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This Scotland packing list is brought to you by TFG guest fashion blogger Jacopo Grazzi. He’s an Italian student studying fashion in Glasgow and is giving TFG some European insight in this month’s packing lists. Please check out his blog Jakes Mood and you can follow him on Twitter @jacopograzzi. Thank you, J!
What to Pack for Trips to Scotland
Written by Jacopo Grazzi
Table Of Contents
When you are planning your trip to Scotland, keep in mind that Scottish weather is very unpredictable. There can be rain, wind, and sunshine in the same trip.
No matter which time of year you travel, the main thing to remember is to always pack layers, including a raincoat, hoodie, and umbrella.
What do people wear in Scotland?
Scotland’s bigger cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh aren’t considered major fashion capitals and people don’t care much about what you wear. However, you can spot a lot of fashionistas around these cities.
Hush Puppies Chaste Ballet Flat | Ecco Damara Gladiator Sandal
Most of the time, tourists who plan to come to Scotland don’t spend much time in town, but rather exploring the great outdoors: the famous Highlands, lakes (lochs in Gaelic), the islands, and the beautiful castles and ruins all around the countryside.
Read this post about how to choose the best walking shoes for Scotland all year round.
Columbia Pardon My Trench Rain Jacket | Cole Haan Packable Rain Jacket (Plus)
The rain and wind can sometimes be strong; the number one rule is to take an umbrella with you every time you go out.
Always, always, always check the weather forecast before your trip. Once you’ve researched the weather, you can focus on creating a travel capsule wardrobe, which should easily fit in a carryon suitcase with the help of packing cubes to compress your clothing.
Sweater | Shirt | Blouse | Long Sleeve | Swing Dress | Jersey Dress | Jeans | Pants | Poncho | Raincoat | Sweater | Skirt | Boots | Flats | Scarf | Backpack
What to Pack for Trips to Scotland in Spring
Spring is the best season to plan trips to Scotland, and April is the sunniest and warmest month. The temperature varies from 5-20°C / 40-68°F, but it’s quite chilly all the time. While the weather may be mild, it may rain a lot.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for spring travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer a Summer Dress for Spring
- How to Pack for Europe in Spring
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
TFG APPROVED! Eddie Bauer Women’s Charly Jacket
Glasgow/Edinburgh Packing List: Spring
Blondo Women’s Villa Waterproof Ankle Bootie
A waterproof jacket, like a trench coat, is your best friend. Plan to wear layers. You can wear a cotton sweater or cardigan with a long sleeve shirt underneath. Pack a pair of jeans and trousers along with waterproof shoes and/or leather boots and you are ready to go! (Don’t forget your umbrella.) These are the best waterproof leather boots recommended by our readers!
Travel tip: Pack a pair of leggings or tights that you can wear under your trousers if the weather is colder that you expect. These are the best leggings for women that travel as voted for by our readers!
T-Shirt | Blouse 1 | Blouse 2 | Long Sleeve | Dress | Shirtdress | Pants | Jeans | Raincoat | Jacket | Sweater | Skirt | Boots 1 | Flats | Scarf | Backpack
What to Pack for Trips to Scotland in Summer
We don’t really get a proper summer in Scotland; it’s more like a warmer spring, or a bridge between spring and autumn that we call June and July.
Summer days can reach temperatures of 25°C / 77°F. Remember that rain is just around the corner, so don’t let it find you unprepared! Carry an umbrella and waterproof jacket everywhere you go!
(Note: If you are visiting in the second half of August, you might want to follow the autumn section.)
Start by reading these general tips on packing for summer travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Summer
- Top Summer Dresses Perfect for Europe
- Lightweight Jackets for Easy Layers
- Best Walking Shoes for Europe’s Cobblestone Streets
Glasgow/Edinburgh Packing List: Summer
Zella Live In High Waist Leggings
While some summer days can be nice, if you plan to wear shorts or light trousers, pack tights or leggings to layer underneath if needed. These are the best leggings for women that travel as voted for by our readers!
Sorel Emelie Chelsea Waterproof Boots
Bring a waterproof jacket, as the temperature can drop to 15°C / 59°F quickly. Waterproof shoes or ankle boots are the best for this season.
Travel tip: Even if it’s summer, always choose clothing you can layer Check the forecast before your trip!
Shirt | Sweater | Longsleeve | Longsleeve | Dress | Jersey Dress | Jeans | Pants | Raincoat | Coat | Sweater| Skirt | Boots 1 | Boots 2 | Scarf | Backpack
What to Pack for Trips to Scotland in Autumn
Autumn weather can vary. It’s really unpredictable and the temperature can go from 15° to 5°C / 59° to 41°F in a few hours!
