Hello from Canada! Moving to Scotland.

  • This website is an awesome find. I am a long time motorbike lover and have done a few tours of Western/Eastern Europe. Was born in the U.K. but have spent most of my life in Canada and the U.S. I intend to move to Scotland in the coming year and eventually get a bike or import one of mine from Canada and enjoy the beauty of Scotland. Though I am no stranger to cold weather, I don't seek it out preferentially. My research suggests the Eastern border towns as well as the areas East of Edinburgh are the warmest? Is this true? I've lived in big cities and smaller towns in the course of education/work and I can work just about anywhere...so I'm kind of wide open as to where I can live in Scotland. I'd actually prefer a smaller town...have been in the heart of Toronto for near 14 years now. I don't see an absolute necessity for city amenities.


    As for the biking part, believe it or not, I did the 20,000 odd km in Europe on a 1988 BMW K100 through asphalt (at times covered in snow), rocky mountain roads, and sand. Not that the sand was the fun part...memorable...but not much fun. As you probably all know Romania and Bulgaria have some fantastic roads...highly recommended. I'm not sure if the old girl is still available...left her with a buddy in Germany...but would love to show her Scotland...though I'd be perfectly happy to get a nice mid-sized (more capable) bike...but first got to get there and get settled.

  • West is wet and warm....East is cold and dry.

    However you could be 20 degrees C + on the west coast with blue skies and cross over to the east it'll be 10 degrees C in Fog or the Haar which descends off the North Sea in Summer.

    Best riding is West Coast but busy, South West/East can be very Quiet and the rest is good too. Just avoid the middle bit i.e. Glasgow/Edinburgh and you'll be fine ;>

    For me the South West is best...as you have easy access to Ireland also.

  • Welcome! As someone who craves good weather I reckon the Moray coast and the East Neuk of Fife have the best climates in Scotland. Fort William has the worst weather of anywhere in the world.:D

    Thanks for the welcome and advice. I did read parts of Fife are amongst the sunniest parts of Scotland. But Moray coast? Doesn't the North sea render it somewhat colder up there? Or were you being sarcastic and I'm just a bit thick in the head??:D

  • Thanks++. Yes, I was looking at Galloways and Dumfries area but then various websites kept on about the East getting the most sun. Frankly, I'd take perpetual rain over sun, if it was the warmer option (tropical Scotland? :D). Best riding on the West, as you say, would be a welcome bonus. Closer to Isle of Man as well!


  • PALM TREES IN SCOTLAND--A LESSON IN GEOGRAPHY

    The Gulf Stream is a warm ocean current in the North Atlantic Ocean, flowing from the Gulf of Mexico, northeast along the US coast to Nantucket Island, and from there to the British Isles and the Norwegian Seas.

    First described by the Spanish navigator and explorer Juan Ponce de León early in the 16th century, the Gulf Stream's course was originally charted in 1770, a collaboration of Benjamin Franklin and Timothy Folger. In 1844, systematic surveying of the stream was undertaken by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. More recent efforts occurred in the early 1930's, by the ketch Atlantis of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    The Gulf of Mexico, once thought to be the source of the Stream, actually contributes very little to its flow. The Gulf Stream results when two strong currents, the North and South Equatorial Currents, mingle in the passage between the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea. Off the southern coast of Florida, it is strengthened by other currents from the northern coast of Puerto Rico and from the Bahamas to the east.

    The true Gulf Stream flows between the Straits of Florida, and the Grand Banks. However, it is part of a much larger Gulf Stream System, that covers the entire northward and eastward flow from the Straits of Florida, including the branches crossing the North Atlantic from the region south of the Newfoundland Banks.

    About 1,500 miles (2,414 km) northeast of Cape Hatteras, in the area of the Grand Banks, the warm Gulf Stream waters come close to the cold, southward-flowing Labrador Current. The contact of cold, humid air moving over the Labrador Current with the warm surface waters of the Gulf Stream causes widespread condensation. This climatic condition causes the region to have one of the highest incidences of fog in the world.

