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How do I go from Breakfast hiking about to Elegant Dinner in one backpack

My sister has visited our mother's side of the family Scotland two times in the last two years. This year is my 50th Birthday and we plan celebrate by meeting my cousins and touring Scotland the first two weeks of July 2017!!  My sister and I have different ideas about what clothing we wear.  I did purchase waterproof pants (that look like slacks)/waterproof jacket with hood/waterproof hat with brim & matching umbrella and will buy a waterproof backpack (need that for all the gifts I purchase for friends & relatives).  Do I need hiking boots/shoes like from the outdoors camping store or should I rely on my most comfy trackers (not really waterproof) or flats (they don't cover the tops of my feet)?  I would like to be comfortable, dry and have options for dinner attire. My sister is very outdoorsy, confident and beautiful in the clothing from the outdoors/camping store. I am more comfortable when I feel I am dressed wonderful and pretty. Well, I am being honest.  If all the pictures taken of me on this trip are me looking like ....well, not me, I will be upset.  Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the rain, I would actually like pictures of me with my hair soaking wet and jumping IN puddles.  But I want some of my pictures to in a less saturated and elegant state. Our headquarters will be in Grassmarket in Edinburgh.  We will arrive at 7am but the hotel doesn't do check in until the afternoon. This is after a an all night flight.  Is there a way to get a shower and be fresh as a daisy before my anxiously awaited meeting with family members?  Anyone know how to pack a backpack for a full day (leaving right after breakfast - before anything is really open) that can include dinner/afternoon tea outfits for restaurants (Witchery, Tower, Roxburghe, Tea at Preston Field, & Busby) we think might have dress codes without going back to the hotel?  I am ok with wearing the waterproof everything while hiking through the Borderlands and Loch Lomond, but I want be dressed nice for the dinners and the one tea date.  I want to visit Scotland as Me a it to be a wonderful experience I want to repeat over and over again.  I guess my real question is, how do I go from Breakfast hiking about to Elegant Dinner in one backpack?


  • VisitScotlandMurielVisitScotlandMuriel Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hi @Colleendoll
    You are assuming it will rain in Edinburgh and it might not be the case. We have had a very dry period for weeks actually with only 3mm of rain in April and nothing so far in May. Well it's about to change!! :D It may well be the case that you encounter showers with sunny periods and for visiting Edinburgh I think a raincoat just in case is enough; so you could wear smart but casual clothing that will be fine all day long and in the evening too. There is no actual dress code in restaurants although most people will dress up in the ones you mentioned. However if you feel like dressing up for the evening I would suggest you do go back to your hotel. Being in the Grassmarket it's very central anyway and it would give you a chance to rest and freshen up before going out for the evening. Have a great time here with your relatives and a wonderful 50th birthday!! 
  • VisitScotlandJulieVisitScotlandJulie Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hi @Colleendoll,

    If it's not possible for you to get a shower at your accommodation and you want to use a public shower, go to the Waverley Train station. The public toilets there have showers that you can use and they are kept clean constantly. The price is £5.

    If you have a dress or skirt that you can scrunch up in your bag without it getting crumpled, I'm sure that will be a good asset for the more dressy moments. There are plenty of scrunchy materials that don't suffer too much from stuffing into a bag.  ;)
  • As far as footwear, if you are going to be out in the field, you will want some sort of waterproof boot or hiking shoe. Sneakers (trainers) just won't cut it. I like Keens with an extra insole added.  For me, if my feet get wet and cold, I get grumpy.  Buy them now and be sure they are well broken-in; you don't want blisters.  Combine them with a good medium weight hiking sock, like SmartWool.  These socks aren't hot or itchy, and they wick moisture away, keeping your tootsies comfortable.  If you are talking about walking around the city, go for something with good support that you are able to walk in for long periods.  I bought a pair of Sketchers Go Flex flats for my trip to Edinburgh this autumn that are very comfortable.

    I am more like your sister, the outdoorsy type, but I found a great skirt to pack for travel.  It is multicolored, so it matches every top I might take, is made of crinkly fabric so it is prewrinkled, and rolls up into its own small travel bag so it takes up almost no space.  Toss in some sandals or light flats and you can appear as you for tea or dinner out.  I would suggest a small microfiber towel to dry your face, hair and feet, just in case.

    Almost forgot - the skirt came from, and while their things can be pricey, I found a great sale on the skirt.

    Good luck and enjoy your trip!
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