The Guide: What to do in Scotland when it’s Raining

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YOUR Guide to: make the most out of your study abroad experience by travellinglearning, and living

Mid-January in Scotland is, to be quite honest, bleak to say the least.  Make sure to beat those winter blues with these essential steps!

1. Make the most out of the sun when it is out: rainbow

  • On the ~rare~ occasions that the sun is out during the dreary Scotland winter months, make sure to take the opportunity to soak it up!  A lot of Californians report back that the lack of sunlight, and daylight hours, during these months actually do take a toll on them.  So to attempt to avoid this, make sure to go out, take a walk or a hike nearby, and enjoy the sun while you can. (Click here to read more about what to do in Edinburgh when the sun is out)

2. Instead of staying in your room, go study or hang out in a café: Chiu3

  • Holing up in your room during these dark and gloomy months can really take a toll on people, especially those of us who are used to being spoiled by the Cali sun during all months of the year, so make sure to spend time outside of your room in the winter months.  Try spending more time at cafés either studying or reading by yourself, or with your friends.  Cafés are everywhere in Scotland, so you certainly won’t have trouble finding ones near you that you love.

3. Museums & National Galleries:

  • Most national museums and galleries are free in Scotland, so make sure you take advantage of that and go get #cultured.  ‘Free museums and art galleries’ is music to a student’s ears, and they are a perfect way to get out of your room on a cold, rainy day without spending any money.

4. Cosy inside with your friends with hot cocoa and a movie:

  • On the days that you don’t even want to brave the outside to get somewhere warm, cosy with some blankets, hot cocoa or tea, and a movie with your friends and flatmates.  These simple steps will make staying inside during the inevitable dreary winter days more pleasant.


5. Other indoor activities:

  • If you don’t want to stay inside, there are loads of indoor activities in each host city, such as escape rooms, cinemas, castles & palaces (casual), cathedrals, dungeons (spooooky), etc.  These can be a great way to get out of the house on a rainy day and have loads of fun, while also staying warm and dry!

6. Vitamin D, and other vitamin, supplements:

  • Lastly, one thing that us Californians take for granted are the copious amounts of Vitamin D we get naturally from the sun.  In Scotland, a lot of people take Vitamin D supplements during the winter months because, let’s be honest, they’re certainly not going to get enough from the sun December-March.  This is a really simple and quick way to cope with the bleak winter months in Scotland.


If anything, you have spring to look forward to, which in my opinion, is the most beautiful season in Scotland!  And don’t get too down, lots of rain means lots of rainbows :))