Before

You Go

Forward planning is essential to any successful trip. Be prepared for all eventualities by considering the following points before you travel.

Passports and Visas

For a stay of up to three months EU nationals and citizens of the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to enter the country. Consult your nearest British embassy or check the UK Government website for up-to-date information specific to your home country.

UK Government

gov.uk

Travel Safety Advice

Visitors can get up-to-date travel safety information from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the US State Department, and the Department of

Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia.

Australia

smartraveller.gov.au

UK

gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

US

travel.state.gov

Customs Information

An individual is permitted to carry the following within the EU for personal use:

Tobacco products

800 cigarettes, 400 cigarillos, 200 cigars or 1 kg of smoking tobacco.

Alcohol

10 litres of alcoholic beverages above 22% strength, 20 litres below 22% strength, 90 litres of wine (60 litres of which can be sparkling wine) and 110 litres of beer.

Cash

If you plan to enter or leave the EU with €10,000 or more in cash (or the equivalent in other currencies) you must declare it to the customs authorities.

Regulations may be subject to change. If travelling outside the EU limits vary so check restrictions before travelling.

Language

Scotland is a multicultural country in which you will hear many languages spoken. Gaelic is now spoken by fewer than 1% of the population, and most commonly spoken in the Outer Hebrides. Regional accents can be challenging, even for visitors from other Anglophone countries.

Insurance

It is wise to take out an insurance policy covering theft, loss of belongings, medical problems, cancellation and delays. Emergency treatment is usually free from the National Health Service, and there are reciprocal arrangements with other EEA countries, Australia and New Zealand and some other countries (check the NHS website for details). Residents of EEA countries should carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which allows treatment for free or at a reduced cost. It is advisable for visitors from outside the EEA, Australia and New Zealand to arrange comprehensive medical insurance.

EHIC

gov.uk/european-health-insurance-card

NHS

nhs.uk

Vaccinations

No inoculations are needed for the UK.

Booking Accommodation

Scotland offers a variety of accommodation, from luxury five-star hotels to family-run B&Bs, and budget hostels. Lodgings can fill up quickly and prices are higher in summer, especially in the Highlands and islands and in Edinburgh during the festival season and Hogmanay. A list of accommodation can be found at Visit Scotland and The Hotel Guru. Camping is allowed almost anywhere in Scotland, so long as you are respectful of the community and leave the site as you found it. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code before you set off.

The Hotel Guru

thehotelguru.com

Scottish Outdoor Access Code

outdooraccess-scotland.scot

Money

Major credit, debit and prepaid currency cards are accepted in most shops and restaurants. Contactless payments are widely accepted, though not on public transport. Cash machines can be found at banks and on main streets in major towns, but they are harder to find in remote areas, particularly in the Highlands and islands, where many places accept cash only.

Scottish bank notes are not universally accepted outside Scotland, so it is best to exchange them before leaving.

Travellers with Specific Needs

Most trains and many buses in Scotland are wheelchair-accessible. Accessibility information for public transport is available from regional public transport websites. Many major museums and galleries offer audio tours and induction loops for those with impaired sight and hearing. Action on Hearing Loss and The Royal National Institute for the Blind can offer information and advice.

Action on Hearing Loss

actionhearingloss.org.uk

Royal National Institute for the Blind

rnib.org.uk

Closures

Mondays

Some museums and tourist attractions are closed for the day.

Sundays and Public Holidays

Many shops close early, or for the entire day.

Winter

Some accommodation establishments and other services in rural areas that cater mainly to holidaymakers close from around October until the Easter school holidays.

Need to know Before You Go

At a Glance

Currency

Pound Sterling (GBP)

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Average daily spend

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Need to know Before You Go

CLIMATE

alt image The longest days occur May–Aug, while Oct–Feb sees the shortest daylight hours.
alt image Temperatures average 15°C (59°F) in summer, and drop below 0 °C (32 °F) in winter.
alt image October and November see the most rainfall, but heavy showers occur all year round.

Need to know Before You Go

Electricity Supply

Power sockets are type G, fitting three-pronged plugs. Standard voltage is 230 volts.

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Need to know Before You Go

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

New Year’s Day 1 Jan
Bank Holiday 2 Jan
Good Friday 19 Apr (2019)
10 Apr (2020)
May Day 6 May (2019)
4 May (2020)
May Bank Holiday 27 May (2019)
25 May (2020)
Aug Bank Holiday 5 Aug (2019)
3 Aug (2020)
Christmas Day 25 Dec
Boxing Day 26 Dec
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