The ESC Intern’s Guide to a Scottish Summer

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In Scotland, summer is less like a season and more like a few blessed hours of clear blue skies with a brisk breeze and trying to have a barbecue in a grassy area with your friends before the inevitable rain begins to fall again.

It’s a far cry from the heat back in California and quite an adjustment to get used to, but I promise you that a drizzly grey summer really isn’t the end of the world as we know it.

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Be Prepared

If there’s only one thing I could take away from living in Edinburgh thus far, it is the fact that the weather is consistently inconsistent. I’ve taken it upon myself to check the weather app on my phone first thing in the morning, and I’m almost never without a light waterproof hooded jacket and closed-toed shoes. I dress in light layers to avoid being too warm, wear waterproof mascara, and make sure my bag has a zipper enclosure to avoid a waterlogged purse. The last thing you want to avoid is calling it a day early because you’ve been taken surprise by a burst of sudden rainfall. It may seem like a lot, but these things become second-nature when you’ve been living in Scotland for a while.

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Take Advantage of the Great Indoors

A rainy summer day should never mean an inactive one. Edinburgh and Glasgow have plenty of fantastic museums, indoor shopping areas, quirky cafes and tasty eateries to keep you occupied for well over a weekend. Catch a film, the latest art exhibition, or read by the window of the locally loved hot chocolate cafe while the rain falls. Sites like TimeOut and The List are updated frequently in terms of  upcoming events in the city, so you don’t have any excuse to stay indoors and pout!

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Embrace It Wholeheartedly

So what if it’s chilly and raining? Go ahead and do what you wanted to do anyways! A large part of Scotland’s charm is the fact that the weather does nothing to dampen the spirits of the people or the culture, and that’s more than enough reason to brave the drizzles and the chill with the best attitude you can. Is getting caught in the rain really the worst thing that could happen? Plus, look on the bright side: you’ll never get a sunburn, it’s always hot beverage/soup weather, foliage is in bloom everywhere thanks to the constant supply of rain, and boy do those cobblestone streets and old buildings look absolutely stunning shrouded in mist.

One of the most surefire ways to enjoy your time abroad is to adapt accordingly to the new country and culture you’re in, and embracing the gloomy summer is just one of the steps to take to ensure a great experience here. So zip up your parka, remember that you’re in Scotland, bonny Scotland, and smile! A nice knit hat isn’t a bad idea either.