There are two sound which are commonly heard in Edinburgh in July. One is the sound of swifts (Apus apus) screaming overhead and the other, the rattle of suitcase roller wheels on pavements. Both sounds tell the locals that the summer visitors are here, yet the city seems to be quiet. This is Scottish schools start their holidays early in July, this gives Scottish parents the opportunity to take family holidays before the rush from the south and so avoid the higher prices. For those visiting Edinburgh, this can be a relaxed time to visit the city.
This year, there is another sound which has characterised Edinburgh in July, the drum roll of thunder. Edinburgh’s weather is often variable and July is often the monsoon season, with intense but, localised rain. This makes it easy to differentiate between locals and visitors, the locals wear Gore-Tex® if the rain is heavy and ignore it if the rain is light. Whereas the visitors can be seen wearing plastic ponchos, or even black bin liners while walking about when ever it is raining. Speaking of rain, if you are lucky (or unlucky, depending on your point of view) you can experience the uniquely Edinburgh phenomenon of rain falling from a clear blue sky (well I have never experienced anywhere else, although I have seen snow fall from a clear blue sky in the Alps). All this talk of rain may give the misleading impression that it rains a lot in Edinburgh. This is not so, Edinburgh is actually one of the driest places in Britain, it is in the rain shadow of the Pentland Hills to the south, the Fife Hills to the north and Glasgow to the west.
The rain is not the feature of the weather in July, it is also one of the warmer months of the year, with temperatures averaging over 20°C. The local can be seen in summer cloths (under their Gore-Tex® jackets) through out this month, whereas visitors tend to look as if they wish they dressed for winter. Yes, Edinburgh can have a green winter in July, but then there also those warm sunny days as well, it is just that you can never quite tell which you are going to get. You have to understand that up here on the edge of the sub Arctic, summer is the bit of the year with longer day length. Although the locals will tell you that now we have passed the solstice the nights are drawing in, however, visitors can be confused by it still being light at ten o’clock at night.
If you are looking to buy property in Edinburgh, then July can be a good month to buy. The Scottish system of property sales often involves completive bidding, with so many people taking holiday in July, this can lead to there being less completion and so bargains to be had. The other thing about the Scottish system of property buying is that it is fast, I know from personal experience that you can have a bid on a flat accepted in July and have the keys in your hand to move in the first week in September.