19 Important Scotland Journey Tricks to Learn Earlier than Your First Go to


In case you’re a frequent traveler and an English speaker, visiting Scotland is pretty simple (although driving in Scotland can nonetheless be barely hair-raising.) Howeverif you happen to’re a bit nervous about your journey and want to be sure you have all your geese in a row, be sure to be taught these Scotland journey concepts sooner than you go!

I’ve visited Scotland twice, as quickly as on a solo journey to Edinburgh and one different as a Scotland avenue journey with mates (thanks Keryn for being an superior driver!) and I’ve realized and expert lots that I want to share with anyone planning their first journey to Scotland.

Scotland trip cost

My Excessive Scotland Journey Recommendations

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English is the official language in the UK and the dominant language in Scotland. There are nonetheless those that talk Scots throughout the Lowlands or Scottish Gaelic throughout the Highlands, nevertheless getting spherical Scotland is not any draw back for English audio system — although it is attainable you will need to hear intently to understand these with a heavy Scottish accent.

Foreign exchange

As part of the UK, Scotland makes use of the British Pound (£). Scotland actually has its private pound notes nevertheless it is advisable to use English funds as successfully.


Just about all consuming locationsretailers, and parking machines take chip-enabled financial institution playing cards and/or digital funds akin to Apple Pay. Howeveryou’ll have money for some parking machines and money or small funds for concepts or small purchases. I’d recommend each requesting small funds out of your native monetary establishment sooner than you allow or visiting an ATM everytime you arrive.

In case you’re questioning how lots money you needbe sure to be taught my put up on how lots a Scotland journey costs.

Black Bull Pub in Edinburgh


Tipping won’t be the similar as throughout the U.S.. In numerous conditions, service is included at consuming locationsIn case you’re paying by card and want to depart a tip, you will need to let the server know in order so as to add it sooner than you faucet your card. For sit-down consuming locations, a 10-15 p.c gratuity is appropriate nevertheless not important. At casual cafes, chances are you’ll depart a few money or spherical up your bill.


Scotland makes use of 230 voltage and you’ll have a three-pronged adapter with a G-type plug, which is utterly totally different from most of Europe. In case your tools or gadget has a twin voltage power present (which you will usually confirm by attempting on the label or information), you solely need a plug adapter. Twin voltage devices can robotically swap between 120V and 230V.

Howeverin case your gadget does not have a twin voltage power presentyou’ll have a voltage converter. It’s vital to determine on a voltage converter that is extremely efficient adequate in your gadget. The wattage of your gadget will be listed on the label.

Automotive Leases

Do you have to plan on renting a automotivebe sure to e e-book months or weeks prematurely for greater pricing and availability, significantly to ensure that you a automotive with an automated transmission. Try and e e-book the smallest automotive that may fit your baggage and one which has a once more up digital digital camera. I’d moreover suggest getting full insurance coverage protection. I normally use Auto Europe to match expenses from utterly totally different distributorsWorldwide driving permits are NOT required in Scotland. You probably can drive in your residence license for as a lot as one yr.

Car on road in the Scottish highlands

Driving in Scotland

In the UKalong with Scotlandautomobiles drive on the left-hand facet of the avenueIn case you’re not accustomed to driving on the left, it takes shut focus and focus, significantly when navigating the nation’s many rotaries. Take note to “preserve left, look correct.” Website guests already on the roundabout has priority, so give choice to vehicles approaching out of your correct. Enter when there’s a protected gap, and level out your supposed exit as you technique it.

Exterior of the highways, many inside roads throughout the Highlands or islands are single lane roads. When you encounter a automotive coming the other methodone amongst you desires to tug into the closest pull out designed for passing. This can doubtless require backing as a lot as the closest pull out.

Take note to take care of a watch out for wildlife, significantly sheep, that are inclined to wander into the roads throughout the backcountry.

Ensure to observe all the native authorized tipsalong with tempo limits to steer clear of fines. Scotland has strict drink-driving authorized tips with a lower alcohol limit than many totally different nations so don’t hazard it.


You need to to pay for parking at most automotive parks for sights and citiesalong with trailheads for widespread hikes or pure sights. I’d recommend taking {a photograph} of your license plate as normally you’ll have to enter this into the parking meter machine when paying for parking. In totally different conditionsyou’ll have to “pay and present”, which suggests pay in your parking prematurely primarily based on how lots time you suppose you’ll have after which place the receipt in your windshield window.

Most parking meters take financial institution playing cards nevertheless there are some that may solely accept money so it is wise to carry money with you or keep some throughout the automotiveMerely don’t try and use one receipt from one parking house at one different, even if you happen to’re nonetheless contained in the genuine time window. Each receipt is marked with heaps amount and they will confirm (perception me, I realized the onerous method and parking tickets are pricey!)

