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Planning a Highlands Holiday? – Here’s What to Pack 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

what to pack for a scottish highlands holiday

Planning a Scottish Highlands holiday?

Great, we will be delighted to welcome you.

Here are my tips on what to pack for your Highland based on my experience of living and taking tours here over the last 20 years.

This information is based on taking a regular holiday, if you are coming to the Highlands for hill walking, climbing, mountain sports then you will obviously need specialised gear.

highlands holiday coo

Weather on a Scottish Highlands Holiday

We definitely get weather here in the Scottish Highlands.

Getting the right clothing for the weather can be tricky given how quickly it changes. That’s why layers are always a good option!

Of course, what you need depends on the weather so here are a few things to know about our weather.

  • It can snow anytime through to May, although generally it’s gone around March or April.
  • The night times can be colder than you are used to.
  • Heating in holiday accommodation may be different from what you are used to – most of the Highlands outside of Inverness isn’t on mains gas, so expect oil heating, wood burners, and open fires, along with night storage heating.
  • The temperatures here, while warm to us, may feel cooler to you. We think 20 degrees Celsius is getting pretty tropical. If that’s not that hot for you then some extra layers might be handy.
  • The West Coast of the Highlands is generally windier and wetter.
  • Fort William is one of the wettest areas of the Highlands.

Clothing for a Scottish Highlands Holiday


Layers are always good, including good base layers. If you are going to be out for the day with your car then take some extra layers with you and have them in the car in case you need them.


A really good waterproof and windproof coat is good if you are coming outside of summer, during summer a lighter coat should be OK, with some layers if needed.


Hats are essential outside of summer, and during summer if you are planning on being on the beaches or outside a great deal in the sun. I like Heat Holder hats as they really keep the wind out, ideal if you suffer from neuralgia.


Gloves are a good idea, defrosting and scraping ice off your car without them isn’t much fun.


Good walking shoes are always great – waterproof ones ideally. You need something sturdy and supportive with a good grip.

Other Items to Pack for Your Highlands Holiday


A torch is always good as street lighting can be sparse in remoter areas of the Highlands. Ideally a rechargeable one.

Midge Net

You may want to consider a midge net if you are planning on visiting the West Coast during midgie season, or if you are planning to do lots of walking in areas that could be affected. These little biting insects can be quite vicious and they are relentless!

These little insects can have a big impact on your Highlands holiday if you are not prepared!


The phone signal in the Highlands can be patchy in some places. Having a good map with you will ensure you can find your way when your phone can’t help you.

Tick Remover

If you are planning to do lots of walking and also if you have dogs then a tick remover might be handy. Ticks can be common in the Highlands and can cause long-term problems to humans and pets. A proper tick remover will ensure you remove them safely.

As for everything else, you will need what you normally take on holiday. These are just a few specific things for when you visit the Highlands.

Scottish Highlands Holiday – Conclusion

  • A bit of planning will ensure you can get the most out of your Highlands holiday.
  • Check if there are midges where you are travelling to.
  • Don’t forget to bring a map – in some parts of the Highlands, there isn’t a great mobile signal.

Other Articles

If you have found this ‘what to pack for a Scottish Highlands holiday’ article useful you might also like;

10 Things to Know Before Your Scottish Highlands Holiday

Is it Easy to Drive in the Scottish Highlands?

What’s the Best Time to Visit the Scottish Highlands?

Find lots more information on my Scottish Highlands page

Further Reading

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