How the Scottish Deal with Winter

How the Scottish Deal with Winter

You’d think that being so far north, the Scottish would be accustomed to the cold and snow. This is not the case. Of course, there are rumours about ‘rugged’ Scots who live on proper moors, glens and farms in the northern half of the country who must deal with severe weather, probably most of the time. But the soft, city Scots become completely flummoxed by the annual snowfall.

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As I’m from Canada, I have the “image” of having weathered much worse winters. But since I hail from Victoria BC, the winters there compare very closely to the winters here in Scotland (well, Edinburgh). Though Victoria receives only a small sprinkling of snow for a couple of weeks of the year, the city still deals with it much better than the Scots do.

In Edinburgh, piles of grit and salt are dumped onto the streets and sidewalks very unstrategically – and that’s about as far as the city goes to manage the cold weather.

Driving is perilous, if attempted at all, due to lack of experience and snow tires. A friend of mine from Black Creek BC (who also spent a lot of time in Northern Canada) now lives in Glasgow. On a recent road trip, it took her Scottish friends four hours to drive to their destination. Preaching winter-driving experience, they handed the wheel over to the Canadian, and they made it safely home within two hours.

The trains even have a hard time of it.

The trains even have a hard time of it.

My own experience with British winter motoring is far less dramatic but similarly ridiculous. On a visit to Cornwall, England, a light slush began to fall from the sky at which point a family member I was visiting began to panic, and insisted we go pick up her grandson (my nephew) from the child-minder before we got “snowed-in” – HA

If I can see my ankles it's fine to drive.

If I can see my ankles it’s fine to drive.

I can’t tell you how many people I see walking in the street shivering with a light jacket, hat and maybe some gloves. Whenever the cold wind bites extra hard, I turn up my fur collar and thank my good sense.

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About amblingalana

Just a Canadian girl who abandoned British Columbia to try her luck in Bonnie Scotland. Feminist, long-term travel enthusiast, aspiring writer.

2 responses to “How the Scottish Deal with Winter

  1. Ruth Nicol

    Dear Alana – I’ve enjoyed reading through your posts – I landed in Edinburgh five years ago, and have observed many of the same things that you have about the social attitudes, etc. Interesting to hear of a visitor’s perspective on things. I’m British and was born in Edinburgh but left as a baby. I find it incredibly unfriendly and the opposite of inclusive, and am looking to move. I’d wondered if I was emitting grumpy unfriendly vibes myself to be on the receiving end of so much indifference, so it’s refreshing to read of other people experiencing the same. All the best with the rest of your time here.

    • Thank you very much! It’s a shame that other people have had a similar experience in this absolutely beautiful city, but I’m also glad to know I’m not the only one! I’m very happy to hear that you have enjoyed reading my blog. It seems so silly a thing! I hope you find happiness wherever you choose to settle down!

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