Black Isle Scotland

What We Packed – The Black Isle, Scotland, in October

The Black Isle, Scotland30 minutes north of Inverness this beautiful part of Scotland would have taken us around 10 hours to drive to but we decided to fly from Bristol with easyJet. A short flight and hire a car at the other end seemed far preferable to a long car journey, especially as we were on a short 4 day break.

The Moray FirthWe didn't want to have to bother with checking in bags but we also needed to pack for all that the weather can throw at you that far north. Overlooking the Moray Firth we would see the weather rolling in; one minute sunshine, the next torrential rain, then gusty winds.

The challenge with easyJet is that the one cabin bag they allow you has to include your handbag so you really have to make space for that inside your case too. So what to pack?

It's easiest to travel in your bulkiest clothes, so I layered up with jeans, short sleeved t-shirt, jumper, scarf, and a raincoat with hood as to be honest an umbrella would have been useless with the winds. I wore my smarter day boots rather than my walking boots because I wanted to take my leather wellies and didn't want to wear them on the flight. Crazy really as they took up more space and it would have made more sense to wear them.

I packed:

  • 2 pairs of jeans; one black pair and one pair that fit snuggly in my leather wellies
  • 3 long sleeved t-shirts
  • Fleece
  • Gilet
  • Underwear and pjs
  • Gloves and ear muffs
  • Sunglasses
  • Slipper socks for indoors
  • Toiletries, all in 100ml or smaller bottles in a plastic bag for security

I didn't take a wash bag as it didn't seem worth using the space for that when I need to fit my handbag in the case too.

Oil rig being towed in for repairFor our walk up in to the hills the day started bright but we knew it could change in seconds and that at the top it would be windy. We had no idea if it would be wet underfoot or muddy. I wore leather wellies, jeans, t-shirt, fleece, coat and took gloves and earmuffs. I knew it was best to layer up as I could always take some off but I didn't want to be cold. On the way up it was dry and the exercise made us warmer so I did take my fleece off, but up at the top it started to rain and the wind blew and I was pleased to put it back on again and pop my ear muffs and gloves on too. The views were spectacular, we just wished we'd remembered our water bottle.

Back at the house later, I changed out of all the walking gear into a lighter outfit of jeans and t-shirt and gilet.

Rainbows over the FirthThe next morning saw the most amazing rainbows and sunshine, they lingered for what seemed like hours. Once the rain had cleared we decided on a beach walk as a total contrast to the day before. I wore the same gear, apart from changing my t-shirt and was pleased I had packed my ear muffs, as the wind was strong enough to blow us sideways. Our walk rewarded us with the site of a seal that came close to the beach; he seemed fascinated by the sight of the two of us looking at him, and he just seemed to stare back at us for ages.

The following day we were traveling home and had planned a morning walk, but the rain was too much and we decided to just enjoy the spectacle from indoors. It took no time to repack, again ensuring space for my handbag. I realized that I hadn't worn one pair of jeans but apart from that I had worn everything I had taken, and to be honest if the weather hadn't been so kind and we had got wet I would have needed them too.


Written by Helen