Resources

  • Lonely Planet (lonelyplanet.com/scotland) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.
  • VisitScotland (www.visitscotland.com) Official tourism site; booking services.
  • Internet Guide to Scotland (www.scotland-info.co.uk) Best online tourist guide to Scotland.
  • Traveline (www.travelinescotland.com) Up-to-date public-transport timetables.
  • ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) Official genealogical website that lets you search the indexes to old parish registers and statutory registers, as well as census returns, on a pay-per-view basis.

Top Tips

  • Quality rather than quantity should be your goal: instead of a hair-raising race to see everything, pick a handful of destinations and give yourself time to linger. The most memorable experiences in Scotland are often the ones where you’re doing very little.
  • If you’re driving, get off the main roads when you can. Some of the country’s most stunning scenery is best enjoyed on secondary or tertiary roads that wind their narrow way through standout photo ops.
  • Make the effort to greet the locals. The best experiences of Scotland are to be had courtesy of the Scots themselves, whose helpfulness, friendliness and fun has not been exaggerated.
  • Be prepared for midges – tiny biting flies that can make life a misery in summer in the Highlands. Bring along insect repellent, antihistamine cream and long-sleeved shirts and trousers.

What to Take

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Good walking shoes or boots
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Camera
  • UK electrical adapter
  • Insect repellent
  • Binoculars
  • Hangover cure (all that whisky, you know)

What to Wear

Scotland is a fairly casual destination and you can wear pretty much whatever you like all the time. For fancy dinners, smart casual is all that’s required. No restaurant will insist on jackets or ties, nor will any theatre or concert hall.

Summer days can be warm but rarely hot, so you’ll always want something around your legs and shoulders when the inevitable cool sets in.

In the end, the factor that will determine your outfits the most is the weather, which also means that a light, waterproof jacket should always be close at hand, preferably one that you can fold away and keep in a shoulder bag.

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past your arrival date.
  • Make all necessary bookings (for accommodation, events and travel).
  • Check airline baggage restrictions.
  • Inform your debit-/credit-card company of your travels.
  • Arrange appropriate travel insurance.
  • Check if you can use your mobile (cell) phone.