Scotland: What to Pack for Summer Travel (for Women)

One of the biggest challenges packing for a trip to Scotland is the unpredictable weather. With temperatures ranging from chilly to mild, you never know what you will get!

You may luck out and have sun, but I’d say expect rain at least once a day! To help you prepare, here are a few tips for what to pack for Scotland in summer for my fellow ladies:





SUMMERTIME: When we did our grand Scotland road-trip, we went in June (2022). The summer season in Scotland really only lasts from June to August, but this can vary. Even during summer, the weather can quickly change to feel chilly- especially when it rains, or if it’s windy. 
||Note: When I went again in May 2023, it was sunny every day for 2 full weeks- I wore short sleeves each day and didn’t need any rain gear- be prepared for anything!! ||


One thing we were pleasantly surprised by is the long amount of daylight during a summer visit. ☀️
Due to Scotland’s northern location, in June, daylight can last from before 4 am until after 11 pm. We viewed this as a positive as it made us feel we had more time in the day to explore (and find plenty of highland cows)! 🐂
If traveling with children, this can be an issue. Bring the right baby/toddler gear so your child has a dark place to sleep! 🌙
Typically, summer temperatures are around 15°C to 17°C (59°F to 63°F). Always check the forecast the week before you leave! Even on sunny summer days, the breeze brings a chill! 🌬️


Read more: My itinerary of our 10 day trip in Scotland!

Enjoying a brief moment of sun!

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LAYER UP!: When packing for your trip to Scotland, I have one key tip to share: dress in layers!! Although Scotland does receive that rare sunshine, the weather is among the most unpredictable I’ve ever experienced.
The layering doesn’t just apply to when you’re packing, but also when you’re out exploring during the day. Being able to add or remove layers quickly will ensure you’re happy no matter what.
With that, I’d recommend a decent sized day-bag or small stylish backpack (versus a purse). This way you can add and remove clothing as needed, and have room for a rain coat or compact umbrella!


JACKETS: No matter when you visit Scotland, always pack a waterproof jacket (or lightweight rain jacket- this is the rain jacket I brought!). Scotland is notorious for rain, and a quality jacket will keep you comfortable. 🌧️
I purchased one I could easily squish up and put in my day-pack to have ready for inevitable pop up showers. 🌧️I ended up pulling out my rain jacket at least once a day.
I also brought a “stylish jacket” that I paired with dresses or other outfits to wear out to dinner- although this one isn’t waterproof!


 



SHOES: Scotland is a country of rugged landscapes and historic cities with those pesky cobblestones, so you’ll want to pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Bonus points if they are waterproof! 👟
Sneakers (I wore my Adidas most days as they look cute with jeans or a dress) or hiking boots are both good options, depending on your plans. 🥾
I personally found these cute ankle length rain boots. They looked good in both casual and outdoorsy settings, and I didn’t have to worry about getting them wet or muddy. I ended up wearing these basically every day! 
ancient stone structures scotland inverness
My ankle-length rain boots plus leggings and rain jacket


GENERAL RULE: When it comes to fashion, Scotland isn’t known for being particularly trendy. At least in comparison to other European countries- and I don’t mean this in a bad way! The vibe I got is that you can really wear whatever you like. 
The focus is more on practicality and comfort. Casual attire, maybe a bit dressed up, seems generally appropriate for most occasions, including a night out on the town.

 



HIKING & THE OUTDOORS: If you plan to do some hiking or outdoor exploring during your trip to Scotland, you won’t fully enjoy it unless you pack appropriately. In the summer, a good waterproof jacket is essential- and again, dress in layers!
For footwear, hiking boots that are water resistant are ideal. 🥾 Quick-drying or water-resistant pants are also a good idea, along with thick socks (these are my favorite hiking socks). 🧦
I personally wore hiking leggings, thick socks, hiking boots, a moisture-wicking t-shirt, a cotton jacket, and  a rain jacket on top. On a few of the hikes, the wind made me cold enough to merit adding my snow hat and gloves! Yes, even in June I wore a snow hat! See our hiking outfits below:
scotland road trip
Get ready for an EPIC travel experience!


 



MIDGES: If you’re visiting Scotland in the summer, watch out for midges– annoying and pesky little flying insects! They’re like tiny mosquitoes and they love to hang out in marshy areas. Unfortunately, they also love to bite! We weren’t bothered by them too much, but some tourists really suffer.
If you’re planning to venture out into the wilderness between May and September (midge season), you might want to pack some repellent. Locals told us that they swear by Avon Skin So Soft versus purchasing official “insect spray”.
However, I’ve heard they recently changed their spray ingredients and so it’s not as effective as it once was. I’m not sure what’s true, but I’ve had success with Repel in my other travels!
hiking outfits isle of skye scotland what to pack
Hiking in Orkney in June- luckily no midges to be found!


MY OFFICIAL LIST:

⇒Get a PDF checklist of what I packed, sent to your email!⇐

  • A few light tops, t-shirts, and long sleeve shirts. Keep it breezy, folks.
  • I wore this white blouse over my short-sleeve shirts on most days. It was practical, and added a bit of style. circus lane edinburgh
  • I also ended up using my blanket scarf more often than I had thought! It added a bit of Scottish flair to my outfits, but also kept me warm when I was often, unexpectedly, cold. Again, the key is to layer up… like a stylish onion.
  • Summer raincoat for the colder days. Yep, a summer coat is totally a thing! Think light and ideally water repellent. Again, I smashed this one up into my purse and ended up taking it out most days. I also packed a cotton jacket for the plane, but ended up wearing it under my rain jacket a few times. 
  • Footwear: Adidas sneakers, hiking boots, ankle-length rain boots.
  • Some cute ‘fits to wear out to the pubs. Honestly, this was really just jeans, sneakers, and a cute top usually. I did buy this faux-suede jacket and found it looked cute with my dresses, and my jean/top outfits too.jacket, sweater dress, leggings, and ankle-length rain boots
By following these tips and packing appropriately, you’ll be prepared for any weather Scotland might throw your way. Happy travels, and I hope you enjoyed my guide of what to pack for Scotland in summer for women!


EXTRAS: With every trip, there are a few basic items I always bring with me. These include:


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Scotland- What to pack for a visit in summer June July August for women

4 Comments

  • Reply Neeta April 24, 2024 at 2:32 pm

    Thank you for your tips. They were very helpful for my packing list for Scotland in May!

    • Reply Michelle W. April 29, 2024 at 10:40 pm

      I love to hear that! Did you also take a look at my itinerary post and hotel review ones? Hope you have an amazing trip!

  • Reply Jessie May 21, 2024 at 11:26 am

    I’m headed to Scotland in a month! How did your roller bags handle the streets? I’ve heard the wheels will break and I need to plan for backpack luggage. Is that pretty common?

    • Reply Michelle W. May 22, 2024 at 3:40 pm

      I hope you love your trip! I did a rolling suitcase and while it was sometimes annoying on cobblestone, I generally found that there were smooth sidewalk in most places. It wasn’t a problem for me! A backpack may be easier if you’ll be moving around a lot, but I didn’t recall thinking the roll suitcase was an issue.

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