What to do when it's sunny
Often in Scotland it can feel like the only difference between summer and the rest of the year is it generally doesn’t snow (this isn't a guarantee!). But when the weather is good it’s a truly special place – here are some things you can do when it’s nice.
With the richest wildlife across the UK, take the chance to see some of the less common sites. On the West coast of Scotland there are lots of places you can take a boat trip to see minke, killer and even sperm whales. If you prefer dolphins you can see the most northerly colony of bottlenose dolphins in the world just off Inverness in the Moray Firth. Also by boat you can see colonies of puffins on the Isle of May near Edinburgh. Of course it’s likely you’ll see seals and loads of other animals on these trips too.
It may not have the glamour or warmth of a trip to Hawaii but people say the waves of Thurso right in the north of Scotland can be just as good. If you’re not feeling brave enough to go in the water and prefer to watch from the safety of the shore then there’s several major surf contests held there including the ASP World Qualifying Series and on occasion the European Surfing Championships. For beginners you might want to head further south to Pease Bay near the English border.
Another very Scottish activity ideal for good weather is ‘Munro Bagging’. Named after Sir Hugh Munro, the 218 mountains in Scotland over 914m high are called Munros and walkers try to see how many they can climb in a set amount of time. This is not an easy option though – conditions can change suddenly and many of the routes are very tough.
Thanks to a large Scottish-Italian population there are far too many specialist ice cream sellers and parlours to list them but one of the most famous of them is Nardini in Largs, Ayrshire. Not only can you watch people actually make ice-cream but you can sit and eat in a beautiful refurbished 1930s building facing the river Clyde. There’s even a piano player at the weekends.
If you're feeling hungrier go to the north of Edinburgh where the coast of Fife is still home to lots of fishing villages and unsurprisingly this means there’s some excellent places to get fish and chips: Anstruther Fish Bar is one of the best of these and always busy. Here you can eat you dinner inside if it rains or on a bench looking over the harbour for a truly British experience. For the truly brave you can even try a battered mars bar.
So what do you do when it’s sunny?