Glasgow is cooler because the river, which splits the city into north and south, carries warm water from the ocean, due to the Gulf of Mexico loop current. It rains quite a lot and sometimes it snows. Note that our autumn starts in August/September!
Start by reading these general tips on packing for autumn travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer Clothes
- Use a Summer Dress to Pack Light in Fall
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
Glagsow/Edinburgh Packing List: Autumn
J.Crew Halle Merino Wool Crewneck Sweater
In autumn, layers are essential for trips to Scotland. With a warm cotton cardigan or sweater, scarf, a cute and comfortable long sleeve shirt, a pair of jeans, boots or comfortable leather shoes, and a waterproof jacket or a trench coat (and an umbrella of course) and you can hit the town!
Travel tip: It doesn’t hurt to pack a hat and gloves. They’re small and will keep you warm. These waterproof jackets will help you stay stylishly dry!
Sweater | Longsleeve | Poncho | Sweater 2 | Dress 1 | Dress 2 | Jeans | Pants | Raincoat | Coat | Top | Bottom | Boots 1 | Boots 2 | Scarf | Backpack
What to Pack for Trips to Scotland in Winter
Winter is the most horrible season of the year! The weather is really bad and you might not see the sun the whole time you’re here.
It can go from 5° to -5°C / 41° to 23°F during the day. The rain will pour and it can snow a lot in Edinburgh and outside Glasgow. But the feeling you have when you are out and about in these two cities will cheer you up, as they are fascinating.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for winter travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Winter
- How to Pack for Cold Weather
- How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather (without the bulk)
- The Best Travel Shoes for Winter
Eddie Bauer Charly Jacket paired with Ugg Wilde Boot (Similar)
Glasgow/Edinburgh Packing List: Winter
Columbia Carson Pass Ii Jacket
In winter it can be quite freezing, but I survived it with a quilted wool coat, cozy cotton sweaters and jackets, a hat, scarf, and gloves. Jeans or warm trousers with leggings underneath are a must. Boots or comfortable waterproof shoes can be worn in the city center and in the surrounding areas.
These are the best waterproof leather boots recommended by our readers!
Silk Thermal Top | Silk Thermal Bottom
And if I haven’t said it enough, plan to layer, layer, layer. If you’re not sure how cold it will get, pack a set of thermals that can be layered under anything for extra warmth. Find out why thermals are a must for traveling light (and staying warm) in winter!
Learn our hacks with packing cubes in this video!
Depending on how many days or weeks you’re traveling, you may want to use luggage organizers such as packing cubes, which allow optimum use of the space in your luggage, keeping everything organized and in place during your travels, and making the task of unpacking and repacking simple and stress-free.
We put together a five-part YouTube series showing the different methods to use packing cubes for travel. If you use this specific packing strategy, packing cubes can also compress your belongings. This is the secret to traveling carry-on only!
Osprey Ozone Wheeled Carry-on 42L/21.5″
As you’re headed to fashionable Europe, use an equally stylish carry-on, such as the Osprey Ozone, which is a personal favorite. Keep in mind that most of Europe’s budget airlines have a carry-on bag allowance of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Always check your airlines individual baggage rules and regulations in advance.
Compass Rose Secret Bra Wallet
Shopping in Scotland
If you realize you didn’t bring suitable clothes for the weather, don’t worry: Glasgow is the 3rd largest retail area in the United Kingdom outside London and it’s the biggest in Scotland.
The “Golden Z” is three streets: Buchanan Street, Sauchiehall Street, and Argyle Street, all in the city center, making the shape of the letter “Z”. These host the most shopping traffic.
With five shopping galleries in the city center, you are spoiled for choice! Forever21 recently opened its second biggest store in Europe and its biggest in the UK in the new shopping center called Buchanan Quarters, situated on Buchanan Street.
Edinburgh is no less impressive for shopping! The big shops on Princes Street are there to cheer you up on cloudy, rainy days.
George Street offers a stylish mix of clothing, accessories, and local souvenir shops. Multrees Walk is at the end of George Street and it has luxury shops like Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nichols. Princes Mall and St James Centre house urban and youthful clothing and a variety of fast food restaurants and cafes for when you get hungry!
Popular department store John Lewis is also found in both cities, which features brands like DKNY, French Connection, Mango, and Oasis. Needless to say, you should be able to find anything you need in these cities!
Tip: Worried about theft, add items like a money belt to your packing list.
