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Thinking about Scottish Highlands weather, yes, I've had my share of promoting the 'four seasons in one day' copywriter's cop-out cliche. Truth to tell, I used to hate having to write that 'pack flexibly and prepare for anything' stuff - though it was probably sound enough advice when it came to describing the ever-changing Highland climate.
In any case, when you get north of Ullapool, Scottish Highlands weather forecasting often doesn't seem to apply - that's the impression I've got over the years, anyway. In any event, it's never easy to make a generalisation about Scotland's weather, but this is taken to extremes the further you go north and west into the Scottish Highlands.
(Above) Looking south from the Laide of Reifff road, north-west Scotland with evening cloud building over the peaks of Fisherfield and Letterewe
These are pics taken when the general forecast would be 'rain or showers in the north-west'. But the coastal headlands and the high peaks mean that nothing is that simple.
(Above) The sun is glinting on the water of Achnahaird Bay, but the clouds are clinging to the not-terribly-high peaks of Inverpolly - definitely a day when the coastal headlands are getting better weather.
The hilltops really do catch the weather - sometimes you just have to do a coastal walk and hope the weather passes over quickly. This doesn't always work!
These pics were all taken north of Ullapool, the main town for the North-West Highlands and which is only an hour's drive north of Inverness. With a westerly airflow, Scottish Highlands weather comes in from the Atlantic and you're going to get wet from time to time but, in between the showers, the seascapes and the skies are just pure theatre. You didn't come here for a sun-tan, did you?
(Below) Here's some weather arriving over the Scottish mainland seaboard. It's the usual moist south-westerlies off the ocean. This is the opportunity for dramatic pictures and seascapes. Near Laide of Reiff.
And when the bad weather sets in for the day then, these days, even in the north-west, at least you have a choice of places for a decent lunch. Here's a tip, should you find yourself in Ullapool. It's got a good choice of souvenir shops, but it's hungry work, agonising over the cashmere (over-rated, difficult to wash and potentially baggy and shapeless, if you ask me), so you'll need lunch. In the past, we've had a really competent pub lunch at The Seaforth Pub by the pier in Ullapool. It just gets on with the job of serving decent food at a reasonable price and is especially good with fish. Yes, we'd go back any time - whatever the weather.
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Scotland in Three Days