Scotland Travel Guide

   

Travel

Air
There are numerous airports throughout Scotland but most of the flight in and out of the country are at Edinburgh or Glasgow Airport.  There are numerous flights available to Europe (EasyJet and Ryanair do good budget deals) but for more exotic destinations you will usually connect in London Heathrow.

Train
There is a good train network throughout Scotland and most of the trains are operated by Scotrail.  You can get full details of destinations, times and prices from their website (www.scotrail.co.uk).  A helpful hint is to book in advance (at least a week) as you will save significantly on the price off a ticket.

Bus
There is an excellent bus network throughout the country and you can get to all city’s and major towns by bus.  The main bus company in the country is Stagecoach and for full details of routes and times used the trip planner on Traveline Scotlands website.  There are also budget deals available between major citys in Scotland and also to England and Europe through MegaBus, with tickets for as little as a pound.

Sea
There are ferry’s which operate to Ireland and mainland Europe and also internal services which go to various islands in Scotland.  The main ferry company’s are Stena Line or P&O for services to Northern Ireland, Smyril Line for Scandanavia and Superfast Ferries to continental Europe.

Cities of Scotland

There are 7 cities in total in Scotland (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness, Perth, Dundee, Stirling) the capitol is Edinburgh and the largest city is Glasgow.  The cities are mostly in the central belt area of the county with only Inverness in the Highlands and Aberdeen in the north east not being situated in this area.

Accommodation in Scotland

There are numerous types of accommodation in Scotland, the most popular is standard hotel accommodation but if you are looking for a less expensive option then either bed and breakfast or hostel accommodation maybe suitable. Two of the most luxurious hotels in the country include The Balmoral in Edinburgh and Inverlochy Castle near Fort William, both a five star and offer fantastic accommodation if you can afford it.

There are also numerous camp sites and caravan parks throughout the country if you fancy roughing it, if you head north you can find some spots with fantastic views.

 

What to see in Scotland

The Highlands region is a must see area of the country, this contains much of the best scenery in Scotland.  Highlights here include the world famous Loch Ness and picturesque castle such as Eilean Donan and Urquhart.

The capitol city Edinburgh is perhaps the most visited city in Scotland, it has a great selection of old style architecture and some popular attractions such as Scotland’s only Zoo and the Museum of Scotland.

Away from the citys there are numerous small towns and villages that have there own charm, try St Andrews and Fort Augustus as 2 good examples of these.

 

Food and Drink

In Scotland there is a good selection of restaurants and if you are staying in one of the main city’s then you should find any cuisine you are looking for.  The traditional Scottish cuisine usually involves fried food (this is the home of the deep fried mars bar).  If you are looking for a truly Scottish meal then why not try some haggis, a traditional meal is Balmoral Chicken (Chicken stuffed with haggis wrapped in bacon) its best not to ask how or what haggis is however!

There are numerous takeaway restaurants throughout the country, standard takeaway is fish and chips (or a fish supper which means the same thing).  In city’s at night when clubs are closing you will still find some takeaways open selling kebabs, pizza and chips with cheese.

As for drink there are two popular drinks in Scotland, whisky is perhaps the best known one with many of the best whiskys in the world found here.   Most bars will have a good selection of malts that you can sample at your pleasure.  There is also a Scottish soft drink that is worth trying called Irn Bru, it is very popular and identifiable by the bright orange colour (It out sells Coca Cola in Scotland).

 

Weather

The warmest months in Scotland are July and Augustus, the max temperature around that time of year is usually 19 °C.  The coldest months are December and January when there is often snow and temperatures can drop well below 0°C (-20’s is not uncommon I the highlands).   The wettest area of Scotland is the west coats where the highest annual rainfall occurs, the sunniest areas are on the east where Dundee is the sunniest city in the country.

The weather is well known to be quite changeable in Scotland, many time you can experience all the seasons in a single day and its not uncommon for it to be sunny in the morning and torrential rain in the afternoon!

 

Currency

Scotland, like the rest of the United Kingdom uses the pound.  They also print their own bank notes so it is possible to have English pounds and Scottish pounds, however both are legal tender throughout the UK (although Scottish money is not popular in England).