The Complete Packing List For London (and the UK)

The Complete Packing List For London (and the UK)

On This packing list for London, you are going to find everything you need to put in your backpack or suitcase to take with you to London and the United Kingdom.

Packing for London is going to really depend heavily on what time of year you are planning to visit London. For example, packing for London in the Summer is going to be very different from packing for London in the winter. One thing I would say is that if you want to look good in London without overpacking, then you need to build a capsule wardrobe.

Also, to be clear this is a packing list for London because that’s where the majority of people are planning to visit in the UK. But it works as a general packing list for the UK. 

I do offer some general advice for packing for different places in the UK further into the article so you can plan accordingly. Packing for a walking trip to Cornwall is going to need some extra thought, whereas if you are just visiting cities like London, Bath, and Liverpool you won’t need anything extra.

What to wear in The UK

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In the UK anything goes.

That said how people dress in the UK really depends on one thing… the weather.

Even in the summer, you can’t be sure it’s not going to be cold and rainy. In the UK hope for the best, but always plan for the worst! That means you are going to need a warm coat, good shoes, jeans, and a few jumpers, no matter the time of year.

What to wear in London

Wondering what to wear in  London? London is pretty hipster, so anything goes. Jeans, dresses, funky boiler suits… wear whatever you like here! 

In London, you will find most people are either wearing business wear or smart casual clothes. London is a pretty fashionable place so if you want to fit in here then maybe leave the hiking pants and boots at home.

Wear jeans, comfy sneakers, and a cute t-shirt with a tailored coat if you want to blend in. London is 100% a city I always pack some chic edgy outfits and nice going out clothes for. 

When packing for London make sure you pack for what you are planning to do in London. If you know you are going to be doing a lot of walking and sightseeing then you are going to need to prioritize packing clothing that is comfortable but still looks good, and of course comfortable yet stylish shoes or sneakers.

If you plan on hitting the town every night then you are going to need some cute outfits. There is almost always a dress code in London bars and clubs. Oftern no jeans and trainers (sneakers), so do keep that in mind.

What to wear in The Rest Of The UK 

The rest of London is a bit more casual than London. But again you are going to need to think about where you are planning to visit and what you are planning to do there. Use this packing list for London as a guide, but you will need to make adjustments.

If you are visiting mostly cites in the UK then your London wardrobe will be fine. If you are planning on visiting the more rural areas then you will need to pack some more casual clothing, and probably some hiking gear.

The UK has some of the most beautiful hiking, from the Cornish Coast to the Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales. If you want to explore rural England, of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland for the matter then you are going to want to pack some good hiking gear and some casual clothes. Your London clothes will be no good here. This is where you need those hiking pants and boots

UK Travel essentials

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Travel Insurance

First things first, you are going to need some solid insurance. If you don’t believe me then read this. I personally use SafetyWing Digital Nomads Insurance which is an ongoing policy that just renews each month. But before that, I used World Nomads who are the company I would highly recommend if you are backpacking anywhere, even the UK.

Sunglasses  

Does anyone actually leave home without sunglasses? I personally always travel with 2 pairs. One for day to day use that I normally just throw in my bag. Then a second pair that are a bit nicer which I wear when I want to take some nice pics for the gram. I always get my sunglasses from Glassesshop or Knockaround as they are good quality, have UV protection, and are really reasonably priced.

Reusable Water Bottle

In the UK the water is 100% safe to drink. So having. a good reusable water bottle is essential in the UK. If you are still a little worried then get a water bottle with a filter like this for peace of mind

A Good Coat

Having a good coat is going to be essential in the UK, no matter the time of year you visit. You will want something that looks stylish enough for London or any other UK city, but one that will also be good for hiking in the rural areas.

Luggage for The UK

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It is really up to you what luggage to pack for the UK are you can easily travel here with both a suitcase or a backpack. 

If you plan on covering a lot of ground then I would personally suggest a 65L backpack and a small daypack that can easily be packed when traveling. That way you don’t need to worry about dragging your suitcase down cobblestone roads in rural England.