    In the western Atlantic, the current's deep-blue water, with its higher temperature and salinity, is readily distinguishable from surrounding waters, particularly along its well-defined western margin.

    A major contribution of the Gulf Stream System is its warming effect upon the climates of adjacent land areas. In winter, the air over the ocean west of Norway is more than 40° F (22° C) warmer than the average for that latitude, one of the greatest temperature anomalies in the world. The prevailing westerly winds carry the warmth and moisture of the ocean to northwestern Europe, giving Bergen, Norway, at 60 degrees north latitude, an average high temperature for its coldest month of 34° F (1° C), while Reykjavík, Iceland, 4 degrees of latitude farther north, has a 31° F (-0.6° C) average for its coldest month.

    Interestingly, along the western North Atlantic, where the winds are predominantly from the shore, the Gulf Stream has little effect. Halifax, Nova Scotia, nearly 1,000 miles (1,609 km) south of Bergen, averages only 23° F (-5° C) during its coldest month.

    In southwestern England, the climatic modification produced by the current is reflected in the extraordinary mildness of the winters at this northern latitude. Here, winter vegetables and flowers are grown, and lemon trees are seen in southern Devonshire.

    And, let's not forget the palm trees in Scotland!!

    Logan Botanic Garden is in the parish of Kirkmaiden, in the Rhinns of Galloway, a narrow peninsula that juts out into the Irish Sea, at the extreme south-west of Scotland.

    Our friend, the Gulf Stream, gives these gardens a virtual sub- tropical climate. Thus, the Logan features plants usually identified with warmer areas of the world, including palm trees.

    What a different world this would have been, absent the Gulf Stream, with the British Isles and Norway occupying a frozen tundra!

  • Wow. Thankyou so much. Knowledge is power...and potentially pleasure!

  • Hello Opuskilt,

    Welcome.

    I live in the central belt and whilst I have no Data to support these statements I believe them to be true.


    The Moray coast regularly gets better weather than the rest of us, notably through the summer months.

    Despite our usual view that the West is generally more damp, the North West can sometimes be very dry for weeks on end. Conversely it can , etc!


    Population density should be given equal scrutiny as well as checking out the road, rail, airport, health care, structure --- but I am sure you knew that!


    You may interpret from my forum name a geographic attachment.

    The East Neuk can regularly be much brighter than even slightly further West.

    However, it can be blighted by the haar when only a few miles inland it is bright and sunny.

    It does bizarrely, always seem to take an age to get from the coast to Kinross, which you can consider as a jumping off point for travel elsewhere.


    Scotland is a small place !

  • Thanks. Your last point turns out quite important...being used to Canada, my bias when looking at a map is to think things are much further apart. Paying attention to the scale on the maps, I am reminded now that Scotland is more the size of Southern Ontario (my province in Canada). This takes the pressure off considerably... no part of Scotland need be considered remote, regardless of where I choose to lay down roots initially.

  • opuskilt,

    To put some scale to time/distance here are a few of my standard "driving" time "references".

    For reference call the starting point The Kincardine crossings of the River Forth.


    Glasgow 1&1/2 hours to the airport, Edinburgh 1hour to the airport.

    Peebles 2&1/2 hours,

    Inverness 3hours. Oban 2&1/2 hours, Fort William 2&1/2hours, Aberdeen 2&1/2hours, Ullapool 4hours, Durness 6&1/2 hours.

    The Mull of Galloway is too far for a sensible one day return trip.


    Always bear in mind the extremely variable nature of Scottish roads when it comes to time and distance, estimation.

    Off the few bits of 70mphdual carriageway call it 30mph average and you won't be far off the mark.

    Others will no doubt be along soon to deride my observations !😤😁😁

  • I think you’re right Ian, while the numerical miles might not add up to much, factor in the infrastructure of the roads and quality of views and you’re probably looking at an average of 30mph off the main drags.


