it already cancelled for 2021? Would this open up more options for August? If I choose Sept 11th-26th will I have decreased daylight time and colder less tolerable weather for a Florida girl.

Posted by
610 posts

Last year we were on Arran, the Outer Hebrides and the Highlands during the first two weeks of September. You may notice shorter days starting the second week of the month. The highlands look like they’re getting about 12 hours of daylight right now. Whether it will be too chilly for a Florida gal depends in part on where you will be. Barra was experiencing gale force winds from the backlash of an Atlantic hurricane and all the ferries were cancelled. I wore a down jacket, waterproof, wool hat and gloves in Fort William. But I just looked at tomorrow’s forecast for Glencoe and it looks lovely. So who knows.....

Posted by
19375 posts

You will absolutely have less daylight in September than in May. Take a look at the climate-summary chart in the Wikipedia entries for Edinburgh, Glasgow, Portree and Oban.

In addition to the declining hours of daylight as you get near and into fall, as SkyeGirl has mentioned in the past, May/June is often drier than midsummer in western Scotland. If I'm able to get to Scotland a second time, I will try one of those months.

Unfortunately, I would not be remotely comfortable committing to a May or June vacation in Europe for next year (though I haven't give up all hope). In your situation, I would certainly not plan to take my vacation time that early if I wanted to go to Europe.

Posted by
1502 posts

I too live in Florida and was in Edinburgh in July of 2019 for a week. It was in the high 50s which I found chilly. It rained a couple of the days we were there. I wore a jacket everyday.

I didn’t like the weather being that cool but I have friends who like to escape the Florida heat and enjoy it.

Posted by
216 posts

Cooler weather I’m ok with but trying to stay with the more dry times. It is so hard to imagine that even 8 months from now we will still be hiding in the shadows of COVID. I definitely agree about the non-refundable trip. I did that will my plane ticket last year and I’m sitting with a credit that I may or may not get.

Well I have about a week before I have to lock myself in for the weeks for next year.

Posted by
2801 posts

We've visited Scotland in May two different years, and it was wonderful. The bluebell flowers were out and the midges weren't. Of course the weather was changeable, but on balance we had lots of beautiful blue-sky days. The daylight hours are very long in May, so you have ample time in the evening to enjoy the scenery (and less risk of getting stuck driving in the dark on a narrow, unfamiliar road).

Posted by
216 posts


I feel like if the borders are closed in May....June-Aug will be out as well. Just wondering about that gamble.

Posted by
1037 posts

Given the uncertainty with the virus situation, we are not planning for any 2021 travel.

Posted by
3625 posts

I just read an article on BBC news today that it is thought that the new measures may be in effect up to six months from now. I worry that May 2021 may still not be possible. You may need a plan A and plan B if you need to lock your vacation in so far in advance.

Posted by
5083 posts

It seems my posts are getting "edited" and re-written by the webmasters (I dared to mention Dr Faucci by name in this post, which is apparently now considered off-limits).

Rather than having my posts re-written (with no acknowledgement or indication that what I wrote has been changed, not an appropriate practice anywhere, IMHO) I'm deleting my existing posts, and won't be adding any more. Bye.

Posted by
935 posts

The other day I called my sister. We were both talking about the facemasks and the slowdown/shutdown of businesses across the country. She remarked, "I think we'll have to keep wearing masks for another couple of months."

I replied, "I think we'll be wearing masks for another couple of years."

Yes, I believe it's that bad. As we pass 200,000 dead in this country and as Europe locks back down after recent increases in COVID cases, there really is no way to predict the future. I think that May 2021 is really optimistic, and wouldn't be surprised to set travel restrictions popping up all across the European continent as cases ebb and flow.

If it were me, I wouldn't be in a hurry to book airfares or hotel rooms anytime soon. Of course, I could be pleasantly surprised.

Posted by
98 posts

In past years, we have visited Scotland in April, June, July, Aug, Sept, Nov. Different years, different months. It rained a few days each time we were there. In Aug 2019 for The Fringe, we also attended the Tattoo and it rained for the entire Tattoo performance. Not complaining tho. It was a change from our stifling southern US summer heat. I like Scotland in late summer and fall even tho there’s less daylight and it’s colder.