I’ve added images and links for the luggage I have tried and tested in the UK bellow. 

If security is a concern for you then I highly recommend getting in Pacsafe backpack for added security and peace of mind. I also wrote this blog post on the best digital nomad backpacks and this one about carry on luggage, just in case they are useful to you.

You are also going to need some packing cubes to help keep all of you things organized (and squeeze in a few extra items of clothing). Plus a good laundry bag, toiletry bag, and of course a shopping bag.

Other Useful Things to Pack for London

Over the years backpacking the world I’ve got packing down to a fine art and I have some essential items in my backpack that you might not think of. So here are some things you are going to need that you might not think of!

Laundry Soap and a Nail Brush – Unless you want to be doing laundry every few days, it’s best to just wash out your underwater in the shower each night. To do this I always travel with a bar of laundry soap and a nail brush. It also comes in handy to clean off marks and stains from clothes you are washing. In the UK laundrettes aren’t so common and they can be expensive. 

A Travel Washing Line – I love mine, it’s so handy and takes up no room at all.

A Sewing Kit – When you are traveling sometimes you need to make-do-and-mend.

Mini First Aid Kit – Goes without saying really! I also add in some extras like activated charcoal and other useful pharmaceuticals. 

Carabiner clips –  So useful for attaching things to your backpack!

Head torch – Equally as useful for camping as it is for reading in bed, or trying to find your way home in the dark.

Ear Plugs – If you are planning on staying in hostels you are going to need these!

A Whistle – I know many people worry about safety and want to protect themselves. I like to carry a whistle just in case I need to pull attention. It might not be as effective as pepper spray, but as that is illegal to fly with too many countries, this is a good alternative.

A Door Stop – Worried about safety in your room at night? Use the doorstop to block the door from the inside and make it harder for someone to enter the room.

Silk Sleeping Bag Liner – Another thing that doesn’t take up so much room, but will give you a lot of peace of mind if you need it. Sometimes you might either find yourself chilly or just not wanting to sleep in the bedsheets. So hopping inside a sleeping bag liner helps you get a good night’s sleep, wherever you are…

Umbrella – Having an umbrella in your bag is essential for the UK. You never know when you will need it!

A padlock – I recommend getting one of these locks so you don’t need to worry about keys. They are TSA approved so you can use them to lock your luggage when flying as well as using it to lock your locker at the hostel.

Quick-dry towel – I have 2, a large one and a small hand size one that I keep clipped to my backpack.

A sarong – I never travel anywhere without at lease 2 sarongs. I use them to replace my towel, hang over my bed in a hostel for privacy. Wrap around my hair when it’s wet, sunbathe on… I could go on and on. I even make a dress out of mine when I’m at the beach.

A scarf – Another multi-use item that doesn’t take up much room. Scarfs are great for covering shoulders from the sun, or when entering churches. It will also help keep you warm, and they look cute!

Yoga Mat – I never travel without my yoga mat. I wrote a whole post to help you choose the best travel yoga mat here.

Spice Bag – If you are planning to do some cooking then I recommend making a spice bag so you don’t end up wasting lots of money or herbs and spices, or eating bland food for the whole of your trip. I put my spices into ziplock bags and then keep them in one of these clear bags

Ziplock Bags – I know, I know, more plastic. But they do come in really handy when traveling and you can wash and reuse them so you aren’t throwing them away.

Coffee Flask – Great for keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. It also saves you having to use disposable cups when you buy a takeaway coffee.

Aeropress – I do love my coffee, so traveling without my Aeropress is not an option haha. This is also another great portable coffeemaker/ mug if you aren’t a fan of the Aeropress. 

Clothing to Pack for London

You can see my full London, UK packing list here on Amazon. And you can also download my free UK packing list here. So I’m going to try and keep this section brief.

