Travel to Scotland – What to pack & wear


Travel to Scotland Travel Guide -What to Pack and Wear. A handy guide on what to pack for Scotland, what to wear & what not to wear for the mature age traveler.

Obviously, it depends on how long you are going for and what activities you intend to undertake but this is a general guide based on what I take. I usually go for at least 4 weeks from August to September but I have gone in January and I took the same.

Scotland is known for its changeable weather, so expect all 4 seasons and sometimes in one outing.

Better to be prepared rather than caught out. As the local saying goes, “if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes” or as Billy Connolly says, “there's no bad weather only bad clothes”. (this is actually a quote from 1973 by Alfred Wainwright but it is often quoted as Billy Connelly)

For the most part, I dress in casual attire and layering is the key. A waterproof spray jacket or windcheater is a must and I don't think I've gone a day without wearing mine when I've been there. 

It can get pretty windy too so a scarf is handy or a beanie. I usually carry a scarf and gloves in the pockets of my big jacket plus my coat has a hood. 

My spray jacket/windcheater and big coat are thigh-length but I'm thinking of getting a calf-length raincoat as when it's raining my legs often end up wet. Pockets with flaps covering them are good too to keep your phone etc dry and a travel poncho is handy to have in your bag, one that can cover your backpack. You can opt to buy a better quality one or just buy a cheap disposable one to keep on hand. 

Comfort is key and I have found most places in Scotland to be casual attire, dressing for the weather rather than to impress. You do see some dressed to the nines in Edinburgh and Glasgow but on the whole, it seems to be casual.

I usually wear a teeshirt, long sleeve t-shirt or shirt, a sleeveless quilted vest, and my spray jacket over jeans. If it's really cold I would wear a singlet (vest or cami)  and jumper and my big coat instead of the spray jacket.

It’s good to be rugged up for the cold but as soon as you go inside you need to take everything off again as most places are centrally heated or have an open fire.

I’ve made the mistake of wearing a jumper Dress to a restaurant and spent the night not feeling great because I was sweltering.

On days out and about I wear hiking boots I bought from Kathmandu or Sketchers walking shoes. Again sturdy but comfortable. Shoes that can handle the went marshy outdoors and the cobblestones of the cities. I waterproof my shoes before I leave with waterproofing spray but some of our tour members bought waterproof shoe covers.

I usually wear padded sole socks. Usually, I buy my socks at Primark once I arrive.

I carry a day bag or small backpack with a raincoat or poncho and a small umbrella, tissues, lip balm, sunglasses and case, my camera and accessories, a selfie stick, water bottle, wallet, and phone. Usually, I will have my big coat on the bus too just in case. If you're not carrying camera gear like me then just a small sling bag is probably plenty big enough. 

I take a couple of nicer tops or jumpers for going out and something to wear to our Gala Dinner and Ceilidh each year. Usually, something tartan if possible.

Also, keep in mind that natural fibers like cotton and wool are warmer and more comfortable to wear. You want clothes that don't crush easily and that can be put in a drier as you won't have the option to line dry your clothes if you wash them. I have used a laundry service in Glasgow that line-dried my jeans when I asked but it took 2 days. I also take a travel line so we if are based in the one place for a couple of days I handwash items and hang them. Heated towel racks are great for this also. Keep in mind you may be sharing a room with someone else.  Average Temperatures in Scotland -but remember once you add the wind chill factor in it can be a lot colder. So better to be prepared. In saying that, we have had wonderful warm sunny days on tour too where we were in t-shirts through the day and quite warm.

  • Dec, Jan & Feb Average temps -5°C (23°F) to 11 °C (51.8°F).
  • March, April & May Average Temps: 7°C (45°F) to 13 °C (55°F).
  • June, July & Aug Average Temps: 15°C (59°F) to 17°C (63 °F).
  • Sept, Oct & Nov Average Temps: 8°C (46°F) to 14°C (57°F).


  • Underwear- enough for a week and I hand wash each night.
  • 2 pr Pyjamas - I have shorts and a tee as most hotels are centrally heated if it's cold I wear my hoodie and leggings.
  • 2 Singlets - on the colder days
  • 4 Tee shirts
  • 4 long-sleeve tees or shirts
  • 1 or 2 nice tops for going out
  • 3 Jeans
  • 2 Leggings
  • 1 Jumper
  • 1 Hoodie/sweater
  • 1 Cardigan - good for nights out, I usually buy at Primark or else wear
  • 2 Quilted vest
  • 1 Spray jacket
  • 1 Raincoat - a longer lightweight one or a travel poncho.
  • 1 Large hooded jacket
  • 1 Pair Gloves
  • 2 or 3 Scarves (I often buy one there)
  • 1 Shawl
  • 1 or 2 Hat/beanies
  • 5 pr Socks - I usually buy at Primark
  • 3 pairs of sockettes to wear with walking shoes
  • 1 Pr Hiking boots
  • 1 Pr Walking shoes
  • 1 Pr Good shoes - I wear ankle boots (avoid heels if possible, they don’t fare well on cobblestones)

