There’s nowhere in the world quite like Yorkshire. Blessed with rolling green hills, cosy country pubs and friendly Northern charm, Yorkshire is the perfect place for a weekend away. It pays to know what to pack for Yorkshire though, as this vast county ‘enjoys’ changeable weather, with cold, wet winters and warm, wet summers.

I’ve lived in Yorkshire for more than five years, so I’ve learned how to deal with the best and the worst the weather can throw at me. I understand that you don’t want to over-pack or to get caught out with inadequate clothes.

Much of Yorkshire’s charm lies in its natural attractions, so you’ll probably be outdoors a lot. Unless you’re a complete masochist, you’ll also want to be warm, comfortable and dry.

If you’ve got a formal event or “posh” dinner to attend, slip something dressy into your bag. Otherwise, a couple of pretty tops and a classy pair of jeans are all you need for evenings out, whether in Yorkshire’s vibrant cities or charming rural villages. Chill out, go with the flow and enjoy yourself!

It rains a lot, which makes it hard to know what to pack and what to wear. This is your failsafe packing list for Yorkshire, with all the practical essentials and tips you need, included, no matter when you visit.

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Yorkshire Dales scene, with purple heather and rolling hills

What To Pack For Yorkshire | The Practical Essentials

Adventure is all about embracing the weather. To enjoy Yorkshire fully, the best thing to do is use a “layering system” when planning your travel wardrobe – that way you’ll be prepared for all weather conditions.

Introducing the Layering System

Learning to use a layering system effectively will keep you warm, dry and comfortable. The type of layers you need will depend on your activity and the weather conditions. Each layer works independently and builds up into a system, which will equip you perfectly for your Yorkshire adventures.

Top Layer: Waterproof Jacket for Weather Protection

When it comes to knowing what to pack for Yorkshire, a good quality waterproof jacket should be right at the top of your list. Your coat will protect you against wind and rain. It will also let the moisture and heat from your body escape, so you don’t overheat. Nobody wants to be a hot mess!

Woman hiker wearing yellow waterproof jacket, walking in the Yorkshire Dales - a great example of what to pack for a trip to Yorkshire

I splashed out on a high-quality “breathable” jacket, which packs away into the teeniest of stuff sacks in my daypack. My coat wasn’t cheap, but it was such a good investment – five years on, it’s still going strong, and it’s always kept me dry. On a “price per use” basis, I reckon it’s paid me dividends! Find something similar to my jacket on Amazon.

Mid-Layer: Insulation

The mid-layer is usually a fleece or an insulated jacket, designed to keep you warm. Like the other layers, your mid-layer needs to be breathable and able to retain heat. Pick your coat based on how warm you want to be and on the weather conditions you anticipate. If it’s freezing, you might need two mid-layers – a lightweight fleece plus an insulated jacket.

  • Down insulated jackets have excellent warmth-to-weight ratios. If you’re determined to have a down jacket, do check that the down is ethically sourced!
  • Synthetic insulated jackets also retain heat after getting wet. I recommend this Under Armour Jacket or the Rab Women’s Cirrus Flex Jacket – both are very lightweight and easy to pack away.
  • Fleeces come in different thicknesses and are quick-drying. Look for one with moisture-wicking properties like the Arc’teryx Delta LT Hoodie.

Pro Tip: Avoid cotton mid-layers as cotton retains moisture, and you can get very cold.

When the weather is mild, you might not need anything on top of your mid-layer, however, if it’s cold or wet, you’ll need your waterproof top layer too.

Base Layer: For Moisture Management

The base layer is the one you’ll wear next to your skin. Its purpose is to retain heat and wick away moisture, to regulate your body temperature correctly. 

The best garments to use as base layers are made from Merino wool or synthetic fabrics.

  • Merino wool is the best fabric for insulation and moisture-wicking: clothes made from Merino wool work whether it’s hot or cold, and whatever activity you do. What’s even better is that Merino wool is antimicrobial, which means you won’t get smelly. You’ll need to wash your garments far less often! Take a look at the eco-friendly DILLING Women’s Merino Wool Base Layer – it’s a well-priced option.
  • Synthetic base layers are typically made from polyester and polypropylene – clothes made from these fabrics are the best choice if you’re planning high-intensity activities because they dry very quickly. The IsoCool Dynamic Women’s Long Sleeve Top from Mountain Warehouse is a high-performance garment, great for travel.

How to use your layers

A (non-strenuous) walk on a balmy, dry day

Don’t layer up on days like this; wear a moisture-wicking base layer to help your sweat evaporate, and you’ll stay cool.

A hilly walk on a warm day in the rain

In addition to your comfortable moisture-wicking base layer, take a second layer to protect you from the weather. An insulated mid-layer will protect you from the wind. In contrast, a waterproof top is essential for those pesky rain showers.

