Scotland is the land of William Wallace and Robert Burns. The music of Simple Minds and Franz Ferdinand. The harrowing Irving Welsh and Tossing the Caber. The mythical Loch Ness Monster. Arran jumpers and The Highlands. Iron Brew and Haggis. The wonderful Edinburgh Festival.
These are some of the things you will remember or observe when you visit Scotland. Of course your own list will be interesting and we would love to read it.
But on a practical note, we have listed some information below to help you relax and enjoy your tour
The Edinburgh International Festival is a wonderful collection of Comedy, Theatre, Music TV and Film and along with the fringe festival offers entertainment for every conceivable taste. Melrose Abbey was founded in 1136 by Cistercian monks, on the request of King David I of Scotland. This grand ruin with lavish masonic decoration is thought to hold the embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce king of Scotland.
Located on the most northern island of Skye, the beauty of the rolling peaks of the Cuiillin Hills is undeniable. These hills are made up of two diverse formations, the Red Cuiillins, a red granite and the Black Cuillins, a harsher granite with sharp jagged peaks of volcanic rock.
Located on the main island of Orkney, Skara Brae is one of the best preserved Stone Age villages in Europe. It was covered for hundreds of years by a sand dune until a great storm exposed the site in 1850. Stirling Castle is one of the most spectacular castles in all of Scotland and home to art, culture and status that encompassed 16th century. High up on the vertical rock mass of Castle Hill, it rests, defensively positioned along the steep surrounding cliffs.
Luskentyre beach is situated on the spectacular west coast of South Harris in the Outer Hebrides. One of the most beautiful color-washed coastal areas of Scotland, its blue-green seas shimmer against creamy sands and the vibrant green hillside.Loch Ness is the second largest loch in Scotland after Loch Lomond (and due to its great depth it is the largest by volume).
About a mile wide at most places it holds the legend of an infamous sea monster. The most notorious mythical creature of modern time, Nessie, is said to dwell in the lake, you might even get a glimpse of Nessie. Eilean Donan is a small island in Loch Duich in the western Highlands of Scotland and connected to the mainland by a footbridge, the island is dominated by a picturesque medieval castle. The original castle was built in the early 13th century as a defence against the Vikings.
Ben Nevis is the British Isle’s highest summit. Offering stunningly spectacular views and historical malice, Ben Nevis attracts viewers, hikers and climbers alike to celebrate the tranquility of the surrounding nature. Edinburgh Castle is a magnificent example of Scotland’s architecture, ideology, political tact and military importance. High up on the summit of a dormant volcano lurks this dominating structure. Its presence is visible for miles in every direction. Intimidating all who would challenge them, the Scottish utilized Edinburgh Castle for all of their major battles and strategic military planning.
Aberdeen & Grampian, Angus & Dundee, Argyll, Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Edinburgh & the Lothians, Fife, Glasgow & Clyde Valley, The Scottish Highlands, Orkney, The Outer & Inner Hebrides, Perthshire, The Scottish Borders, The Shetland Islands and Stirling & The Trossachs.
Coming from the States you do not need a visa to enter Scotland. As a visitor you can stay up to six months without any restrictions.
The currency is The Pound and this is generally the only currency accepted, except in rare circumstances. In most places you can also pay with Visa or MasterCard. American Express is less accepted so check in advance. 1 USD is equivalent to approximately .70 Pound Sterling and there are 100 pence in one Pound.
Scotland has a reputation for being wet and dull but this is not entirely true! In Scotland temperatures are very moderate. Winters are cold, with snow, usually around -10 – 0 degrees in summer. Some summer months are moderate, the country experiences some warm spells and temperatures, particularly around Edinburgh, and temperatures can reach up to 21- 25 degrees. The wettest months are in Autumn and Winter
In Scotland the main language is English and you also get Scots Gaelic spoken in the Highlands.
There is a multicultural society in Scotland and the restaurants, especially in the large cities, most certainly reflect this. French, Italian, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine can be found everywhere.
However, the Scottish still love their traditional Scottish recipes! Stew, Potatoes, Haggish feature high on the menus in pubs and restaurants. Scottish breakfast is also a staple part of the diet and is served in most hotels as the standard breakfast. This consists of bacon, sausages, fried eggs, tomatoes and the ever curious white & black puddings (see Dictionary below!)
Once you have reached the legal age for drinking alcohol, that is 18 years, you can wander into one of the many pubs and experiment with one of the beers. Typically you will find that each pub sells Lager, Ale, Whiskey and the Stout (eg. Guinness) and a friendly barman will be happy to inform you of the differences between them all! You are usually never more than five minutes away from a pub in Scotland and often these pubs serve a mixture of traditional and international food dishes. Most pubs close at 11 or 11.30pm.
With regards to non-alcoholic drinks, tea is still the favoured hot cup of the day, although American influences such as Starbucks are now to be found in most large cities and towns. In the Scottish Highlands called peatreek.
Electricity Phone- Scotland
Bring a power converter ! The British electrical system uses a huge three-prong flat head plug and a currency of 230/240 volts. With regards to your cell phone, it may be cheaper to buy a local number and use this for the duration of your stay. Your hotel/guesthouse receptionist can advise you on this. If you are only staying for a short period and planning on using mostly Wi-Fi, then your current sim will suit best-
We have listed a few common differences in language between Scots English and the U.S English
Lavy = restroom Lift = elevator Dustbin = trashcan Jumper = sweater
Mobile = cellphone | Petrol = gas | Boot = trunk | Wardrobe = closet
Trousers = pants
Black/white pudding = a type of blood sausage
Scottish Fry = traditional Irish fried breakfast with bacon, sausage, egg, pudding
Haggis = savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck; minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock
Pies = beef or liver and vegetables in a pastry case
Scones = cupcake Chips = fries | Courgette = zucchini