Winter in the Highlands & Islands

17th April 2023
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Buying a Property, Monster Moves, Moving Home, Property Market

Winter in the Scottish Highlands can be a truly magical experience but what are the realities of living here in the winter?  It’s a question that we are frequently asked by people looking to move to the Highlands and Islands.

Ultimately, it varies greatly depending on your location, remember the Highlands & Islands is a vast area and accounts for just over half of Scotland’s landmass with a complex geography incorporating the UK’s highest mountains and around 100 inhabited islands.

It goes without saying that the higher above sea level you are the more snow you will see but coastal villages, towns and the city of Inverness will experience less snow and icy conditions than our inland communities – just a couple of miles can make a huge difference.

The average number of days with falling snow ranges from 15 to 20 days.  The amount of snow that falls and the likelihood of it lying depends on your location.  That’s probably a lot less than you thought right? However, its always best to be prepared and here we have a few tips to keep you snug as a bug and safe in your first winter in the north.

Driving in snowy and icy conditions can seem daunting at first but don’t feel you need to own a 4X4 to cope with our winter roads. Check here for some great hints and tips for driving in winter conditions from the AA, remember to take your time and avoid unnecessary journeys when the roads are icy.

There may be slight delays for buses and trains during poor weather conditions but they usually continue to operate.

Sorry to disappoint but snow days are normally few and far between, however, they do occasionally happen.  Depending on where you work your employer may expect you to work from home, take unpaid leave or a holiday if you are unable to make it to the office.

Occasionally schools may be forced to close due to winter weather.  If the decision is made to close schools will announce it online, on your council’s website, social media, local radio, or you may receive a text or phone call.  I have memories of standing beside the radio in my jammies in the 90’s waiting with anticipation following heavy snowfall as the list of schools that have been closed was read out on Moray Firth Radio in alphabetical order – was it going to be a walk to the school bus wrapped up in hat, scarf, gloves and wellie boots or a day of sledging and snowball fights before hot chocolate and thawing out my toes in front of the fire…

Power cuts
Power cuts rarely happen and when they do it’s likely to be no more than a couple of hours at the very most.  We are extremely fortunate that if a storm is on its way engineers will be ready to head out in all weathers to a fault wherever it may occur.

To prepare for a power cut you should keep a torch handy and it’s always helpful to have an alternative heat source if yours is normally reliant on electricity.  We also have a small camp stove so we can get hot water, whether that’s for a hot water bottle or simply for a cup of tea!

All-in-all life tends to carry on as normal during the winter but it’s always better to be prepared as Scotland frequently lives up to it’s reputation of four seasons in one day, and remember spring is just around the corner…

We have a wide range of properties for sale throughout the Highlands & Islands and our team of local property experts are happy to discuss your property needs today.  To take the first step towards buying your home in the Highlands & Islands contact Monster Moves today.

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