A hilly or mountain hike on a cold/rainy/windy day

On cold days, you’ll want all three main layers. Build up from your base layer, add your insulating mid-layer for warmth, then your breathable waterproof as protection from the rain. If it turns really cold, especially in winter, out on the Moors or at night, consider wearing two base layers. I frequently wear one base layer with short sleeves, a long-sleeved one on top of it, then my mid-layer, then the waterproof jacket. It’s not glam, but I’m a warm, happy mama!

You’ll also need…

Trousers

I’m about as far away from being a fashionista as you can get, but I can tell you that a decent pair of pants is essential. You’ll probably want to pack two pairs/types of trousers for your trip to Yorkshire. Firstly, pack a trusty pair of jeans that fit and flatter – a real asset when you’re travelling. I love Levi’s Women’s Mile High Super Skinny Jeans – as a menopausal woman with jiggly bits, these awesome jeans make me feel fantastic. Wear your jeans with your favourite sneakers, for comfortable, stylish days of urban exploration

Pro Tip: If you’re planning to visit the Yorkshire Dales or Moors, you’ll need trousers suited for the job. NOT JEANS! Jeans don’t work for hiking – if you get cold or wet, they won’t dry out, and you’ll be at risk of chafing (no girl needs that) and possibly even hypothermia. You need proper walking trousers!

I love my Craghoppers Women’s Kiwi Pro Waterproof Trousers. They’re not as ugly and bulky as some women’s walking trousers, so I don’t feel like Michelin Woman when I’m wearing them. They’re also magic at repelling water, and perfect for long walks in the Yorkshire countryside, even in snow or biting wind. They are my go-to dog-walking trousers!

what to pack for a trip to Yorkshire

Footwear

Any trip to Yorkshire is going to mean lots of walking, so comfortable shoes and socks are a “must-have” if you don’t want sore feet! Your favourite sneakers will be perfect for urban exploration. If you’re planning any serious walking in the Yorkshire Dales or Moors, you’ll need sturdier walking shoes.

I love my Merrell Women’s Siren Sport Shoes. I have quite large feet, so I love that my Merrells look more like regular sneakers than ugly great “clompy” walking boots, plus (big plus) they last for ages. Did I mention that they’re waterproof too? You’ll need that!

Umbrella

You’ll probably experience rain in Yorkshire at some point! I’d put money on it. Stow a small umbrella in your daypack as a precaution.

A Hat

A beanie or baseball cap is a good idea year-round to help protect your hair from the swirling Yorkshire winds and to keep your head (and ears) out of the cold/rain. Leave the cutesy straw/linen hats at home – the wind will whip them off your head in no time at all!

Camera

Yorkshire is brimful of beautiful spots, from fabulous, historic cities, to castles, coastline, waterfalls and winding roads. Wherever you go, you’ll want to capture the scenery, and you don’t need to be a pro to get the most incredible shots. I don’t travel anywhere without my Samsung S20 phone and my lightweight Canon M100 travel camera.

Luggage and Backpacks

Don’t splash out on new luggage for your trip to Yorkshire if you have great bags already. If you are ready for new luggage, I use American Tourister suitcases because they’re well made, sturdy, stylish and affordable.

For backpacks, I’ve never even looked at anything but Osprey since I bought my first one, many years ago! My Osprey Fairview 40 is hands down my favourite bag ever!

What to wear/what to pack for Yorkshire, England, by season

Winter: November to March

Yorkshire winters tend to be cold, it rains frequently, and it sometimes snows too. When the cities are cold, the exposed rural areas are even colder, with spells of mist and fog. You’ll need to wrap up well, especially if you’ll be out after sunset.

What to wear/what to pack for winter in Yorkshire:

  • Top Layer – 1 x Waterproof Jacket
  • Mid Layer – 1 x Insulated Jacket (you might also need a lightweight fleece)
  • Base Layer – 2 or 3 Long-Sleeved Zip-Neck Tops
  • 1 x Winter Walking Trousers
  • 1 x Jeans
  • 1 x Waterproof Walking Shoes
  • 1 x Sneakers
  • Warm, Moisture-Wicking Socks
  • Gloves, Hat and Scarf
  • 2 or 3 Pretty Tops (for evenings)
  • Undies
  • Warm Nightwear (trust me, you’ll want it! Thank me later.)

Spring: April and May

Spring in Yorkshire is beautiful, with colourful blooms appearing, trees bursting with new green leaves and fields full of gambolling baby lambs. While it’s likely to rain occasionally, visiting Yorkshire at this time of year is very special.

In the Spring, the weather can vary wildly in Yorkshire. I’ve seen snow in April, and I’ve seen record high temperatures too. You never know what to expect, so pack a variety of layers to be well prepared. Expect the temperature to drop dramatically after sunset, and always anticipate rain.