Gasoline Up

When you end up throughout the Highlands or the Islands, petrol stations are few and far between so be sure to gasoline up when chances are you’ll and don’t push it too low.

Public Bogs

You probably can normally uncover public bogs at widespread vacationer sights (even pure sights such as a result of the Fairy Swimming swimming pools.) Howevera couple of of those are pay bogsThat’s one other excuse to carry some moneyalthough many of these are moreover faucet and go using digital fundsNevertheless just because these are paid, doesn’t indicate they’re well-supplied or exceptionally clear. So carry some additional tissue and sanitizer merely in case.

Tamara in Quirang in rain

Local weather

When in Scotland, you will need to be prepared for all varieties of local weather no matter everytime you go toBy way of the summer season months, the widespread temperatures are a extreme of 59-63°F (15-17°C) and lows are between 47-52°F (8-11°C).

Throughout the winter, temperatures drop to 41-45°F (5-7°C) with lows of 32-37°F (0-3°C). Perceive that Scotland has a moist and funky native climate, with a very good amount of wind. The rainiest months are throughout the winter with a imply rainfall spherical 4 inches month-to-month.

Whereas regional variations exist, coastal areas are normally hotter and fewer moist than inland areas and The Highlands experience barely lower temperatures and higher rainfall than the Lowlands.


As I wrote about in my Scotland packing itemizingyou will need to be prepared when touring to Ireland. Wind and water proof garments along with a rain coat, rain pants, and waterproof sneakersIt’s vitally vital to brighten in layers. Don’t overlook the basics along with a hat, gloves, sunglasses, and an umbrella.

Brackenhide hotel lobby and lounge

Lodge Reservations

Exterior of the cities, the lodging in cities and smaller cities akin to Inverness, lodging might be restrictedYou will have to e e-book resort rooms or journey leases not lower than a few months prematurelyThat’s very true in widespread spots similar to the Isle of Skye. (See my Scotland avenue journey itinerary to get strategies on the place to stay.)

Restaurant Reservations

In widespread areas akin to Inverness, Isle of Skye, or Glencoe, it’s normally vital to make dinner reservations and regulate the hours and days areas are open as many consuming locations shut by 8:00 p.m. in smaller cities.


Cullen Skink

Whereas in Scotland, be sure to attempt some Scottish specialties akin to:

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties: The enduring nationwide dish of Scotland, haggis is a savory sausage traditionally made out of sheep’s coronary coronary heart, liver, lungs, and oatmeal, encased throughout the sheep’s stomach lining. Served with mashed turnips (“neeps”) and potatoes (“tatties”), it’s a hearty and flavorful choice to experience Scottish culinary heritage. It took me a while to do that specialty nevertheless I ended up liking it on account of it tastes far more of the spices utilized in creating it than the meat itself.

Cullen Skink: Originating from Cullen on the Moray Firth, this a warn, creamy soup made with smoked haddock, potatoes, onions, and milk, and normally served with crusty bread for dipping. It’s a must-try in coastal areas, significantly spherical Moray and Aberdeenshire, nevertheless I had a delicious mannequin in Glasgow.

Scotch Pies: Savory pastries filled with minced meat and onions, Scotch pies are a popular handheld snack or lunch chance. The filling can differ from fundamental minced beef to adventurous varieties like venison or rooster balmoral.

Shortbread: A crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth biscuit made with butter, sugar, and flour, shortbread is a Scottish sweet take care of synonymous with tea time. Benefit from plain shortbread for its pure deliciousness, or uncover variations infused with flavors like chocolate, ginger, and even whisky. I’m an enormous fan of the millionaires shortbread, which is layered with caramel and chocolate.

Sticky Toffee Pudding: Sticky toffee pudding is a gooey dessert consisting of a light-weight and moist sponge cake, normally infused with dates or ginger, nestled in a rich, sticky toffee sauce. It’s normally served warmth with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Whereas the origins of sticky toffee pudding are disputed, Scotland has a sturdy declare to fame, due to the Udny Arms Lodge in Aberdeenshire. They boast of constructing the long-lasting dessert once more throughout the Nineteen Sixties.

Fish and Chips: Whereas the dish would possibly not have originated in Scotland, their contribution to its evolution and continued recognition is plain. Fish and chips are a staple of Scottish delicacies and custommerely as lots as they’re in the rest of the UK.

Deep-Fried Mars Bars: I was really shocked as soon as I requested locals about well-known meals they normally instructed me about deep-fried Mars bars which will be battered and deep-fried until golden and liked after the pub.

