What to pack when visiting Scotland

If you are planning on visiting Scotland on vacation, then lucky you! However, you might be a bit confused as to what you should pack. You’ve probably heard about our changeable weather, perhaps stories about midges and even the odd tale about magnificent beasts roaming the hills. How do you deal with all of that? Here are our suggestions.

What clothes to pack for a Scottish vacation

When you stay at one of Stuckgowan Estate’s properties by Loch Lomond or Loch Tay, you’ll probably want to start exploring and enjoying the wonderful scenery and attractions nearby straightaway. So what clothes are best to pack for this?

Loch Lomond from above.

In Scotland, it’s generally safe to assume that at some point during your stay it will rain. Whilst our summers are often glorious (“taps aff” weather, as we like to call it!) and you should bring some suncream, there’s always the chance of some rain showers even in summer.

So, if you are visiting in the spring and summer, which is from around May through to August, you will be well placed to pack light clothes like t-shirts, light jumpers and shorts or skirts. But do remember to bring at least one jacket with a hood, just in case there is bad weather or some unexpected rain.

Don’t worry if it is a bit wet when you want to go outside though. As one of Scotland’s favourite comedians, Billy Connoly, likes to say, “If you don’t like the weather in Scotland, hang about for 20 minutes”. It’s very changeable, and you might be sweating one minute and dashing for cover from the rain the next!  

For footwear, unless you are planning on hiking, trainers (or sneakers) are usually fine for getting about. 

Visiting Scotland in autumn and winter can be a mixed bag when it comes to weather. Generally speaking, you’ll need warmer clothes the closer to December you are. We can have beautiful sunny days here, but the air can still be freezing cold so make sure you wrap up warm. You might need waterproof footwear as the Scottish countryside can get wet quickly and paths can fill up with puddles. A pair of wellies and thick socks will be perfect for getting “oot and aboot”. 

A view of Loch Tay from above

Preparing for midges

There are many names for the midge (pronounced midjy) in Scotland – those little flying, biting insects that exist as little black clouds in the warmer months. Most of the names are perhaps not suited for publication on this blog. Fortunately, the bites don’t tend to be particularly bad and midges are more of a nuisance than anything. However, they can occasionally ruin a nice break at the lochside with their buzzing and biting, so coming prepared is a good idea. 

You can buy and pack midge hats which are a fine mesh that covers your whole head, and ties in with a drawstring at your neck. They may make you look like a beekeeper, but they are effective at keeping the midges off your face. Make sure you have some long-sleeved tops and trousers for the rest of you. 

There are also some lotions you can apply before going outside which claim to stave off the creatures. One of the most popular is called Smidge, developed in Scotland for this purpose. 

Midges are not a problem during the colder months, from winter through spring, so you shouldn’t need to worry about them at this time. They just like to come out and play when it’s warm!

Get ready to see Scotland’s beauty

For a small country, we more than pull our weight when it comes to wildlife. Spectacular deer on hills, majestic eagles soaring overhead and dolphins playing in lochs can all be found near our holiday homes. Make sure you pack a pair of binoculars to get the most out of these sights. Although our mobile phones are good, the zoom is often pixelated. If you bring a handy pair of binoculars you can see every last detail of our wildlife whilst keeping a respectful distance. Loch Tay is Perthshire’s largest loch, so it’s good to be able to see as much as possible. And Loch Lomond has outstanding views all around – make sure you can see it all when visiting Scotland.

Accessories and sundries

Don’t forget the small things! Here in Scotland, we use three-pronged plugs. Make sure you buy the appropriate adaptor so that your phones, laptops and other equipment work whilst you’re here. 

We use the Pound Sterling here, and you can use this currency in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. You won’t be able to use your Euros or Dollars here so make sure you spend them before you arrive. The designs on our money varies (quite enormously!) as different banks produce different looks, but all the currency is the same shape and size. 

Have you packed everything for your Scottish vacation?

So, let’s sum up. If you are coming into Scotland, make sure you have:

  • Light clothes like t-shirts, jumpers and shots/skirts for summer vacations (May to September)
  • Warm and waterproof clothes for the rest of the year
  • Midge repellant or hats if you are coming over the summer and autumn months.
  • Binoculars
  • Plug adaptors
  • Money in Pounds Sterling

If you have all these, then you are well on your way to having a great stay with us at Stuckgowan Estates when visiting Scotland! Click here to contact us and start planning your holiday today.