What are the best accommodations in Scotland?
We love Airbnb for accommodation in Scotland. Sign up here for a free $40 credit!
I prefer to book “the entire home” instead of opting for shared accommodation on Airbnb. Aside from safety, I also like to feel like I’m living in the destination. It’s a small taste of local life plus you get more amenities than you would at a hotel such as a kitchen and washing machine.
Read these Airbnb tips for more info!
If you prefer the convenience and comfort of a hotel room, I like using both Agoda.com and Hotels.com. Tip: Hotels.com gives you a free night for every ten nights you book!
For hostels, we recommend Hostelworld and Hostelbookers. Always read the reviews before booking to get the best idea if the hostel is right for you. Some are quiet and family friendly while others are known for their party atmosphere.
Not sure about staying at a hostel? Read this.
FINAL TIP: Don’t be afraid of our gray and rainy weather! To stand out against the gray buildings and streets, wear colorful items and accessories–they will make your day brighter.
What are your tips on what to pack for trips to Scotland?
Please note: Most of Europe’s budget airlines have this carryon bag allowance: 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Always check your airlines’ individual baggage rules and regulations in advance.
For more tips, please read these Europe packing lists:
Suggested travel resources:
Please read our Ultimate Packing List for Europe featuring stylish outfits and travel tips for 9 countries.
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Thanks so much for this! I keep coming back to this list as my bible for our trip to Scotland this winter. And convincing my family that they should only take a capsule wardrobe, not every favourite piece in their wardrobe. Thanks also for the rich information and guidance across the site.
I just went to Scotland in early August and used the packing guide extensively since I wanted to do 10 days and carryon only. Turns out that we had unprecedented weather and I didn’t need the rain jacket but it was necessary for the wind! Also brought a puffer jacket which was key for a few nights in Edinburgh. Thanks again for all the helpful tips.
Thank you so much! My family of 5 just returned from our 1st carry on only trip which included a week in Scotland. I couldn’t believe we could travel so lightly and be so prepared for the Scotland weather, which ranged from warm to cold and misty. We all followed your above packing list and your recommendation were perfect. I am a total T FG convert!!
My girlfriend and I, along with our spouses, will traveling to Scotland in Oct 2022, to celebrate our 50th birthdays this year! Your site has been extremely helpful!
Planning a long-delayed Scotland trip this fall, and I’ve returned to this post several times over for guidance and inspiration — living in the American southwest, I’m so out of touch with the climate there. Haha. So thank you!!
Scotland is on my bucket list and I hope when I am able to go, I am prepared thanks to this blog. Been a follower since 2012.
Is it the same for London?
Hi Lori, have a look at this guide for tips to help you pack for London: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/what-to-pack-for-london-on-your-trip-to-the-united-kingdom/
Have a brilliant time on your travels!
Traveling to UK (London and Scotland in Sept) and this is so helpful!! I just hope the rain holds off!Thank you!!
This was super helpful for my recent trip. Forget the umbrella, just light drizzle that will go right up under the umbrella. Rain coat and waterproof boots will be your best friends!
Your guide helped me so much with my few trips to scotland at various times if the year!
I spent two weeks in Scotland in July and my favorite “hack” for shopping for a great quality Scottish wool sweater was to stop in at Armstrong’s vintage on argyle street- I spent 30 pounds and got a keepsake I’ll keep forever, for about a quarter of the price of a decent new one. I was also thrilled that my blundstone boots worked well for hiking and were in fact better than my friends’ hiking shoes when there was a sudden downpour!
This has been so helpful! I live in Florida so I am looking forward to cute styles for cooler weather <3
Hi Ellen, thank you for your comment, so pleased you found the post helpful!! Have an awesome trip to Scotland! 🙂
Coming in August, so that is considered fall w cooler weather? Great tips for a first timer over there, this is my new bible! Thanks you!
Hi Julie, thank you so much for your lovely comment, so glad you enjoyed the article! 🙂
I followed the guide in this post combining with maximista packing list for my study abroad preparation in Edinburgh. The result: absolutely amazing!! I had lighter luggage than most of the students did, but the downside is i can’t find any reason to buy new clothes since there are many styles to mix and match even after a whole month being here! 😀 thanks travelfashiongirl for keeping my shopping budget under control, haha!
My husband and I are travelling to Edinburgh, Scotland over the Christmas Holidays thru New Years Day. I am looking for ideas on what to pack/wear – All of the comments submitted are helpful, however I keep reading that Spring is the best time to travel to Scotland, but with that being said, we are soooo excited to be in Scotland over the holidays and to perhaps ring in the New Year in a castle :))) Thank you for your help!
