Scotland is beautiful, I think we all know it. But the weather is not always so nice and, especially in Spring, it is terribly unpredictable. But if you live in the North of England, as I currently do, those rare sunny Spring mornings truly invite you to spend the day in the close Scotland’s nature. But when you decide to explore Dumfries and Galloway or the Scottish Boarders, it might be complicated to decide what to pack for the day. So here is a list of things I brought with me when I recently visited Dumfries .
In my opinion, for a day trip, either visiting a city or hiking in the open nature, the key tip is to pack light. You do not really need many things, so a small size backpack is more than sufficient. Even a medium crossbody bag could be okay, but after a while it might become a little uncomfortable, while a backpack, evenly distributing the weight on the back, is ideal for every kind of walk. There is no need to bring too much food: the trip might require some hours in the car or on a bus, so some snack are indispensable, but nothing more than a couple of apples and some protein flapjacks is necessary to go through the morning and the afternoon. And Scotland is rich with lovely pubs and inns where you can have a nice lunch for little money. Moreover, if you are fast food lovers, try to stay anyway local choosing some fish and chips. So in Dumfries, my friend Sunny and I stopped at a historic pub called “Hole I’ The Wa'” (which in proper English is “Hole in the wall”). Some locals have randomly recommended it to us: it is located right in the town centre of Dumfries and quite hidden, but it is famous for being the place where the National Poet of Scotland Robert Burns wrote several of his poems sipping a pint of ale. Entering with the idea of only getting a tea or a hot chocolate, because outside it was a little bit chilly, we ended up getting the best Sticky Toffee Pudding I have ever eaten. And yes, that was our lunch!! Anyway, this is the kind of things you might do, and eat, while on a trip. And, furthermore, we got to know who Rabbie Burns was and find out that he is quite a big deal in Scottish culture.
Just in the fifteen minutes we spent walking along the riverside in Dumphries it probably rained five times and the sun did hide and come out repeatedly, even while it was raining. So wearing the right clothes is fundamental: a comfortable pair of trousers or jeans and a t-shirt, a fleece or a sweater and a windbreaker or some kind of waterproof jacket. In this way, you will not even have to bring with you an umbrella. Do not forget a scarf against those chilly nordic winds. The shoes are a major issue: the more comfortable, the better. So a pair of good sneakers is perfect. I might advise you to spend a little bit more of money on your travelling sneakers (but keep an eye on outlet deals so you can save some money): they will survive longer no matter all the kilometres you will walk in them, and will better preserve your feet. As I said, the sun might show, so always bring with you a pair of sunglasses.
This is only a suggestion on the type of shoe that I would recommend to a traveller: any kind of trainers or hiking shoes is fine. Nike surely offers a good product for little money; while Salomon and Salewa have very good quality hiking products.
So here is the final list of things to wear and bring for your day trip in Scotland:
WHAT TO WEAR
- comfortable trousers or jeans
- fleece or sweater
- windbreaker or waterproof jacket
- comfortable sneaker
WHAT TO BRING
- small backpack
- snacks: fruit or some protein flapjacks (I love the Graze flapjacks!)
- wallet, cash, credit cards and ID
- smartphone: for quick snaps, taking some notes, checking the map, updating your socials live from the road
- a book for the journey
- camera(s): cameras are never enough, so the “travel light” rule does not apply to them. I personally always travel at least with two cameras, my Nikon reflex and my Polaroid