Top tips when travelling to scotland

Travelling to Scotland still stands as one of the highlights of our overseas adventures. So keep reading if you are thinking of going to Scotland for our top tips.

When asked how long you will need to explore Scotland, our standard reply is: ‘it depends how much you wish to see.’ And while that might not seem much of an answer, it is true in that the duration of any trip can only be determined by its length and complexity. Our recommendation would be that if possible no one plan a trip to this beautiful and diverse country with less than 10 days to two weeks to spare, so as to be able to see the country in its fullness, and take in your fill of castles, food, friendly people, golf, whisky, soccer, and stunning landscapes.

Some of our best tips when touring Scotland include:

Go prepared for the weather

No matter what the predicted forecast, the weather can change in an instant, and the temperature can drop dramatically.

Allow ample driving time

There is always plenty to see and do, and combine that with many small, windy roads, the wise traveller will allow additional driving time between locations. And remember to drive on the left hand side of the road.

Choose your accommodation wisely

Although Scotland is not a large country (well, by Aussie standards anyway), it is filled with wonderful places to visit, taste, shop, play, photograph or just rest at. Rather than stay in just one location, or only in the bigger cities, think about your planned route and consider using your accommodation so as to be able to do day trips from it and return to it at night. That way you might book a room in three or four great locations over the course of 10 or 12 days and use it as a base for your exploration.

Don’t rush Edinburgh

Scotland’s capital has a lot to offer throughout the year and visitors often complain that the day they allowed themselves just wasn’t enough. If you really want to see and do it all, you will need several days to see the castle, walk the Royal Mile, take in the beautiful gardens, visit the old and the new, see the museum and the Royal Yacht Britannia, and much more.

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Don’t forget Glasgow

For those of us not living in Scotland, it is easy to focus on Edinburgh and somehow overlook Glasgow, but this city deserves a visit and you would be remiss not to take in the Scottish Football Museum, check their thriving arts scene, and taste their amazing culinary delights (Haggis or chicken tikka masala anyone?).

Plan according to the seasons

Most folks think of going to Scotland in the summer to enjoy the warmer weather, but by doing so you will have to put up with higher prices, large crowds and limited accommodation options. We visited in September when the weather was still great overall, prices were slightly lower and the crowds were less. Others we have spoken to have travelled there in April and May when the weather was still mainly fine and they loved it. So plan according to what you want to see, where you wish to go, and how much you can afford. Obviously if you want to see the Edinburgh Tattoo in August, you will need to be prepared to pay higher prices.

Dress for the season but plan for winter

As we mentioned previously, Scotland’s weather is predictably unpredictable! Just when you think it is safe to wear T-shirt and shorts, the mist will drift over, the winds will pick up, or the rain will fall. We were advised to dress in layers and this is one big tip we are happy to pass on. In other words, plan for winter whatever time of year it is by wearing additional thin layers over lightweight summer clothes. When it is warm and sunny you can take some off, and when that chill wind sweeps in you can put it back on. Preparedness is the key.

Go prepared for the Midges

Not only do the tourists love Scotland, so do the midges! These terrible flying insects can come out of nowhere and are the scourge of their summer. If you are travelling in the warmer months, and especially around areas of water, please go prepared with the head net, insect spray or ‘Smidge‘ to keep these tiny, biting insects from ruining your travels or picnic.

Be ready to abandon your plans

As much as we are sticklers when it comes to planning, we also know how the appeal of a location can cause you to make some changes. Once in Scotland, you might fall in love with the scenery to the point where you decide to hire a bike, do some hiking, or discover more about the Vikings. Anything can happen, so go ready to make some changes if that seems the preferred option once there.

Bring an umbrella

Did we mention the weather was unpredictable, lol. Well, just in case you didn’t get the hint, please carry a small collapsible umbrella even if you fail to take a coat or warm top. If you can get through any visit to Scotland without being rained on, it will be a miracle, so don’t take the chance or risk the rain spoiling your trip. Just pack that brolly and carry on regardless. And you will have an awesome trip.

Visit Scotland

Living each adventure, 
Christine and Trevor
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food or drink featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure. 

Top tips when travelling to Scotland
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