When travelling in the UK, you can expect all types of weather, no matter what time of year you visit.
This example UK holiday packing list is by no means an exhaustive list, but should give you a good idea of what to pack and what to wear in the UK across each season.
We hope you find it useful!
His & Hers UK Holiday Packing List
Underwear & Socks
Obviously… always pack spares in case you get caught in really heavy rain!
I usually pack one top for each day I’m travelling for with maybe a couple of spare camisoles, while Scott tends to reuse a top across a couple of days. Whether you pack long sleeved tops or short sleeved ones will depend on when you’re travelling to the UK – check out our season guide at the bottom of this post to work out exactly what you’ll need.
Trousers, Jeans or Leggings
In most seasons in the UK, you’ll want some form of long sleeved bottoms such as trousers, jeans or leggings. It’s only really in the summer when these won’t be needed as much. Generally, we recommend choosing a thin leg such as skinny jeans, as wide legs can often trail on the ground more… and soak up rain water and dirt.
Cardigans & Jumpers
Except during the summer months, you’ll want to pack layers for your UK trip as it can often be difficult to predict what the weather will be doing. With layers, you’re free to strip off or add more depending on each day. For women, we recommend pretty cardigans, and for men, we recommend stylish jumpers.
*** Pro Tip ***
Wool-blend and merino wool fabrics are best as they’re great at repelling odours and moisture, while keeping you cool indoors and warm while out and about.
Whatever time of year you’re visiting the UK, you should expect it to rain at least once during your trip so a waterproof coat is essential.
We love these options for men: (click on the images to see more info)
And these options for women: (click on the images to see more info)
Accessories for Women
The different pairs of shoes you’ll need in the UK depend on where you plan on visiting. If you’re staying within cities like London, Bristol or Edinburgh, then some cute sandals, boots or flats are all you really need. In spring, autumn and winter, I usually opt for boots as they are more likely to keep my feet dry when it rains… you can’t say you haven’t been warned! However, if you plan to venture outside of the city and see the “Great British Outdoors” (which we both highly recommend you do!) then a robust pair of walking boots will be needed.
Stylish Day Bag
Whether your cabin bag can double up as your day bag as well, or whether you need to pack an additional backpack for sightseeing, a stylish day bag will ensure you can carry everything around with you that you might need. Things like your camera, purse, makeup, hair brush and keys are all things you’ll want with you when sightseeing, so your bag should have room for it all… ideally while looking fashionable at the same time!
Accessories for Men
Similarly to your other half, you’ll need different shoes for different reasons in the UK. Cities like Bristol, Edinburgh or London call for casual trainers, boots or smart leather shoes for the evening. While out in the country, you’ll need a robust pair of walking boots like these ones.
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
… But you already know to pack those, right?!
Shower Gel, Shampoo & Conditioner
… Unless your hotel will supply these in miniature for you.
Something you’ll definitely need when travelling to the UK in autumn or winter is moisturiser. The cold winds and rain outside, combined with central heating inside, can wreak havoc on your skin! I have yet to find a better moisturiser than the ones by Eveline Cosmetics, such as this Argan Oil one, while Scott prefers moisturisers by Nivea, like this one.
If your hotel or apartment doesn’t supply a hair dryer in the room, then you may need to consider taking your own. This travel hair dryer from BaByliss is perfect and takes up hardly any room in your luggage!
Cabin Bag Essentials
Tablet & Keyboard
Whether you plan to get some blogging done on the plane (like us!), or you just want to download some movies in advance to watch on the plane, then a tablet (and keyboard if you’re writing) are a godsend on a boring flight.
Foldable Noise Cancelling Headphones
For watching movies, listening to music or just trying to drown out crying babies, noise cancelling headphones are by far the best. If you can also get some foldable ones like these, then you’ll also save valuable space in your cabin bag.
Books & Magazines
For when you get bored of movies, music and blogging, flights are a great time to catch up on your reading. We recommend something travel-related or that’s set in the UK to really get you in the mood for your trip! Better yet, why not take your guidebook in your cabin bag so you can finalise some of your UK trip itinerary whilst on the flight? We always stand by the quality of Lonely Planet’s books!
Mini Travel Games
For when movies, music, books and blogging just won’t do. Your final option for decent in-flight entertainment is to play some games with your other half. We swear by taking a mini pack of playing cards with us, as well as travel-sized Battleship and Connect 4.