I’ve only lived in Edinburgh through one December, but I found it not near as wet as its reputation. Quite often drizzly, but no major showers.
What did catch me off guard was the wind. And of course, wind makes umbrellas almost useless, so I never used one.
The nightlife in Edinburgh in December is absolutely wonderful! Theatres, concerts,restaurants, pubs, and the Christmas Market! You will definitely want to bring something a bit dressier than your day clothes to take full advantage.
I do agree, layering is essential.
I toured Scotland the last week of May and early June 2017. I’m from Seattle so layering is second nature and i packed accordingly. Weather was mid to high 80s F when we arrived ! I only had three short sleeved tops and never needed the sweater i packed for the ferry to the islands. I think the packing lists are good suggestions but you never know. I was “forced” to shop in Edinburgh.
This post is so helpful, I love it!!! <3 Thank you so much
Glad you like it Jeanne!
I don’t know how updated this post, but I’m going to Glasgow and the region in the beginning of May, and I’m going from Denmark where I still need to wear my winter coat in April. :/ Should I take my winter coat to Scotland too?
Hi Bess, the best advice is to check BBC.com/weather or weather.com for the forecast before your trip. Have fun!
First trip to Scotland August 2022 found info informative. Thank you MJ
That is so awesome to hear Mary, have the most incredible time on your travels ?
I love this post! I’m heading to Scotland in April for two weeks in April and have been using this to plan my carry on only wardrobe!
That’s awesome Alexa! Happy to help! Safe Travels!
Loved this! And considered the not taking the umbrella, but saying yes to the Raincoat!
So anxious to be traveling to Scotland, and in general to the UK in April! So everything counts!
Thank you! Love your blog!
Thanks for sharing Veronica! Glad you enjoyed it! Enjoy your trip!
As a frequent visitor to Edinburgh, I would suggest bringing along a felted wool beret instead of an umbrella. The winds in this city are pretty strong and an umbrella just doesn’t cut it. Notice all the ones stuck up in the trees! Felted wool is pretty water tight and won’t blow off!
Oh that’s really great advice Stefanie! Thank you for sharing and for reading! Happy travels!
Thank you for the advise as we will be there in May.
This is super helpful, as I’m heading off to the UK in a few months (England, actually, but far enough north to consider trips to Edinburgh more than London ;)). I’m honestly looking forward to the cool, relatively wet weather *insert cringing people here*, and dreading the oncoming hot summer where I’m staying now. My stay in the UK is going to be long-term though, so I’ll be packing bit more than a simple trip would warrant, if only not to bother with shopping right away. Plus, since I don’t wear dresses or skirts, I’ll be grabbing more pants and warm top layers. Thanks a lot for these concise guides!
Glad you find it helpful! Here are some rainy day outfit tips for you to consider on your stay:
Welp, I’m seeing this really late, sorry! Thanks so much for the links! 🙂
My husband and I are going to Scotland this July 2016…and I”m so worried what to bring..I have read up on what to wear…I”m just afraid that I will bring the wrong clothing..I am hot natured so, I know that with what i am reading pants jeans would be the best route with maybe some short sleeve shirts maybe a light jacket…If anyone has any other suggestions please let me know…
Hi Carol 🙂 If you’re hot natured, perhaps layers would be the best way for you to go, as you want to be as comfortable as possible! We also have an article on Scotland in the summer, which may be a bit more useful for you http://bit.ly/1U8Mgle! Have a fantastic time and don’t panic about your wardrobe!
Thank you for the website it gave me some good ideas!
Yay! Glad you found it useful Carol 🙂
I have learned several things about pa King for my fa trip to Scotland. I have purchased several of the recommended items aswe. After reading and rereading, I am reading to pack lightly but properly for my 20 day trip! Thank you for some wonderful ideas.
I’ve traveled to Edinburgh/St Andrews for the past three years from Florida and my must haves are: my beloved ballet flats for sunny days, Frye boots for cold days, cashmere cardi and cashmere scarf for windy days, and a jean jacket and fun umbrella.
Similar to Florida, Scotland can have multiple weather moods in one day so I’m accustomed to being prepared 🙂
Nice! Love that you have an easy, ready-to-go plan 🙂
Hi, I have lived in Scotland all my life and we LOVE tourists, especially Americans. So please don’t worry about looking like one! Both Edinburgh and Glasgow are very cosmopolitan cities and have students from all over the world , so you will not stand out as a foreigner .