Scotch Whisky: The undisputed king of Scottish drinks, whisky (not known as Scotch in Scotland) is steeped in historic previous and customized. With its distinct smoky style and huge variety of regional varieties, it’s a must-try for any buyerUncover peaty Islay drams, floral Highland expressions, or Speyside’s fruity whiskies. Merely don’t forget that whiskey spelled with an -ey refers to Irish whiskey.

Irn-Bru: This vibrant orange carbonated beverage is usually known as Scotland’s “totally different nationwide drink.” Its distinctive style is tough to elucidate nevertheless I found it one factor of a cross between orange soda and bubble gum. Bottom line, it is excessively sweet.

Scottish Gin: Scotland’s gin scene is booming, with distilleries all through the nation creating distinctive and flavorful expressions. Rely on botanical notes impressed by the Scottish panorama, like juniper, heather, and berries. My good buddy Keryn bought right here once more with not lower than a dozen little bottles to sample the various flavors!


Armadale ferry

Do you have to plan on visiting any of the islands by automotive and want to take a ferry, you’ll have to e e-book a timed ticket prematurely.

Factors of curiosity

Some sights such as a result of the Royal Tattoo, Edinburgh Citadel tickets, or widespread excursions can promote out throughout the busy season so it is best to e e-book your tickets prematurely. As I mentioned in my Edinburgh itinerary, I might moreover suggest going to widespread sights such as a result of the Edinburgh Citadel early throughout the morning when it first opens.

Best Time to Go to

The popular time to go to Scotland is all through July and August, significantly all through festivals such as a result of the Fringe Pageantevents similar to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Highland Video video games, and Ceilidh on the Citadel with keep typical music and dancing in Edinburgh Citadel.

By means of local weather, June brings good temperatures and prolonged daytime (as soon as I was there in late June/early July the photo voltaic didn’t set until virtually 11:00 p.m.. September continues to be warmth adequate (it was actually pretty warmth the yr I was there in early September), and moreover, you’ll uncover pretty autumn foliage and fewer crowds than peak summer season.

Might affords springtime attract with blooming flowers, good local weather, and no midges (tiny biting bugs!). Not as sunny as summer seasonnevertheless a lot much less crowded.

Know Some Historic previous

Clan stone at Culloden battlefield

When you end up visiting castles and historic web sites such as a result of the Culloden Battlefield, it helps to know some basic Scottish historic previousI was really surprised to see how entrance of ideas what appears as if distant historic previous can nonetheless be, akin to a friendship with the French that goes once more to outdated alliances with France in opposition to the English.

To brush up in your Scottish historic previous sooner than you go tolisted beneath are some books, movies, and reveals it is attainable you will want to benefit from.

Points to Watch:

  • Braveheart (1995): Whereas not historically right, it’s a fundamental epic film depicting the lifetime of William Wallace, a Scottish rebel chiefand affords notion into the Scottish Wars of Independence throughout the thirteenth century.
  • Outlaw King (2018): A additional grounded portrayal of Robert the Bruce, one different key decide in Scotland’s wrestle for independence from English rule.
  • Mary Queen of Scots (2018): Explores the tumultuous reign and rivalry between Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth I of England, shedding mild on sophisticated political and spiritual tensions of the sixteenth century.
  • Rob Roy (1995): A fictionalized nevertheless entertaining account of the lifetime of Rob Roy MacGregor, a Scottish clan chief and folks hero throughout the 18th century.
  • Outlander (2014-present): This widespread TV sequence follows a Twentieth-century nurse who travels once more in time to 1743 Scotland, immersing viewers throughout the Jacobite revolt and Highland life.
  • Monarch of the Glen (2000-2005): An enthralling drama a couple of family working a deer farm throughout the Scottish Highlands, showcasing the beauty of the panorama and rural traditions.
  • Secrets and techniques and methods of the Clans (2008-2010): Explores the historic previous and traditions of various Scottish clans.
  • Wild Scotland (2014): Attractive pure historic previous documentary capturing the breathtaking landscapes and wildlife of Scotland.

Points to Study:

  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: A sprawling sequence mixing romance, time journey, and historic intrigue in 18th-century Scotland by the Jacobite revolt.
  • Wolf of the North by William McIlvanney: A gritty portrayal of Viking-era Scotland by the eyes of a warrior battling for survival in opposition to invaders and interior power struggles.
  • The Flame Bearer by Kathleen Winsor: A sweeping historic saga following the Bruce family and their wrestle for Scottish independence from England.
  • Redcoats by Neil Oliver: An thrilling account of the Battle of Culloden from the perspective of every Highland fighters and British troopers.
  • Sunset Tune by Lewis Grassic Gibbon: A poignant and tragic novel depicting the merciless realities of rural life in Nineteenth-century Scotland, specializing in a girl’s struggles and resilience.
  • The Ultimate Summer season by Karen Swan: In 1930, the residents of small St. Kilda are relocated to mainland Scotland.


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