What to Pack for Scotland in Winter

Scottish winters can be harsh. Sunny days tend to be the coldest, and on some winter days it tends to rain non-stop. Meanwhile, most of the Highlands are covered in snow during the winter months, however snowfalls are not that common in the south of Scotland.

However, don’t let the Scottish weather intimidate you – you can still enjoy being outdoors if you wear the right clothes.  

Here’s what to pack for Scotland in winter.

what to pack for scotland in winter
Scotland winter packing list.

1. A pair of comfy (and waterproof) boots

What to pack for Scotland in winter | Scotland packing list

Whether you’re planning to explore the streets of Edinburgh and Glasgow, or wander through highland towns, make sure you keep your feet dry and warm.  

Recommendation: I love these ankle wellies by Mountain Warehouse – they’re waterproof, come with a soft wool lining and are easy to clean.    

2. A cosy scarf or shawl

What to pack for Scotland in winter | Scotland packing list

Ever since I moved to Scotland, my collection of scarves has grown considerably. Wearing a stylish scarf is the quickest way to add some colour to a dull winter outfit.

Recommendation: This colourful plaid scarf is soft and warm, made with 100% lambswool.

3. A lightweight rain jacket

What to pack for Scotland in winter

If you’re visiting Scotland in winter, pack a waterproof jacket – preferably one that’s also lightweight and quick drying.

Recommendation: This waterproof and lightweight rain jacket is also suitable for many winter activities, including hiking. It comes in a variety of beautiful colours.  

4. A fleece top

What to pack for Scotland in winter | Scotland packing list

Wearing a comfy fleece top or sweater under a jacket is a great way to keep warm, especially if you’re planning to go hiking in Scotland.  

Recommendation: This lightweight fleece sweater is perfect for hiking in cold and wet weather. There are many nice colours to choose from!        

5. A warm beanie

What to pack for Scotland in winter | Scotland packing list

Some might find beanies uncomfortable, but you should still pack one just in case it gets too cold.  

Recommendation: Keep your head warm with this colourful knitted beanie – you can get it in different colours so just grab one that goes with your outfit.        

6. Thermal tights or leggings

I wear thermal tights or leggings almost every day in winter (I even wear them in the house!). Just pack 2-3 pairs and a couple of cosy woollen dresses or sweaters to wear with.

Recommendation: These cosy fleece tights are perfect for a winter trip to Scotland. You can wear them during the night as part of a casual outfit, or just pair them with a nice dress for a night out.

7. Thick gloves

What to pack for Scotland in winter | Scotland packing list

Another useful things to pack for a winter trip to Scotland is a pair of warm gloves (or two, since most of us tend to misplace them).

Recommendation: These thick gloves provide great insulation against Scotland’s cold weather and they are also moisture-wicking.

8. Waterproof and anti-theft travel bag

If you’re planning to do a lot of walking, choose a bag that’s waterproof and sturdy. I also recommend carrying an anti-theft bag if you’re planning to attend crowded places or events, like the Christmas market and the Hogmanay party in Edinburgh.

Recommendation: This elegant waterproof and anti-theft backpack has many useful compartments and can also be worn as a shoulder bag.

9. A thermal travel flask

Tap water in Scotland is drinkable (and actually quite good), so pack a water bottle and fill it up with water (or make a hot drink) before you head out. It is also a great way to keep yourself hydrated on the road.

Recommendation: This stainless steel water bottle is keeps drinks hot for long hours. It is also 100% BPA free.

10. Warm, breathable socks

Keep your feet warm during the Scottish winter can be a bit of a challenge, which is why you need to make sure to pack several pairs of warm and comfy socks.  

Recommendation: If you’re planning to do a lot of walking, get some of these winter walking socks which are breathable and antibacterial.

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Daniela Frendo

Daniela Frendo

Hi! I'm a Maltese blogger based in Scotland. I created Grumpy Camel to help travellers connect with places through culture, history and cuisine.

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