UK Summer Packing List

For London and travel to other UK cities, pack smart casual clothes that are lightweight and travel well. In the UK we love prints and patterns so don’t be afraid to add some color into your wardrobe!

Make sure you have some comfy shoes suitable to walk in. It’s also a good idea to pack some nice sandals as well as a pair of shoes or boots you can go out in the evening in. Many places you won’t be allowed in at night wearing sneakers.

Be sure to pack some light sweaters and/ or cardigans, plus a lightweight jacket or coat. I’d also recommend packing a scarf or shawl.

If you are planning on venturing out into the great British countryside then pack some good hiking boots or shoes, even hiking sandals could work. Plus a waterproof coat and some quick-drying hiking clothing.

Shorts, cute dresses, and lightweight trousers are all great options for the UK, no matter where you are.

Summer Packing List

UK WinterPacking List

Planning a winter trip to the UK? You brave person you! 

It’s actually not all that bad, the UK in December all lit up with Christmas lights can actually be really beautiful. When it’s not grey and raining, of course, haha.

It does mean though if you are traveling to London during the winter you will need to pack some warm and cozy layers.

For London and travel to other UK cities, you still want to pack smart casual clothes that will travel well. In the UK winter, go for more muted earthy colors, patterns are still worn a lot. You can pack the same cute dresses you might wear in summer, but just team them with leggings and a chunky cardy!

Make sure you have some comfy boots, rather than shoes to walk in. I wore these last time I was in the UK in winter and they were amazing. Waterproof, warm, and they look great with everything. I also had a pair of these cute ankle boots for going out and if I wanted something a bit smarter.  It’s also a good idea to pack some sneakers for exercising.

I mostly wore jeans, dresses with leggings or thick tights, and big jumpers with leggings. Be sure to pack some light sweaters and/ or cardigans, plus a smart warm jacket or coat. I’d also recommend packing a scarf, hat, and gloves.

If you are planning on venturing out into the great British countryside then pack some good hiking boots plus a waterproof coat, fleece jacket, thermals, quick-drying hiking clothing (lots of layers), and some warm socks.

Jeans and wooly jumpers are all great options for the UK, no matter where you are.

Winter Packing List

Toiletries to Pack for The UK

You can very all of the travel toiletries I recommend here on this Amazon list. Many things you can actually buy in the UK easily, so I wouldn’t stress too much about buying a lot of toiletries to travel with. But there are some things that always try and take with me.

Technology to take to The UK

Here are some digital things I’d recommend packing for the UK.

Smart Phone – If you don’t want to take your fancy iPhone traveling, then this is a great phone with a very good camera for under $300. It’s what I personally have and shoot a lot of my vlogs on.

Kindle – Save space by investing in a kindle and kindle unlimited. You will find most of the lonely planet travel guides are available to read for free with the plan. 

Lightweight laptop and external hard drive – I have a MacAir which is perfect for traveling. After losing all of my photos a few years ago I also always travel with a heavy-duty external harddrive.

Camera and Tripod – I travel with this DSLR but I also have this mirrorless camera which I often take if I want to use something more discreet. I also love this tripod as I can use it with all of my cameras (even my phone), plus it’s small and light enough to fit in my daypack.

Backup charger – I have these two and always keep one in my bag.

Travel adaptor – Get a worldwide one like this so you can use it wherever you travel to.

Portable WiFi – I never travel without my TEP wireless device. If you can’t live without WiFi I recommend buying or renting one.

Check out My travel books

The Solo Girls Guide to Traveling Without Fear

The solo girls guide to becoming a digital nomad

Book your trip now

Are you ready to book your trip?  To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.

  • Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with. 
  • Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections. 
  • Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
  • Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on Bookin.com.
  • Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there. 
  • Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership! 
  • Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then bookaway.com is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
  • RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals. 
  • Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
  • World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review. 
  • SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here
  • Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration. 
  • Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.

Claire Summers

Dancer, producer, traveller, photographer, cake maker, dog lover and knitter of Christmas scarfs.

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