What to bring on a Highland throw

The author on the shores of Loch Lomond
The author on the shores of Loch Lomond © Fionn Hargreaves

I lived in Glasgow briefly in 2016 and fell madly in love with it. The air smells of malt in the afternoons and the city is a melting pot of delicious food and fascinating culture. I now make an annual trip – preferably in winter when there is a frost bite and the lingering twilight starts at three in the afternoon. This year’s pilgrimage is an anniversary trip with my boyfriend and a Hogmanay celebration in Edinburgh to ring in 2023. Here’s what I’m bringing…


Brady hiking boots in Grenson leather

Brady hiking boots in Grenson leather, £335

Brady hiking boots in Grenson leather, £335

One of the joys of Glasgow is how easy it is to get into some really lush countryside from the center of the city, and we take the time for a walk around Loch Lomond. But if I’m going up on the Caledonian Sleeper, I pack light. These classic leather stompers from Grenson can handle some off-roading, but I don’t look like a twerp if I pair them with jeans around town. £335, grenson.com


Pringle of Scotland jumper in lambswool with round neck

Pringle of Scotland crew neck lambswool jumper, £395

Pringle of Scotland crew neck lambswool jumper, £395

I have a weakness for a cozy knit and they are essential to wear in the Scottish winter. I love the cheerful stripes on this classic crew neck from Pringle, which is made in Scotland with brushed lambswool yarn. £395, pringlescotland.com


The North Face parka in recycled polyester and Hydrenalite down

The North Face Hydrenalite parka, £315

The North Face Hydrenalite parka, £315

Another one to file in the stay warm at all costs category. I’ve been making envious eyes at my boyfriend’s “duvet coat” since the day we met, so it’s about time I got one of my own. I’m keen on this one from The North Face as both the polyester outer and the waterfowl down stuffing are recycled. £315, thenorthface.co.uk


Talisker 10 year old single malt Scotch whisky

Talisker 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, £43.95
Talisker 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, £43.95

So it’s not a £16m Ardbeg – but the warming peaty notes of Talisker’s 10-year-old Skye whiskey make for a bracing dram after a chilly walk. It’s fancy enough to raise a glass at midnight on New Year’s Eve, but not so rare that mixing it into a hot chocolate feels sacrilegious. £43.95, masterofmalt.com


Orlebar Brown x Wham! Dachshund’s swimming trunks

Orlebar Brown x Wham!  Dachshund swimming trunks, £125

Orlebar Brown x Wham! Dachshund swimming trunks, £125

Over in Edinburgh, we’ll try the time-honored New Year’s tradition of the Loony Dook – a freezing dip in the Firth of Forth, ideally done while dressed as a fool. I can’t think of anything more silly than these Club Tropicana inspired swim trunks. I apologize in advance to anyone who has to witness it. £125, orlebarbrown.com


Steam Deck 512GB Handheld Game Console

Steam Deck 512GB, £569
Steam Deck 512GB, £569

It’s a long old train ride from Scotland to London, so it’s a lifeline for my girlfriend that I can take my video game collection with me. It’s not as cultured as bringing a Kindle, but nobody’s perfect—and a Kindle can’t run Eternal doom. £569, store.steampowered.com


Canon EOS M50 Mark II mirrorless camera

Canon EOS M50 Mark II Camera, £699

Canon EOS M50 Mark II Camera, £699

Canon comes with me everywhere – the EOS M50 II has the classic hunchback shape of a DSLR with the viewfinder above the lens, but in the compact package of a mirrorless. I find the 15-45mm kit lens works well for most purposes, but I also put the 22mm f/2 pancake lens in a pocket. The wide aperture is practical in the dim winter light, and it gives a lovely shallow depth of field when I take portraits. £699, wexphotovideo.com; lens, £229, wexphotovideo.com

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