Scotland: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

About Scotland

Overview

From the highlands to the islands, ancient castles to modern cities, Scotland is a rich tapestry just waiting to be explored. Wander through Edinburgh’s cobbled streets and narrow passageways, where ancient architecture and the imposing Edinburgh Castle will take you back more than 1000 years. Mingle with the ghosts of Celtic warriors on the Isle of Skye, hike over hills blanketed by mist rolling in from the lochs and taste the peaty goodness of authentic Scotch whisky. Welcome to Scotland.

 

Established:  9th century

Area: 192,576 acres (30,090 sq mi)

Elevation: 0 ft (low) & 4,413 ft (high)

Time Zone: Greenwich Mean Time (UTC)

Emergency Number: 999

Highland-Cow
Scotch

Packing List

Edinburgh

Weather

EDINBURGH WEATHER

Fun Facts

  • The national animal of Scotland is the Unicorn.
  • That said, Scotland is not technically a nation, as it is part of the United Kingdom.
  • Scotland is known for its Scotch Whiskey, but The word “whisky” in fact comes from the Old Irish uisce beatha, which translates to “the water of life.”
  • In order for whisky to be “Scotch,” it has to have been distilled in Scotland from water and malted barley and aged for a minimum of 3 years in an oak barrel. 
  • Scotland has more than 900 offshore islands! Scotland's islands are divided up into the Inner Hebrides, Outer Hebrides, Orkney Islands, and the Shetland Islands.
  • Because of all these little islands dotted all over, Scotland is home to the world's shortest commercial passenger flight. The flight runs between two of the Orkney islands (Westray and Papa Westray), which only lie 1.7 miles apart. The flight, operated by Loganair, is officially only 2 minutes long.
  • Scotland has one of the highest proportions of red-haired people in the world. Worldwide, less than 2% of people have red hair. In Scotland, though, that percentage is somewhere between 6% and 13%
  • While the Nessie myth really took off in the 1930s, there are accounts of a Loch Ness Monster in Inverness way back in the 5th century! All “sightings” of the monster in modern times have been proven to be fake, but Nessie-seekers still flock to the lake in hopes that the mystery will finally be solved.
  • Scotland is the home of golf. The modern game of golf was developed in Scotland, and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is the world governing body of the game. The game has been played in Scotland since the Middle Ages, and the Old Course at St. Andrews itself dates back to at least the mid-1500s.
  • The main trappings of a haggis include the offal (internal organs) of a sheep mixed with suet, oatmeal, onions, and spices. Traditionally, this would all be cooked inside a sheep's stomach. Dishes similar to this have been around since ancient times; it was an easy way to deal with all those innards directly after a hunt. And while there's some question about where the dish “officially” originated, it's considered to be Scottish. In fact, haggis is the national dish of Scotland today.

Tipping

Tipping Suggestions: Tips for Guides, drivers and restaurants are not included. Tips provide supplemental income, and, while not mandatory, are greatly appreciated. If the local teams have added to the experience, please reward them.

Guides USD $3-4 per person/per day
Drivers USD $1-2 per person/per day
Restaurants(full service)  10-20% of the total bill

 

FAQ

Where can I find information on travel safety? Check out the US Department of State's website for the most up-to-date information on safety while traveling.

 

Do you recommend travel insurance? While not required, we highly recommend all travelers get travel insurance for their trip to protect themselves from the unknown! Check out travel insurance options from our partner, worldnomads.com or from a provider of your choice.

 

Is the water safe to drink? You betcha!

 

Do I need a Visa? For Visa information, click here. Make sure also to check that your passport isn't expired or about to expire!

 

What about vaccines? For Vaccination information, click here.   

 

How much should I pack? As we will be using shared transfers and spaces throughout our tour we recommend all travelers pack as lightly as possible. All travelers are allowed to bring one large piece of luggage (not exceeding 23kg (50lbs) in weight, with the dimensions (30” x 18” x 10”), one small carry-on (12”x11”x6), and a personal item.

 

What does public transportation look like?  The UK has a very developed bus and rail system.


Is Uber or Lyft available? Uber is available, as are taxis.

Luggage Restrictions

Luggage Restrictions purple

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