Green rolling hills, rugged cliffs, steep mountain peaks and mystical valleys – Scotland is a hiking paradise. Sabrina and Igor from Explore the Outdoors spent three weeks in the rough nature of the Scottish Highlands. Read below what the two of them experienced there and what equipment you need in the land of kilts and bagpipes.
"Scotland? Doesn't it just rain there all the time?"
Scotland has always fascinated us. And we finally got to go in August: we set off for the far north with our van that we converted and explore the unique nature of the Scottish Highlands for three weeks. We started thinking about the right equipment for this trip long beforehand. "Doesn't it rain there all the time?" our friends ask anxiously. "Yes, but as we all know, there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing," is our standard answer. One thing's for sure – we need to take the perfect rainwear with us.
The weather is beautiful when we reach Edinburgh. 18 degrees and bright sunshine – we honestly did not expect that. But only two days later we continue north to the oldest national park on Scottish territory: Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. The weather is good while we prepare our dinner directly at the lake in the evening, but the following morning we are woken up by raindrops. There it is: the REAL Scottish weather.
Breathtaking view from Ben Arthur
There is no sign of the rain stopping even at noon. But this should not stop us from climbing one of the most impressive peaks of the southern Highlands: Ben Arthur, also known as "The Cobbler". So we slip into our rain jackets and put on our rain pants. It's not really cold, but a strong wind blows around our faces the higher we get. It's a good thing that our functional jackets are not only waterproof but also windproof. On the way up, we get everything from heavy rain to sunshine, and are rewarded with a breathtaking view on the 884 metre-high summit. Back at the car, we take the acid test. And in fact our clothes are completely dry under our jackets and pants. Test passed!
Rugged and unique: The Isle of Mist
After a detour via Glen Coe, we finally get to a destination that we have really been looking forward to: the Isle of Skye. The "Isle of Mist" in the west of Scotland is a must on every tour of Scotland. Wild scenery, unique beaches, deep Lochs and bizarre mountain ranges – you can really find everything an outdoor heart desires here. As nice as it is here, it's still wet. During the 5 days that we explored the island, it actually rained almost every day. But this was no reason for us to spend our days on the island in the van. Our rainwear did not let us down either at famous landmarks such as the Old Man of Storr, the Fairy Pools or the white Coral Beach. And to be honest, all the rain has made the island a bit more mystical.
Up on the Stac Polly
Our route takes us further north. In a sparsely populated region north of Ullapool another mountain is waiting for us. With its 613 metres, the mountain is rather small for our standards, but due to the breathtaking view it is still a popular destination for hikers, which we also do not want to miss out on. Unusual: we actually reach the starting point of our hike in bright sunshine. But that doesn't stop us from putting our rainwear into the backpack to be on the safe side – after all, you never know. Moreover, the ultralight Metro functional jacket can be packed easily into itself. But it doesn't have to stay in the backpack for very long anyway, because after a few metres we see dark clouds coming towards us and the first drops start falling again. The Raindrop L rain pants are also quick to put on. Thanks to a leg zip up to the hip, we don't even have to take off our shoes. When we get to the summit, the sun is shining again and we are rewarded once more with a great view.
We spent a total of 18 days in Scotland and had about 3 days without rain. But thanks to the right clothing, we were able to enjoy our time in the rough nature to the full. Scotland is a dream come true for us and we've fallen for the wild and romantic west coast of the country. One thing we’re sure of: when we return to the Highlands, we'll have our rainwear with us again. And until then, it will be our faithful companion during fall in Germany.