We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Roads in snowy weather

Which Fort William hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
England
Level Contributor
1,045 posts
153 reviews
Save Topic
Roads in snowy weather

We are planning to be staying in Fort William for a week early in February next. Are we likely to see snow in the area then and, if so, are the roads usually clear?

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
31,876 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Roads in snowy weather

You might, you might not, they might be, they might not.

Listen to the local weather forecast and if it says don't travel then don't

Glasgow, United...
Destination Expert
for Scotland
Level Contributor
2,042 posts
109 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Roads in snowy weather

Hi

There is certainly likely to be snow in the area - how high up the hills is impossible to know. The roads are usually pretty well looked after (by UK standards anyhow) but as the other poster says, worth keeping an eye on the forecasts.

Perth
Level Contributor
457 posts
274 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Roads in snowy weather

What about New Year? We going to be in Scotland for the for 11 days of 2010, while we have a plan of what we want to do we realise that the weather can interfere, what I do wonder though is if you can;t get somewhere due to the weather are B and Bs forgiving or do they charge you still for the night.

Do they normally clear the road for Ardgour to Mallaig> I was hoping to do a day trip ( if it is safe to do so)

Michele

Stanley, Falkland...
Level Contributor
32,679 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Roads in snowy weather

Alanrow's answer is as good as you will get.

Snow normally lies on high or sheltered ground. Many of the roads in the west of Scotland are LOW and close to the coast, where the sea keeps the lands warmer than the high ground. So, snow rarely lies for any length of time.

You'd have to ask the B&B owners what their policy is. If it was me, I would expect the B&Bs to charge the full amount and the client claim on their travel insurance which should cover delays or extra costs due to bad weather.

England
Level Contributor
1,045 posts
153 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Roads in snowy weather

Whilst the experts' opinions are obviously very sensible and expected, maybe I should explain that what I'm hoping for is to see the grandeur of the Highlands covered in snow whilst still being able to travel around in order to admire everything! Glen Coe is fabulous at any time of the year, but must surely be absolute magic in winter too. We also plan to visit Rannoch Moor and Oban as well as Mallaig, Inverness, Loch Ness, Aviemore and the Cairngorms.

Thanks guys for your comments. We are counting down now to the end of January when we head north having packed all the thermal underwear, warm clothing, hats, boots, scarves, gloves, etc, etc. Well, we are the softy southerners so one must make allowances for us wimps!!

Loch Ness
Level Contributor
188 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Roads in snowy weather

My Tuppence:

Winter - although the days are starting to get marginally lighter in January / Feb it will still light up late and get dark early - so bear this in mind while making your travel plans.

Driving in the snow: if you are not used to driving in snow (especially at night) and it gets heavy - just avoid it -Find a fabulous place to bunker down by a roaring fire, eat some great food and drink some fabulous whisky or wine, and enjoy the scenery with a gentle walk all wrapped up warm (preferably before the whisky and wine!).

If you cant avoid driving in heavy snow - just don't rush!

Saying that - although there has been heavy snow in the Highlands in January / Feb over the last couple of years (and some HARD frosts), the roads are generally kept well clear so this shouldn't pose a problem.

The upside is that snow in the Highlands is magical - when its cold and still it knocks Narnia for six!

Although some places close down for the Winter season - many more are open but may have shorter opening times over Winter - so its worth while having a look before you visit a destination.

http://www.visitlochness.com has info about visiting the Loch Ness area, a dedicated Winter page, a list of events, as well as a gallery of images including some great photos taken last year when we had some spectacular snowfall.

Local Tourist Information Centres will also have the latest news (just remember that some of the smaller TICs are only open in the morning during Winter)

I also recommend having a look at the following site Traffic Scotland which details road conditions, weather, roadworks, speed cameras, etc

www.trafficscotland.org/weather/index.aspx

Whatever you choose to do - I hope that you have a wonderful trip.

TheHague
Level Contributor
928 posts
159 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Roads in snowy weather

At that time there will be guaranteed snow from 700 metres/2000 feet upwards, as stated above, most Highland roads are at low level and the ones that do go over mountain passes are nearly always cleared within a few hours of heavy snowfall, or in extreme cases within half a day. Fort William is at sea level and the roads around will be fine, the only major route at risk is the A82 over Glen Coe coming from Glasgow. Being a main route this will be the first road to be cleared in the event of heavy snow.

Its just as likely you'll see a lot of rain then too :-)

England
Level Contributor
1,045 posts
153 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Roads in snowy weather

Thank you so much! Don't want the rain thanks, just the pretty snow please - not expecting much am I ........................ heavy snowfalls forecast for here in Essex over the next few days so I plan to admire it from the warmth of a centrally heated home! Seriously though, we shall go to Scotland fully prepared and really do appreciate everybody's comments here.

Perth
Level Contributor
457 posts
274 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Roads in snowy weather

Out of curiosity is the road between PLockton and Ullapool normally cleared if it snows or are we better going via Inverness.

Michele

Stirling, United...
Destination Expert
for Stirling
Level Contributor
13,760 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Roads in snowy weather

Why doesn't Scotland grind to a halt when it snows?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8418457.stm

Always wise to check at http://www.trafficscotland.org/ or listen to Radio Scotland or local radio as the situation can change hour by hour. Also follow police advice to carry a shovel, blanket and emergency rations in case you do get stuck.