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Summertime can be the most favorable season to plan a trip to Scotland. The warm and dry weather, festivals, and extended daylight tend to bring more visitors to the small country at this time of year. If you find yourself headed to Scotland, continue reading for tips that will keep you looking good and prepared on your upcoming trip.
Clothing Tips for Scotland
Written by: Niki Landry
Nike Free 5.0 Flash ID / Hooded Rain Jacket
Be prepared for the unpredictable weather.
On a typical visit to Scotland most travelers will spend a few days in the cities, and the majority of their time will be spent exploring the outdoors in the Highlands and countryside. Packing items that can work for both situations is important, as is being prepared for the unpredictable weather.
The weather during the summer does tend to be warmer and drier, but this is relative to the country’s other seasons. It may be colder than expected, and be prepared for sudden rain and temperature changes depending on the region. Prepare for the unexpected with a small umbrella, a raincoat, and if possible waterproof sneakers.
Unless you are doing serious hiking, look for sneakers with some weather protection. They will take up less room in your luggage than bulky boots, and would be suitable for your daily activities in the cities and towns.
Always check the weather forecast before your trip. Once you’ve researched the weather, you can focus on creating a travel capsule wardrobe.
Lou & Grey Composition Anorak / One-Button Fleece Wrap Cardigan
Bring along fashionable fleece.
The temperature can drop at night, and if the weather is humid it will feel colder than the temperature suggests. Be sure to have one or two warm sweaters you can layer over your clothing. Select a neutral color or pattern that can coordinate with most of your outfits, or if your overall palette is neutral opt for a pop of color.
Use packing cubes to help you organize and even compress your belongings to maximize your space.
Athleta Leggings / Zella ‘Live In’ Leggings
You can’t beat a pair of leggings.
A good quality medium weight legging will be indispensible on a trip to Scotland. It will keep you warm while outdoors, and comfortable in the cities. I am addicted to Athleta brand leggings, because they hold their shape and color after many of washings. Be careful that your choice doesn’t stretch or sag after one wear. Also, look for a legging without the shine that signals workout gear. A matte fabric will be more versatile over the length of your trip.
Flat Boots are the best shoes.
The best shoes for walking around in the towns and cities are comfortable flat boots. A neutral pair that would look good with jeans or dresses is your best bet. Also, choose a light pair that wont weigh down your luggage. Make sure to break them in before your trip to prevent rubbing and sore feet.
Don’t forget to protect yourself from the midges. If you are traveling to an area where midges are prevalent, be sure to take along a little skin protection. Some people swear by Avon Skin So Soft, but I would stick to proven insect repellents to keep the bites at bay.
The best way to enjoy your holiday no matter the conditions is to be prepared. Pack the essentials and layer in other pieces and accessories that reflect your personal style.
Do you have any tips to add? Please comment below!
For more Europe summer packing tips, please read:
- What to Wear in Hungary: 5 Quick Packing Tips for Budapest in Summer
- What to Wear in Greece in Summer: Islands and Cruising
- Planning a Summer Barcelona Vacation? Follow these 8 Packing Tips!
- 5 Wardrobe Essentials for a Summer Trip to Madrid
Suggested travel resources:
- Lonely Planet Europe on a Shoestring
- Lonely Planet Scotland (Country Guide)
- Travel Shoes for Europe
- The Best Carry-on Suitcases for Europe
Hope you liked this post on summer clothing tips for Scotland. Please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Author Bio: Niki is an interior designer and artist from Louisiana. In addition to her design work, she writes for local and online publications sharing her experiences and passion for travel. Niki is currently adding stamps to her passport while building her design practice, Niki Landry Designs. nikilandry.com nikilandrydesigns niki-landry-designs-llc
Just got back from beautiful Scotland at the end of August. I totally overpacked for my 8 day trip. One skirt would have been plenty. I packed dresses and two pairs of sandals. Not necessary!! All I needed were Lulu leggings and long and short tees. Of course my Barbour waterproof jacket was functional and fashionable. Chelsea boots and asics were all I needed.
What should I pack for a trip at the end of May?
Hi Lela, check out this guide for tips to help you with packing for the weather in spring time: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/what-to-pack-for-trips-to-scotland/
Have a brilliant time!
Great reading for our summer 2023 trip to Scotland!
What are midges ?
Hi Margaret, thank you for reaching out. A midge is a small insect common to the highlands of Scotland and, like mosquitoes, it is known to bite people. You can learn more about them here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_midge
If you are worried about insects, you might be interested in our round up of the best insect repellents: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/best-insect-repellent/ Hope this helps answer your question. Happy travels!
Hi, I’m planning a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland from July 3-6, 2018. Can you please offer some travel tips on how I should dress? What are the temperature ranges? Is the weather warm to cool and does it get downright cold? It’s tricky trying to figure it out given Scotland’s extreme northern latitude and proximity to large bodies of water.
Hi Ishaam, have a look at these TFG articles about packing for Scotland for some ideas: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/what-to-wear-in-scotland/ https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/what-to-pack-for-trips-to-scotland/ They may be a good place to start planning your packing! Have an amazing trip! 🙂
Does anyone know what the weather is like in late September/October? Also; does anyone know how to make “waterproof” Teva ankle boots less slippery? They are the only waterproof ones I found and they are comfortable, but found out they tend to be slippery on rainy concrete.
Also: would long sleeve t-shirts with a “quilted” type vest and lightweight rain jacket be enough in late September??
Hi Kath, the weather in late September/October is likely to be varied and unpredictable, you would be best to check the weather forecast nearer your trip. For some more ideas about planning your wardrobe for your trip to Scotland have a look at these posts:
Take a look at this post about how to care for your shoes during the winter for some ideas: https://travelfashiongirl.com/shoe-care-tips-for-winter-travel/
Hope this helps! 🙂
I’ve travelled for the past several years in Scotland for two months at a time. Mid August, all Sep, mid Oct. I use one suitcase, one lightweight daypack and all clothes are the wicking type that can be layered, as well as wash and dry quickly. I have several pairs of pants that are water resistant and a pair of leggings. No fleece, doesn’t layer well and too bulky. I wear a lightweight down vest depending on temp. 2 pairs of shoes, alternating each day. I do keep a pair of long underwear, nice to have when on the islands, which can be very windy and cold. The most important, mandatory item is a rain jacket. Gore tex is waterproof, but a lightweight water resistant jacket (with hood) will do fine. Do not get one that’s heavy. Never ever leave for the day without it. Tie it around your waist if you don’t need it right away. Most of my clothes come from REI. Great products, knowledgeable staff. Be comfortable, Scots are casual dressers, bring only clothes you know go with what/where you’ll be. Have fun!
Looking for style guide for Edinburgh! Thanks!
I’m a Scot, so feel qualified to comment on this. Two things:
1. If you’re coming to Scotland soon, you should know that we’re not having a great summer so far. It has been cloudy and cold for the last month. It may change, but bring extra layers.
2. Don’t pack a fleece. I pass tourists shivering in fleeces every day. In Scotland, a lot of the chill comes from the wind, which goes right through fleece. Bring a light jacket, or something woollen instead. You’ll thank me for it.
Thanks for the tips Caitlin! 🙂
Are most summers this way?
Hi Caitlin, we are planning to visit Scotland, Wales & Manchester in April 2018. Are these tips still applicable 3 years later?
hey there Caitlin, I’m coming to Scotland in November do you have any different suggestions on clothing tips for someone coming from the USA?
Hi Jayme, for more wardrobe tips, have a look at our guide to Scotland for some ideas to help you with your packing: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/what-to-pack-for-trips-to-scotland/ Have an awesome trip!