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    January 2022
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    What to Pack for a Trip to Scotland

    If you’re headed to Scotland for a vacation then it’s essential to make sure you pack well.


    My travelling friends Mairiuna and Jean-Claude have visited Scotland many more times since 2000 than I did, but still enough times on my part to have learned, sometimes the hard way, about the essentials!


    In general, visitors who plan to go to Scotland don’t spend as much time in towns as in exploring the great outdoors in the famous Highlands, the lochs, the West Coast Islands, the magnificent castles and the historic ruins all around the countryside.

    Ardverck Castle  loch Assynt Sutherland © 2001 Scotiana

    Ardverck Castle loch Assynt Sutherland © 2001 Scotiana

    Therefore, the following list of items will help you make sure to enjoy your trip without worrying about whether you’ve packed accordingly.

    Since the Scottish country is a geographically diverse region, it brings with it, an unique packing challenge, as with any coastal country, the weather can change quickly, which means it’s important to be prepared.


    Rain Gear

    Everyone should take an umbrella with them every time going out, as rain and wind in Scotland can be quite bad sometimes and you can expect that rain to be pouring down with ferocity!

    Quite surprisingly , this doesn’t seem to bother the people of this great country at all! In fact, they tend to be outdoorsy folks.

    While you can undoubtedly find rain gear to purchase on your trip, it makes financial sense to bring your own, so bring a rain jacket and boots. If you want to make sure to stay dry, consider rain pants.



    Summer time in Scotland is like a warmer spring, or like a bridge between spring and autumn that we name June and July.

    First comes first, whether you’re in Scotland during the summer or winter, it’s always important to have a coat. The weather is often damp and humid which can make the air temperature feel a bit colder.

    In the summer time T-shirts and shirts are welcome but remember to bring with you a waterproof jacket or windbreaker as the temperature can go down to 15 Celsius really quickly. Waterproof cotton shoes or ankle boots are the best for this season. In the spring, fall, and winter the temperatures can also dip quite low. Evidently, winter weather gear is essential.


    Layers are the way to go in Scotland. 🙂 You may find that during the day you’re peeling off layers and down to a t-shirt by mid-day, and by the end of the evening you’re wearing a sweater and a coat.

    what-to-pack-for-hiking-in-the-highlands-08Pack long pants as well, and if you’re hiking then don’t forget to pack appropriate clothing and shoes. A pair of leggings or tights that you can wear under your trousers if the weather is colder that you expect is also a great thing to have.

    For any traveling excursion, good walking shoes are a must. This is particularly true in Scotland where you may be hiking or walking through ancient ruins and castles.

    From all the seasonal trips we took to Scotland, the spring season is what I liked best as there is a lot of sunny days in April making it the warmest month of the season. Temperatures varies from 5-20 Celsius , even though quite chilled all the time.

    Remember, while the weather may be mild, it can still rain really badly. A great way to practice my ‘singing in the rain’. 🙂
    The Extras


    Be sure to pack a camera. Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and you’ll want to capture every moment. We have thousands and thousands of pictures and videos from our journeys through all regions of Scotland and love to share them on Scotiana’s blog.

    Let’s not forget binoculars as their portability and versatility makes them an ideal tool for birdwatching, hiking exploration, and many other outdoor activities.

    Have you heard about the scottish midges?

    « (…) the Scots pronounce the insect as ‘mi-jee’, emphasising the first syllable. Make no mistake, when the conditions are right, these wee beasties can be a bit of an irritation.

    You meet it there because it lays its eggs in wet soil. So anywhere with a good growth of plant species such as sphagnum moss, various rushes or damp-loving grasses will be a potential midge breeding ground. That type of habitat includes much of the high-rainfall Highlands with their acid boggy ground. »





    So…be sure to have Avon’ s Skin So Soft product or anything similar to repell them!

    Before I wrap up this post, I will mention that if you’re bringing electronic devices such as laptop, Kindle reader, smartphones and tablets that need to be plugged in for recharge, pack an adaptor or buy one when you arrive. You’ll need a three rectangular pin adapter.

    And last, but not least, don’t forget toiletries and any medicines you’ll need when you’re there.
    You are now set to go! Hope these tips will prove helpful .

    Enjoy your trip in Scotland. Pack for wet weather and be prepared for anything. Preparation will ensure enjoyable memories of a lifetime.

    Bon voyage et à bientôt,
    PS : You might want to print the checklist below to be sure you don’t forget anything. It’s the same one I’ll be using for my next trip to Scotland 🙂
    -Long pants
    -Good walking shoes
    -Pair of leggins or tights
    -Rain jacket
    -Rain pants
    -cotton shoes (summer)
    -ankle boots (summer)
    -Windbraker or Jacket (summer)
    -Anti-midges lotion
    -Electronic devices adaptors (for computer,kindle,tablet,smart phones)



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    3 comments to What to Pack for a Trip to Scotland

    • Rhyahn

      Thank you very much for this 🙂 I found it quite helpful and I’m traveling to Scotland in August and can’t wait! I might also be moving there if my visa gets approved 😀 Thanks, Rhy 🙂

    • Mary Sanger

      I am so, so undecided still about what to bring for last week of June, first week of July. I’m nearly crazy with only three weeks to go! I get cold fairly easily and I’m trying to decide if I want a light fleece lined waterproof long jacket or unlined. I was goi g to buy a pair of waterproof hiking books (look more like a little taller tennis shoe, or short rubber boots, or both! I don’t want to take up to much space in my suitcase and I’d look pretty silly leaving the United States the last of June wearing a lined raincoat ???? Please help! Oh, we are goi g to spend several days in the Shetland Islands. It will be more inclement and colder there, correct?
      Mary from Ohio in the United States.

    • Iain, Margaret

      Hello Mary,

      Separate layers are the secret for dressing in Scotland. A light but waterproof and windproof jacket is advised. You have chosen the perfect time to visit Shetland! We recommend that you fly – in just over one hour – from Glasgow or Edinburgh to Sumburgh Airport (at 60 degrees North!) It’s a little cooler than the rest of Scotland, but by no means cold in midsummer. Shetland weather can change from bright to dull – and back again – in a matter of hours, so be prepared! Shetland is a world apart, a place that you will come to love as we already do. We visit frequently.

      If time is short, Roy Greenwald offers excellent guided tours :
      Shetland Small Group Tours – Telephone: +44(0)1595-692080

      Iain, Margaret.

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