Scotland or Ireland?

My husband and I are planning a trip to England but want to add another location. We thought about Scotland but I am worried that it may be overcast and rainy the whole time. We could add on any city to our trip but thought Scotland or Ireland made most sense. Thanks for any suggestions!

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7976 posts

One weather system generally affects all three sequentially. They also move through rather briskly. The best you could do is duck behind a system at the last minute and go to the ROI. Take a rain jacket and press on. Knowing when the trip is might result in better advice.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7976 posts

April and May tend to be a bit dryer. It still rains every month, probably mostly every week. Sometimes there's no rain for weeks. Take a rain jacket and press on.

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

There's a lot of truth in the saying 'There's no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing'. If you think you won't have soggy weather in England, you might want to think again. Last year it rained almost every day in the Spring for about 2 months, and again in the Autumn if memory serves. If it matters a lot for the enjoyment level of your trip - i.e. if you don't like being out in wet weather - you might want to choose either a destination that's reliably drier and warmer (Mediterranean), or focus on places that will afford you opportunities every day for indoor activities if the weather takes a turn. My favorite word in the Met forecasts is 'unsettled'. For fun I listen almost daily to the BBC Radio 4 Shipping Forecast: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qfvv.

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1202 posts

We have been to all three several times, mostly in June / early July, although last year we visited Ireland in April. April it rained almost every day, but only one day did it rain all day. Mostly it would rain for twenty minutes or so, then stop, then rain some more a few hours later.....The summer trips were the "intermittent showers" pattern, with some days that were rain free. Travel with a waterproof (not water repellent) jacket with hood, flip it up when you need it - the rain really isn't much of a problem, and it's the reason the countries are so beautifully green......If you have ancestral ties with Scotland or Ireland, pick the one where your roots are. If not, Scotland is a bit more barren with rugged hills and mountains, Ireland more green with rounded hills and mountains.

Posted by VS
Palo Alto, CA, United States
556 posts

The risk of rainy and overcast is always present in England, Scotland, and Ireland. We have been to all three, most recently England from which we returned only about a month ago. We have never found the rain to be a big issue on three separate two week trips; two in April/May and one in September. Sure it rains, but it passes quickly. (Maybe we have been lucky.) It can be somewhat localized in my experience, as it was raining plenty in Scotland and Ireland on our recent trip, while we saw hardly a drop. But that is purely anecdotal so your mileage may vary. Dublin though a nice city is not the best of Ireland, and you would have to get on a plane to get there. On the other hand, Edinburgh is easily reachable by train, and a very worthy stop. I am not big fan of tacking on an extra country, but I would say if you are determined to do it and have the time, add on Edinburgh as a Scotland stop. Of course I say I am not a fan of this, but have done it a number of times including tacking on Edinburgh to our Ireland trip. I guess I mean that I have to find the discipline to stop doing it! Aer Lingus offers reasonably priced flights but with a lot of restrictions if indeed Ireland beckons. We went from Dublin to Edinburgh on Aer Lingus and it worked flawlessly, but restrictions on that airline were fewer back then, and we only had to deal with Dublin airport and not Heathrow. Heathrow is better these days but I would much rather take the train for a trip within a trip like that.

Posted by Kimberlee
Birmingham, USA
24 posts

Thank you for the responses to my question. My husband and I have been to England several times and it has been great weather every time but the more I read about Scotland it seems the weather is an issue. We have been to England May/June and September/October. The reason we are willing to add another city is that we have miles with British Airways so we can pretty fly anywhere in Europe and not be concerned with the cost. My ancestors do come from Cork, Ireland and I have never been there. Again, many thanks.

Posted by Pamela
New York City, NY, USA
3313 posts

Ah, Kimberlee, the Scots will tell you that all those weather reports are written by the English who want to keep all the tourists for themselves! They think that the perpetual black cloud over Scotland is BBC conspiracy to keep people from heading north. LOL You will see rain in any of these countries. The weather is always worse in the west where the Atlantic hits the land. In Scotland, the weather varies from hour to hour and from day to day. It's a mountainous country that is surrounded by oceans and so the weather can vary within 10-20 miles depending on the topography. I think it would be really sad to not visit Scotland because you're worried about the rain. Just have a good rain jacket. BTW all my English colleagues have been complaining bitterly about a very rainy spring. Pam

Posted by Kimberlee
Birmingham, USA
24 posts

Pam, you are right. It would be sad not to go to Scotland because it may rain. Scotland here we come! Thanks for taking the time to write.