Predict the weather with some West Country folklore

It’s fair to say that the weather remains an ever-reliable topic for our passing conversations: whether it’s a quick grumble about the drizzle or a glowing review of the morning sunshine, the weather and our desire to stay one step ahead of it is a national obsession.


But how did we cope before forecasts? There was a time when we relied on rural wisdom and folklore, most of which were remembered in rhyme. Here are a few West Country weather lores still in use today which will have you passing as locals in no time…

Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight.
Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning.

When Bees stay close to the hive, rain is close by.

Rain before seven, fine by eleven.

Clear moon, frost soon.

Frogs will sing before the rain,
but in the sun they’re quiet again.

When spiders spin their webs ‘fore noon,
sunny weather’s coming soon.

When seabirds fly towards the land,
there truly is a storm at hand.

Rain in June keeps it all in tune.
Moss dry, sunny sky: moss wet and rain you’ll get.

When there’s dew on the grass, rain will never come to pass.

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas bring clouds and rain,

Go winter, and come not again.

Flies will swarm ahead of a storm.

If the sun shines through the apple trees on Christmas Day
When Autumn comes they’ll be ample fruit for display.

Snow like cotton, soon forgotten.
Snow like meal, expect a great deal.

So, keep your eyes on the insects and animals and see for yourselves whether nature makes the best weatherman. We hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into some of our most cherished West Country proverbs.

If you’re feeling out of touch with ebb and flow of mother nature then a holiday in West Country might be just the ticket. For huge selection of holiday cottages in the country, head over to our website