Day bag

  • Umbrella
  • Travel poncho
  • Travel Adaptor
  • Power Pack and cord to recharge phone
  • Camera, memory cards, spare batteries,
  • Phone and cord
  • Selfie Stick
  • Water bottle
  • Couple of ziplock bags
  • Sunglasses
  • Fold up shopping bag, in case I make some purchases.
  • A notebook and pen
  • My wallet and change purse
Womens Jeans

Whatever your most comfortable jeans are, just tidy and comfortable. I find jeans are the most versatile as you can wear them out during the day and you can dress them up with a nice top in the evening. Lee Jeans are one of my favorite brands.


Womens quilted Vest

 A quilted vest is really handy, they keep your body warm without being cumbersome and if you need to put a jacket over it you can still move freely.


Samsonite Backpack

I had always bought cheap backpacks but the zippers always broke or stitching came undone and they were uncomfortable to wear. After having a Samsonite bag I wouldn't go back now.


Waterproofing spray

I always use this spray to waterproof my shoes and backpack before I go on holiday. It dries clear. Thre are a lot of different brands.


Womens hooded Jacket

A warm hooded jacket is a must and big enough to fit layers underneath. Preferably with large pockets to store your hat, scarf, and gloves.


I wasn't sure about these boots when I bought them but once I started wearing them I was more than happy.


Sketchers are always my go-to shoe as they are hardwearing and really comfortable. These have soft woven mesh fabric and they are slip-on so great for the airport and traveling too. They are also machine washable.


Similar to the waterproof shoe covers these silicon shoe covers just slip over your shoes like a raincoat. They are durable and Non Slip and easy to put on and remove. I remember wearing something similar made from rubber when I was a child, we called them galoshes.


a compact windproof umbrella is a must. I have found this one that has a 100% warranty and guarantee.  Its compact, lightweight, has an automatic opening and closing and has high resistance to 60 mph wind gusts.


Womens long sleeve Top

Long sleeve tops are the main item I wear, I often have outlander sayings printed on them.


Rain Poncho

Another really handy piece is a rain poncho, they fold up really small and are light but quick to put on and if you are carrying a bag you can leave it on as the poncho can fit over the top. I used to carry disposable ones but I was going through a lot and being plastic they aren't great for the environment. These come in a wide range of colours.


Waterproof shoe Covers

I've not personally worn these but a few of our tour members have and they gave them the thumbs up. Great for keeping your shoes dry in the wet.


sling bag

For on your flights to Scotland and once you are there if you arent taking a backpack or heading out for dinner or a drink then this handy sling bag is perfect. It has lockable zippers and is made from cut-proof material to prevent theft plus it has an RFID blocking pocket to keep your credit cards and ID safe.

It has 2 lockable zippered compartments and interior pockets and is an ideal size and very lightweight.



HEELS - If you usually wear heels you may find it difficult walking on the cobblestones and there are a lot of uneven staircases too which heels would make difficult. The surface is very uneven so sturdy flat shoes or boots are more suitablecobblestones





KILT - a lot of people say not to wear a kilt. Usually in Scotland, a kilt is only

21st century Kilt

worn formally at special occasions like a wedding or awake or if you are busking or a tour guide. At a football match, they are worn more informally.  with boots and a t-shirt or jersey.

Nowadays though there are

modern kilts which I think are suitable for everyday wear. Howie from 21st Century Kilts makes them in denim, leather, and combat colors.

It's definitely not acceptable to ask a gent what he wears under his kilt or to try to have a look. Unbelievably, some women do.

RUGGING UP IN THE COLD - rugging up is fine if you are staying outdoors, but make sure you have layers as once you head indoors you will be stripping down to a cooler layer. I've made the mistake of wearing a knitted dress out to a restaurant and then spent the night sweltering.

BEACHWEAR unless you plan on using a heated pool I wouldn't worry about taking beachwear. Scotland has some beautiful beaches but the water is freezing so unless you plan to brave it I wouldn't bother.

VALUABLES - Scotland is a safe country to travel to but I still don't take valuables with me. Jewelry, etc can be easily lost or stolen so best to leave it at home. If you do take something insure it.

HEAVY ITEMS - Avoid taking anything heavy if you can, remember you have to handle your bags, you don't want to hurt yourself moving your bags around and you don't want to be paying for excess baggage.

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