What to wear/what to pack for Spring:

  • Top Layer – 1 x Waterproof Jacket
  • Mid Layer – 1 x Insulated Jacket
  • Base Layer – 2 or 3 Long-Sleeved Zip-Neck Tops
  • 1 x Walking Trousers
  • 1 x Jeans
  • 1 x Waterproof Walking Shoes
  • 1 x Sneakers
  • Moisture-Wicking Socks
  • 2 or 3 Pretty Tops (for evenings)
  • Undies

Summer: June to August

If you visit Yorkshire in the summer, you’ll find it crisp and warm, although it may still rain. It can get hot, but don’t bank on it – it’s usually high teens to low twenties Celsius. You won’t need your “big coat”, however, it can still get cold quickly on exposed high ground. Pack a lightweight waterproof jacket that tucks easily into your daypack, even on sunny days.

What to wear/what to pack for a Summer trip to Yorkshire:

  • Top Layer – 1 x Waterproof Jacket
  • Mid Layer – 1 x Fleece
  • Base Layer – 2 or 3 Short-Sleeved Round-Neck or V-Neck Tops
  • 1 x Walking Trousers
  • 1 x Jeans
  • 1 x Waterproof Walking Shoes
  • 1 x Sneakers or Walking Sandals
  • Moisture-Wicking Socks
  • 2 or 3 Pretty Tops (for evenings)
  • Undies

Autumn: September to November

If you go to Yorkshire in the Autumn, you’ll find it fresh, with occasional rain. By November, the temperature will drop, and it will be cold and crisp, with short days and long nights. You might see some snow, particularly in exposed areas and on high ground.

What to wear/what to pack for an Autumn trip to Yorkshire:

  • Top Layer – 1 x Waterproof Jacket
  • Mid Layer – 1 x Insulated Jacket
  • Base Layer – 2 or 3 Long-Sleeved Zip-Neck Tops
  • 1 x Walking Trousers
  • 1 x Jeans
  • 1 x Waterproof Walking Shoes
  • 1 x Sneakers
  • Warm Moisture-Wicking Socks
  • 2 or 3 Pretty Tops (for evenings)
  • Undies
  • Warm Nightwear

Year-round travel essentials for Yorkshire

Take a small backpack to carry your daily essentials, including your phone, camera, water bottle, guide book, snacks, sunglasses, sun protection cream, waterproof jacket, umbrella and your wallet. It’s much more comfortable to carry everything on your back than in a handbag.

Final things to pack for your trip to Yorkshire:

  • A plug adaptor – in the United Kingdom, power plugs and sockets are of type G (three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern). Standard British voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
  • A SIM card that works in the UK
  • Compression packing cubes (monumentally better than standard packing cubes)
  • Backup memory card and camera charger/spare batteries
  • Kindle and charger
  • Power bank

Don’t forget to pack a copy of your travel insurance documents!

Last Words

Working out what to wear in Yorkshire shouldn’t be daunting, so pack with complete confidence, knowing you got everything you need, whatever the weather!

If all else fails, Yorkshire has plenty of shops! It will be straightforward to pick up anything you’ve forgotten while you’re on your trip. All you need is my Yorkshire packing list, and you’ll be well on your way!

Further Reading

I hope this post on what to pack for a trip to Yorkshire has been helpful.

Before you go, here are some more Yorkshire guides and resources that you may like as you plan your trip to “God’s Own Country”.

And that’s it for our guide to what to pack for a trip to Yorkshire.

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Sunset over Filey Bay on the North Yorkshire Coast, overlaid with text "what to pack for a trip to Yorkshire, England"

As always, if you have any questions or comments about this post, or you’d like more tips about visiting Yorkshire in general, pop them in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you!

About Author

Coralie is a Brit living in North Yorkshire. When she's not writing, she's either out exploring, planning a new trip, tasting street food or relaxing with a cold G&T. With 40+ years of adventurous travel to almost 40 countries (so far), she knows there's still much to see and remains an adventure-seeker at heart. Follow her on social media and keep up with her adventures and awesome travel tips.

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6 Comments

  1. I love rolling green hills, cosy country pubs and friendly place and therefore this Northern charm, Yorkshire would be perfect place for a weekend away for me. Good you shared some useful tips on what to pack for this lovely place. I agree we need to give more attention on base layer which sometimes I neglect. But thanks to your for perfect guide on what to pack.

    1. Hi Yukti

      I’m so glad you found this useful – you’re right about the importance of the base layer (and about how easy it is to forget it too!).

      Best
      Coralie x

  2. There’s so much to do in Yorkshire .. exploring the great outdoors, discovering the fabulous historic cities. But I think the most valuable item of clothing to carry around with you is a light mac. Even in the peak of summer, there’s always a chance of rain! It may dampen your hair, but the weather will never dampen your spirit … it’s great up’norf!

    1. Hi Jay

      It sounds like you have experienced the vagaries of Yorkshire weather! A light mac is a popular choice – and you’re right about it being great up’norf!

      Best
      Coralie x

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