We’ve warned you about the rain multiple times now, so it’s recommended that your cabin bag contains an umbrella… you may need it as soon as you come out of the airport! And with the rain being quite bad in the UK at times, we’d highly recommend you each taking an umbrella in your cabin bag. No-one wants to have to share a tiny umbrella between two people and risk getting half of their body wet!
Spare Socks and Underwear
Take it from a couple that has had the misfortune to lose both of our hold luggage on the same trip… that spare pair of socks and underwear in your cabin bag will be very welcome on the other side should you be unlucky!
Because you’ll never know when your phone or tablet will run dry… we love using chargers by Anker, such as this one.
To keep your camera safe, you’ll need to take it into the cabin with you. Some of the best travel backpacks contain special compartments for cameras and lenses, otherwise, you may need to take an additional bag on-board with you. As for the camera itself, we’re currently loving the easy to use bridge cameras from the Sony DSCH range, like this one.
Eye Mask & Travel Pillow
Carrying an eye mask and a travel pillow with you is vital for getting some much needed sleep on a long-haul (or early morning) flight. For the best sleep possible, you should opt for a silk eye mask like this one or this one, and a soft memory foam travel pillow like this one.
You’ll need a passport to enter the UK, and depending on which country you’re flying from, you may need a visa as well. Take a look at the UK Government website to find out if you need one. To keep things organised (and to hand easily), we always use a travel wallet.
You may choose to use a credit card, which has a decent exchange rate and minimal fees when used abroad, like Monzo, or you may want to carry cash around with you. Either way, you’ll need Great British Pounds (GBP) as your currency.
When flying on mid- or low-budget airlines, we rarely pay extra for airplane food and instead, opt to take our own snacks, which saves a small fortune with each trip we take. We’d recommend packing things like crisps, sweets, nuts and dried fruit to keep you going throughout the flight.
Travel Water Bottle
Taking a reusable travel water bottle also fits into our midrange travel style as we never like to pay expensive airline prices for drinks either. Most, if not all, airports have a drinking fountain or cooler machine around, which you can use for free after going through security. You may have to ask where it is or look around corners though as they’re often hidden away from view!
You’d be surprised how refreshing it is to use a face wipe across your face, neck, hands, arms and other parts of your body that are within easy reach. It’s like taking a mini shower en route… Alright, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but it’s still super refreshing!
Makeup, Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Along with carrying some face wipes with you, you’ll also instantly feel refreshed when using a toothbrush on a long-haul flight or by quickly touching up your makeup upon waking up.
What to wear in the UK in spring
Spring in the UK runs through March, April and May and generally has temperatures of around 8 – 13°C. This is one of the best times to visit the UK as there’s a good chance of some sunshine, however, definitely be prepared for rain as well (particularly in April). Because of this, we recommend wearing layers in spring — you may need to strip off a little when the sun shines, while wind and rain call for extra layers.
What to wear in the UK in summer
Summer in the UK runs through June, July and August and generally has temperatures of around 12 – 18°C, although it can get much hotter than this during freak heat waves (i.e. 25 – 30°C). UK summers are typically quite humid, so you’ll want to wear as little as possible during the day time, such as light shorts, vest tops, dresses and skirts, but you may need to wear a light jacket or jumper in the evening as well.
What to wear in the UK in autumn
Possibly one of our favourite times of the year, the UK is lovely in the autumn / fall months (September, October and November). Temperatures in the autumn vary quite a bit from month to month. September generally has temperatures similar to that of the summer months, while October is several degrees colder, and November colder still. Just like spring, layers are crucial in autumn.
What to wear in the UK in winter
Winter in the UK runs through December, January and February and is typically around 5 – 6°C throughout, although temperatures have been known to dip below freezing when it snows or when the frost hits. This is when you should expect to wrap up warm in jumpers and thick coats, with hats, scarves and gloves on standby.
We hope this UK holiday packing list proves useful! We’d love to know where you’re planning on going, so feel free to jot down a few notes below…
Need some inspiration ahead of your trip to the UK? Check out some of our favourite articles:
- British Etiquette Tips & Things You Should Know About Brits
- 25+ Things You Need to Know Before Your Trip to England
- 10+ Cool & Unique Things To Do in Wales
- Scotland Road Trip Itinerary: How To Explore Scotland By Car
- The Best of Cornwall Itinerary: 3 Days Road Trip
- 15 Best Beaches in Cornwall | Quick Cornwall Beach Guide
- Banksy in Bristol: 3 Walking Tours (With Printable Maps!)
- 25 Quotes About London to Inspire You to Visit
- 33 of the Best National Trust Places in the UK
- Harry Potter Filming Locations & Magical Things To Do
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