Here are my comments on these lists :
The packing list for Spring isn’t warm enough. If you are travelling in March / April , you would be better to follow the Autumn list.
And it NEVER snow in Glasgow or Edinburgh in the autumn – the earliest snows are in November or December and it’s just a few flakes , so don’t worry about that .
Winters are not horrible, but they are mild and wet, which can be a shock to travellers from North America, who are used to cold and dry winters in the north and mild in the south .
I can tell that these lists have been written by a man, as the suggested footwear isn’t very practical . You need a comfortable pair of sneakers / trainers / tennis shoes / boots for every season . Heeled boots look very stylish but are not much use for walking miles around a city .
And of course you need a large purse / bag / small day sack to carry with you each day on your adventure .
I hope you have a wonderful time
Hi Lesley, thank you for sharing these awesome tips! I sent you an email, would love to hear more feedback. Hope to hear from you!
Lesley, thanks so much for sharing. I’m planning a trip to Scotland for next year, most likely at the end of May/beginning of June, and I’m trying to figure out what I need to take. Your information has helped a lot, but my biggest dilemma is what kind of shoes to take. I have some flat waterproof leather ankle boots that are very comfortable, but I don’t know if they will be too warm at that time of the year? Also, I’m trying to pack light and only take a carry-on, but I’m also planning on doing some hiking. What kind of shoes should I take for hiking in Scotland?
Hi Samantha 🙂 It sounds like it’s gunna be a great trip! Have a look at this guide on packing shoes for some ideas on how to choose the best shoes for travel – http://bit.ly/29lYgfF. This post on Scotland in summer will also give you some better ideas http://bit.ly/2azA0Wr. Have an awesome time!
We were there in early April and I was so glad I had my gloves and ear warmers. My first purchase was a wool scarf and I wore it every day! I was told in Glencoe, by a native: always pack your hiking boots and dancing shoes when visiting Scotland.
My other tips are published here: http://www.karentrina.com/2014/04/12-things-people-dont-tell-you-about.html
Good tips! Thanks for sharing 🙂
“WHAT NOT TO WEAR IN SCOTLAND
First I must say that is better to avoid items with the Union Jack flag on them. You can wear them around, you will not be punched or insulted, but you can be charged more in local shops and on taxis and you won’t be treated as well from some of the locals too. Wearing an accessory with the Union Jack flag will brand you as tourist and in some situation it doesn’t help!”
Whyy??? I though that tourists are always the most welcome. Economically speaking, they bring foreign money to spend! Being a tourist in a good thing, you are like the best kind of foreigner! This is what I think, though I am not from the UK, but I will visit Scotland soon. I will be a tourist! :))
I’m currently in Glasgow. It’s true! The fall begins!
Great Post, the tips are good not only for the weather but also for the style.
In Glasgow, never leave home without the waterproof shoes and jacket.
By the way, a lovelyy city for shopping 🙂
Thanks Olivia, have a great trip!
So glad that there is a packing list with advice for every season. I am moving to Edinburgh in Jan to start my PhD and am in need of all the advice that I can get about what to pack/bring.
That sounds exciting! Bring the basics and remember that you can buy things there. These posts might also help you: https://travelfashiongirl.com/10-step-packing-guides/10-step-packing-guide-to-live-or-work-abroad/
Good tips, I am moving to Scotland in the fall. Also good to point out the different carry on restrictions in Europe. Was on my way home after visiting Ireland and the lady pointed it out to me. They also weigh your carry on bag.
What an exciting move! Can’t wait to hear your feedback as a new expat IN Scotland 🙂
I LOVE the suggested outfits you put together! They would look great in Scotland, the United States, wherever. I’ll have to bookmark this page for when I next go shopping. Thanks for the great post!
Thats great. Thanks!
Ugh, in Scotland we don’t have lakes. They are lochs. Not ‘in Gaelic’, just always. The only lake in Scotland is the Lake of Menteith.
“Spring is the best season to plan trips to Scotland.”
I agree with you erin,I’ve traveled to scotland,ireland and uk many times and I think having a Smartphone will really make your life easier. You can get public transit directions, look up restaurants, and get other info on the fly. You also won’t look like a tourist with your big map, if that is your concern. Make sure you have an unlocked phone and get a local SIM card. There are many providers like PrePaymania, Worldsim, 0044 which provides Sim Card anywhere in the world. They only charge for shipping. Cheers !
I really need to get an unlocked phone. I haven’t traveled with a phone in 5 years of travel but it seems very convenient especially when it can be linked up with a local number from home making it easy for people to reach you too. Thanks for commenting!