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Advice re: packing/weather for Edinburgh/Nairn/Inverness/Isle of Skye in early May

Hello! I have signed up for an "Outlander" tour for early May, and have never been to the U.K. except in summer; any suggestions re:what to pack/expect weather-wise? Thank you!

Posted by
21724 posts

Pack layers and rain gear. We spend a week in and around Edinburgh mid-May this past year. It was cool to very chilly, windy most of the time, and frequent showers. One day did rain steady all day.

Posted by
5786 posts

April, May & June are three of Scotland's dryer months both in terms of number of days per month with rain and quantity of precipitation. That said, if you are in Scotland for a week, be prepared to get wet. At the same time, temperatures in May are comfortable cool (mid-teens Celsius daytime highs) , great for walking about and not working up a sweat. Nights can be cool (mid single digit Celsius). Rain gear (including rain pants) layers and water repelling boots if you plan on being outdoors for extended periods of time. Just a rain jacket if you are doing city things.

Posted by
5669 posts

Yep, you have to have your rain gear. How wonderful if you don't need it. One July I went from a steamy Amsterdam to 50 degrees in Inverness the next day. So, don't forget a hat and some gloves. Again, if you don't need them, if you do, you don't have to waste time looking to buy one. (That said, I've loved the hats I've picked up in Scotland.) The time when a hat was particular helpful was on a ferry ride.

Pam

Posted by
2534 posts

as a local my best advice is to have layers that you can add or discard as needed .Most important is a windproof/ waterproof jacket.You might be lucky and get great weather but be prepared for less than perfect conditions. I have been to the north of Scotland in late May and needed every bit of clothing I had to keep warm and once on Islay in May we spent an afternoon holding the struts of a beer tent down during a howling gale and pouring rain,difficult task trying to keep the tent from blowing away and holding on to your beer.

Posted by
5 posts

Wow! Thanks for the warning-- hope there's some sturdy items nearby for blocking the gales!

Posted by
14 posts

I'll be in Scotland in mid May (again). I'm bringing exactly what I would bring on a walking vacation - washable layers. A couple of EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) Techwick 1/4 zip turtlenecks and/or UPF shirts, hiking pants, low hiking boots, wool socks, fleece vest, fleece long sleeve jacket (not wind proof), rain jacket (wind and water proof) with hood, rain pants, gloves, possibly a light weight wool hat. Add a few pieces of underwear, another pair of shoes, a couple of tops, a no-iron pair of black slacks and a couple of scarfs. Everything but the hiking boots are lightweight. What I don't wear on the plane fits in a carry on size bag! I'm good to go for a month! I keep washing things out - they all dry overnight (except the wool socks which might need a little hairdryer help). I'm ready for any weather - toasty or cold or rainy or inbetween. In Scotland, don't be surprised if it all happens in one day! My dress code may be boring and not for everyone, but it's always clean, comfortable and wrinkle free and I'd rather travel light. I hope you have a great time!

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you for your thorough addressing of my question-- I hope you have a great trip, too!

Posted by
1 posts

Wow! Thanks for the expanded information, klbassler. I am going to be hiking the John Muir Way from April 21st to May 1st and was in a quandary over what to bring. The only things I knew would be necessary were the rain jacket and pants. I'm only bringing one bag to carry-on, so I don't want a lot of unnecessary items. Your list was perfect, however I will add a swimsuit since I'll be stopping over in Iceland(woo hoo, hot springs!) on the way home.

Posted by
5786 posts

...walking vacation....

Trekking poles are useful on both uphill and downhill terrain. Downside is needing to pack your poles in your checked bag.