My crystal ball is broken so we won’t be traveling there in 2021.

Posted by
645 posts

I have booked an airline points flight for ORD to LHR for May 30 - June 23 2021. I have a US/UK passport and figured my chances of travelling to the UK are better than the average tourist. However, with new lockdown measures today coming from Boris Johnson, I am wondering if I was being too optimistic when I booked these tickets two weeks ago. A lot can change between now and May 30, but if I was just a regular tourist not visiting family, I would not be booking any kind of flight to Europe for 2021. You may be better off to have a stay vacation somewhere in the US this year and postpone the Scotland trip to at least 2022.

But when you do go, I would pick a date between end of May to mid July (Skip the later part of July and August - its the European school holidays) or early part of September.


Posted by
38 posts

Our trip to Scotland in 2010 was in late May and early June. We wore a jacket very little, less than we did in Ireland. But we did wear sweat shirts and sweaters. It was cooler than we were use to but we are from Texas. It didn’t rain enough to bother else. No Medgis

Posted by
5022 posts

Average U.K. weather charts these days are getting to be pointless, as there is no such thing as average! Most months this year have been the wettest / driest / windiest / hottest ever on record.

When in Scotland in June a few years ago, a local said it was the same temperature on 21 June as on the 21 December! The west of Scotland will be wetter than the east. One day on this trip, I had a meagre daytime temperature of 7 degrees! There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing.

Edinburgh still plan on having the Fringe in 2021 at present.

August means school holidays, where prices rocket, places are heaving, so is best avoided.

I would visit Scotland late May, June or September. Just bring the right clothing and be prepared for 4 seasons in 1 day.

I am meant to be having a big school reunion next May, but we are thinking that this may have to be postponed. I wouldn’t be booking any transcontinental holidays for May 2021 unless everything is fully refundable. The Scottish government is taking a more cautious approach on Covid than the U.K. government, so things are likely to remain restricted there for longer than in England.

Posted by
2903 posts

Sorry but I would wait until 2022 rather than planning ahead now. One of the unknowns is, will the EU let us in when we can prove we've had both doses of the vaccine?

Posted by
601 posts

I am a fellow local Tampa area nurse and travel lover! We went to Scotland in the middle of September a few years ago, and we got lovely weather. I think I would pick September over May for next year, just to give the COVID situation more time. That being said, I would pick a time of year to go that correlates well with a domestic backup plan, if you have anywhere in the states you would like to travel to. We were supposed to go to Europe for Christmas this year, but since we can't we just spent a week in the national parks in Washington state and had a lovely time. Perhaps you can request your time off with plans to go to Scotland, but if that doesn't work out, you could use the same time to go on a more local trip? I hope it all works out for you!

Posted by
2788 posts

The Fringe is tentatively scheduled for 2021: 6–30 August (exact dates vary each year).

As mpaulynsettle (Margaret) said, "But when you do go, I would pick a date between end of May to mid July (Skip the later part of July and August - its the European school holidays) or early part of September. "
You don't want to go to any major city in Scotland or England during the European school holidays. Things are always jammed, huge crowds everywhere.

If The Fringe is something you'd like to see, I'd say go for it, but be aware that the crowds for that will pack every hotel and drive up prices for rooms. That's always the way it is; supply and demand.

I like Margaret's suggestion of September. It gives you enough time to see whether Covid will be a major factor in UK vacations in 2021.

If there is a vaccine by early next year, that's a game-changer, quite obviously. (Keeping fingers crossed)

Posted by
7848 posts

Just keep in mind that these COVID flare ups in Europe are following the vacation fun period. I would assume it will take the same trajectory in 2021, flare up after family reunions, vacations, visiting with friends at cafes.
Therefore, if Americans can gain entry, and you can jump through whatever hoops (testing before entry or quarantine ) you may want to be there late spring as things are opening up, and numbers might be lower.
I did notice that the European-based companies we’ve traveled with in the past are running European tours now, with smaller numbers. So once you can get out of the States, you should be ok.

Posted by
2771 posts

I agree with Jennifer, There is no bad weather only wrong clothing...I think I paraphrased. Also, If I were you I'd have a US back up for the same dates and don't reserve anything that isn't refundable.