    Just apply ‘The Scotland Protocol’; 1 Scottish mile = 2 (inferior) standard miles 😂 … and that’s without applying the ‘midge drag factor’ 🤣

    '04 TDM900, ‘84 XL600R (again), ‘08 Ulysses XT & Mrs. JRT’s F650GS

  • This website is an awesome find. I am a long time motorbike lover and have done a few tours of Western/Eastern Europe. Was born in the U.K. but have spent most of my life in Canada and the U.S. I intend to move to Scotland in the coming year and eventually get a bike or import one of mine from Canada and enjoy the beauty of Scotland. Though I am no stranger to cold weather, I don't seek it out preferentially. My research suggests the Eastern border towns as well as the areas East of Edinburgh are the warmest? Is this true? I've lived in big cities and smaller towns in the course of education/work and I can work just about anywhere...so I'm kind of wide open as to where I can live in Scotland. I'd actually prefer a smaller town...have been in the heart of Toronto for near 14 years now. I don't see an absolute necessity for city amenities.


    As for the biking part, believe it or not, I did the 20,000 odd km in Europe on a 1988 BMW K100 through asphalt (at times covered in snow), rocky mountain roads, and sand. Not that the sand was the fun part...memorable...but not much fun. As you probably all know Romania and Bulgaria have some fantastic roads...highly recommended. I'm not sure if the old girl is still available...left her with a buddy in Germany...but would love to show her Scotland...though I'd be perfectly happy to get a nice mid-sized (more capable) bike...but first got to get there and get settled.

    Welcome to the forum opuskilt. I live in a wetter part of a wet part of England 😳, just a stones throw from the Scottish border 😉 so I’m of no help regarding climate enquiries (or much else for that matter 😃).

    '04 TDM900, ‘84 XL600R (again), ‘08 Ulysses XT & Mrs. JRT’s F650GS

  • Hi & Welcome :thumbup:


    Moray enjoys what the scientists call the Foehn effect. The prevailing wind being westerly, it is intercepted on its way to Moray by the Highlands.

    That and the fact that the Grampian mountains to the south also buffer the area from a lot of rain, helping the area stay fairly benign, weather wise, whilst north, south & west of the county get wet and cold.

    Northerly and easterly winds however bring the full force of the weather to the counties shore.


    Enjoy your home hunting and look forward to possibly meeting you on the road.

  • I think you’re right Ian, while the numerical miles might not add up to much, factor in the infrastructure of the roads and quality of views and you’re probably looking at an average of 30mph off the main drags.


    Just apply ‘The Scotland Protocol’; 1 Scottish mile = 2 (inferior) standard miles 😂 … and that’s without applying the ‘midge drag factor’ 🤣

    Another good point. That's another important difference. Canada is full of highways (16 lanes in parts of Toronto!!). But I am used to slow moving (if moving at all) traffic in and around Toronto. Another major reason to get out of here. People blowing 3 hours a day commuting is not unusual. But I get it...prob a lot of "secondary roads" to traverse in Scotland. Those can be nice on a bike. And the scenery will be an improvement. Much of Canada is flat as a board...that's why all the brochures will show you the mountains out West (which I must admit are pretty breath-taking).

  • Jings how did that happen.

    The timber lorry you passed 20miles ago will rumble past.

    Hence the think 30mph for time/ distance.

    The stark reality is that the distances are so "short" you don't gain huge time on the Sunday drivers and definitely not on the Highland white van tradesman.

  • We were actually looking originally at the Southwest and Arran as we decided that warm & wet was preferable to cold & not quite so wet. Then we got talked into Skye.


    Of course you coming from the land of lake effect snow & me coming from Texas, our frames of reference on climate may be somewhat different!


    :/

    "El piloto que se levanta es aún más grande que el piloto que no ha caido"

    2019 BMW R1250GSA "timBUCK 2"
    2020 Husqvarna FE501S
    2016 Toni Elias #24 Yoshimura GSXR Superbike "you cannot be serious?"

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