Practical Guides for New Students: Weather

Living in the UK, you will hear a lot of conversations about the weather.  The weather here is famously changeable, which might seem daunting at first. You might hear people say that in Scotland you can experience all four seasons in one day! Although it can be unpredictable, the good news is that the UK generally benefits from a moderate climate- not too hot in the summer and not too cold in the winter.


Autumn (September-November) Most of you will arrive in September, the beginning of autumn here in Scotland. Autumn is often considered the most beautiful season in Edinburgh, as the leaves change colour and begin to fall. Temperatures range between 5 to 15°C throughout the season. Rain and wind are fairly frequent at all times of year, particularly in the autumn months, so we’d recommend packing a warm, waterproof outer layer.


Winter (December-February) Winter months can be chilly,  temperatures are generally 0 to 7°C. Whilst it’s not very frequent, we normally experience some snowfall in Edinburgh throughout the winter. When it does snow, it tends not to last for long and only reaches a few inches. During these months its especially important to look after yourself and wrap up warm! Make use of thermal layers, warm and waterproof jackets and stormy

Spring (March-May) With the rise in temperatures as spring approaches, we see a lot of new life and flowers blooming (the cherry blossom trees in The Meadows are a particular highlight!). Temperatures are usually slightly warmer than autumn (5 to 15°C) and sunny days are more frequent.

Summer (June-August) You should notice a rise in the temperature during summer (15 to 25°C). In July, generally the hottest month, temperatures are often above 18°C and there are usually some lovely, sunny days! As ever, the weather can change quite quickly, so even during these months you should be prepared for some wind and showers.

calton hill

Daylight- Daylight hours vary greatly during the summer and winter months. The longest daylight hours are on 21 June each year when the sun rises just before 05:00 and sets around 22:00. The shortest day is on 21 December when the sun rises around 08:00 and sets around 16:00.

British Summer Time (BST) – On the last Sunday in March, the clocks go forward by 1 hour (at 01:00) and they go back again on the last Sunday in October (at 02:00). The period from March-October, when the clocks are one hour ahead, is known as British Summer Time (BST).

Be Prepared 

It’s all about preparation when it comes to braving Scottish weather! As we mentioned in our What to Pack Guide, we’d recommend you prepare yourself for the weather with a waterproof jacket, umbrella and sturdy shoes. Make sure you pack a few layers and enough warm clothes at least for your first few days. Clouds can be deceiving so don’t forget to take care and apply sunscreen on warmer days. Once you are in Edinburgh, there is a wide range of shops to choose from, should you need to buy any of these items. Keep your eyes peeled for our Shopping Guide! We hope this brief guide has been helpful. If you’d like more detailed weather updates consult the Met Office website.


Categories: Practical Guides

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3 replies

  1. Hey, does one/more of you go to Edinburgh? I’m headed there after my gap year – would love to talk more about it some time if you do and would be up for it 🙂

    • Update, since mobile won’t let me delete this comment. It’s obvious that you go to Edinburgh. I’ve been wondering since I saw your post about applying to UK schools and commented before I actually read the full blog post – oops! Anyway, I’m really excited about the school, so if you have any advice about starting off there, I’d love to hear it!

      • Hi Carly, I’m moving to Edinburgh for a year to study MSc Social Research after some years of working full-time, and I’m writing about my back-to-school experience. It’s from a postgrad pov but may be you’ll find it interesting.

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