The famous red telephone boxes are a dying breed now, surviving mainly in conservation areas. You’ll mainly see two types of phone booths in Scotland: one takes coins (and doesn’t give change), while the other uses pre-paid phonecards and credit cards. Some phones accept both coins and cards. Payphone cards are widely available.

The cheapest way of calling internationally is to buy a discount phonecard; you’ll see these in newsagents, along with tables of countries and the number of minutes you’ll get for your money.

Mobile Phones

Uses the GSM 900/1800 network. Local SIM cards can be used in European and Australian phones. Patchy coverage in remote areas.

Phone Codes & Useful Numbers

Dialling the UK Dial your country's international access code then 44 (the UK country code), then the area code (dropping the first 0) followed by the telephone number.

Dialling out of the UK The international access code is 00; dial this, then add the code of the country you wish to dial.

Making a reverse-charge (collect) international call Dial 155 for the operator. It's an expensive option, but not for the caller.

Area codes in Scotland Begin with 01, eg Edinburgh 0131, Wick 01955.

Directory Assistance There are several numbers; 118500 is one.

Mobile phones Codes usually begin with 07.

Free calls Numbers starting with 0800 are free; calls to 0845 numbers are charged at local rates.