What to Pack for Scotland’s Highlands and Islands
The Scottish Highlands and Islands is one of the most magnificent places to visit on earth! But with our rugged landscapes and famously changeable Scottish weather, you might be wondering what to pack for a visit. So, here’s our list to give you a few pointers.
What to Wear in Scotland
Comfy Clothes – Comfortable, practical clothes are best for exploring the Highlands and Islands. You may have heard that we experience all 4 seasons in one day here, and this is often true. So, you’ll need sunglasses and a raincoat at all times. (In the wind and rain, a hooded waterproof jacket is more useful than an umbrella, as it will not blow inside out!) In the winter, wrap up warm, as temperatures range from around 5C to below 0. In summer, it’s a milder 9 to 18, but it may still be windy and cold. If you bring lots of layers, for example top, jumper, rain jacket, warm coat, hat, scarf and gloves, then you’re prepared for all eventualities.
Sturdy Footwear – If you plan on doing lots of walking, you’ll need good sturdy walking shoes for the uneven terrain. And we’d suggest a pair of wellies too, for walking through shallow water, puddles and mud.
Evening Wear – Don’t forget to pack something for the evening too. If you’re planning on attending a ceilidh or dinner, you may want to dress up for the occasion.
Other Essentials – Of course, don’t forget your underwear, toothbrush, soaps, medication and other daily essentials. Those travelling by air must follow the rules for packing hand luggage.
What to Put in Your Backpack
Mobile Phone – It goes without saying, you should take your phone along. But make sure you also have your mains charger and a portable charger, so you don’t run out of battery. If you’re travelling from abroad, ensure your phone is set up for use in the UK, and bring a mains adapter too.
Camera – This is a must, to capture those breath-taking scenes and special memories you’ll want to keep with you for the rest of your life.
Map and Compass – Today, many of us rely on our phones and sat navs for directions. But it’s always wise to have a solid back up, in the form of an old-fashioned road map and compass. You never know when technology might fail you, especially in the remotest areas of Scotland.
Water Bottle and Snacks – If you’re going out into the countryside, take some drinks and snacks to keep you energised. Although it’s lovely to visit the local shops and cafes, have some extra supplies on hand just in case they are closed, or further away than you anticipated.
Sun cream and Midge Spray – In the warmer months, generally May to October, you’ll need sun cream with you. Plus, an insect repellent to ward off those pesky beasties.
First Aid Kit – It’s always useful to carry a small first aid kit when travelling, in case of emergencies.
We hope this has helped you plan what to pack for a visit to Scotland’s Highlands and Islands. If you’re travelling to our beautiful island of Islay (and you MUST), check out our lovely self-catering accommodation and please get in touch with any questions. Have a wonderful trip!