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Local Travel Scotland

Scottish Culture

Famous for its whiskey and bagpipes, Scotland is a country with Gaelic, Celtic, and Viking heritage, where you’ll encounter dramatic mountainous landscapes and world-renown lochs, artsy cities and some of the friendliest people.

What Is Scotland Famous For?

Kilts, tartans, bagpipes, Irn Bru, Haggis, Deep Fried Mars Bar, and Robert Burns.

Who Is The Most Famous Scottish Person?

Robert Burns (1759 – 1796)

One of the most famous Scots, who’s influence has touched people across the world! Born in Alloway, Ayrshire. Although born into a very poor family, Robert (aka ‘Rabbie’) Burns was very intelligent and excelled in many areas of academics.

What Has Scotland Invented?

The television: John Logie Baird (1923)

The refrigerator: William Cullen (1748)

The first electric bread toaster: Alan MacMasters (1893)

The flush toilet: Alexander Cumming (1775)

The vacuum flask: Sir James Dewar (1847–1932)

The first distiller to triple distill Irish whiskey: John Jameson (Whisky distiller)

The piano foot pedal: John Broadwood (1732–1812)

The first automated can-filling machine John West (1809–1888)

The waterproof macintosh: Charles Macintosh (1766–1843)

The kaleidoscope: Sir David Brewster (1781–1868)

Keiller’s marmalade Janet Keiller (1797) – The first recipe of rind suspended marmalade or Dundee marmalade produced in Dundee.

The modern lawnmower: Alexander Shanks (1801–1845)

The Lucifer friction match: Sir Isaac Holden (1807–1897)

The self-filling pen: Robert Thomson (1822–1873)

Cotton-reel thread: J & J Clark of Paisley

Lime cordial: Lauchlan Rose in 1867

Bovril beef extract: John Lawson Johnston in 1874.

The electric clock: Alexander Bain (1840)

Chemical Telegraph (Automatic Telegraphy) Alexander Bain (1846) In England Bain’s telegraph was used on the wires of the Electric Telegraph Company to a limited extent, and in 1850 it was used in America.

Barr’s Irn-Bru, soft drink produced by Barr’s in Cumbernauld Scotland and exported all around the world. The drink is so widely popular in Scotland that it outsells both American colas Coca-Cola and Pepsi and ranks 3rd most popular drink in the UK with Coca-Cola and Pepsi taking the first two spots.

What Colour Are Scottish People's Eyes?

Scots are ol’ blue eyes, says study. SCOTS are the blue-eyed boys and girls of Britain. A major new study of the DNA of the British Isles has found the highest level of the gene that causes the light iris colour in Edinburgh, the Lothians, and Borders.

What Is The Most Common Hair Colour In Scotland?
It’s certainly true that Scotland and Ireland have more people with red hair than other countries – it’s still rare, just that it’s more common there. Most Scottish and Irish people have dark brown hair, usually combined with pale eyes.
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Scottish History

The recorded history of Scotland begins with the arrival of the Roman Empire in the 1st century, when the province of Britannia reached as far north as the Antonine Wall. North of this was Caledonia, inhabited by the Picti, whose uprisings forced Rome’s legions back to Hadrian’s Wall.

Where Was The Ancient Capital City Of Scotland?

The fair city of Perth on the banks of the River Tay was the ancient capital city of Scotland.

Perth’s city town of Scone was where most of the ancient kings and queens were crowned.

How Long Have People Lived In Perth?

More than 8,000 years.

Think about this for a second – Before Jesus, before Buddha, before the Roman Empire, before the great pyramids of Egypt, before all of written history, the ancient Gaelic tribes fished and hunted in Perth.

We are walking along the same rolling, green hills, beside the same river, beneath the same skies much the same as our ancestors did 8,000 years ago.

Perths central location has given it the nickname of ‘Gateway To The Highlands’.

What Is The Kingdom Of Alba?

The Kingdom of Alba refers to the Kingdom of Scotland between the deaths of Donald II (Domnall mac Causantin) in 900 and of Alexander III in 1286, which then led indirectly to the Scottish Wars of Independence.

Why Does Scotland Use A Thistle In Their National Flag?

According to legend, the “guardian thistle” played a vital part in Alexander III, King of Scots’ defense of the ancient realm of Scotland against a night-time raiding party of ‘not-so-sneaky’ Norwegian Vikings.

One or more of the Viking raiders let out a yell of pain when stepping on a prickly thistle, which alerted the Scots and saved them within an inch of their lives.

In the motto, “No one harasses me without punishment in return” (Latin: “Nemo me impune lacessit”), “me” was therefore originally the thistle itself, but by extension now refers to the Scottish regiments which have adopted it.

Could a country’s relationship with nature get any closer than that of Scotland and its thistle?

Who Was William Wallace?

Sir William Wallace was a Scottish knight who became one of the main leaders during the First War of Scottish Independence.

Along with Andrew Moray, Wallace defeated an English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in September 1297.

Wallace’s character was also played by Mel Gibson in the film called Braveheart.

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Scottish Food & Drink

With the Atlantic on our doorstep, fresh mountain waters, lush rolling hills, fertile soil and varied weather, Scottish cuisine is renowned for its unrivalled quality. From Aberdeen Angus beef, Stornoway Black Pudding, Arbroath Smokies and Shetland salmon and shellfish to Scottish whisky, ales, scones, shortbread, not to forget haggis – Scotland is a culinary heaven for foodie lovers.

What Is The Scots Favourite Drink?

Whisky! (Although IRN BRU likes to think of itself as Scotland’s ‘other favourite drink’ too)

What Is The Scots Favourite Food?

Haggis… or macaroni cheese!

How Do I Know If I Am Eating Local Food?

Look out for products that are grown near you, and products labeled ‘Grown in Scotland’. A local farmers market is also a good way to find food that has been grown locally and can often be cheaper than the supermarkets.

Eating local and seasonal food is better for the environment. The less your food travels, the lower its carbon footprint. If you buy local food then it doesn’t have to travel as far from the field to your plate. If your food is flown in from abroad, its carbon footprint will be a lot bigger.

What Is A Scottish Breakfast?

The basic ingredients to a traditional Scottish breakfast include square lorne sausage, link sausages, fried egg, streaky bacon, baked beans, black pudding and/or haggis, tattie scones, fried tomatoes and mushrooms, and toast.

What Is Scottish Tea?

Coming Soon.Scottish Tea usually is a black tea that is strong in taste. It is generally stronger than a tea like English Breakfast.

We recommend a 5-minute brew if you’re drinking black tea at home, and a 3-4 minute brew if your cuppa is green or white tea. Tea cozies are optional but do help to retain the heat in your pot. * Pour and serve, adding milk, or a slice of lemon or a little sugar to suit your taste.

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Scottish Accommodation

From locally owned B&B’s to traditional cottages, and basic youth hostels to lively Inns in the community, explore Scotland on a budget by staying in a local hostel or B&B.
Hostels - What Can I Expect?

Hostels in Scotland offer a budget-friendly and sociable way to see the country. No longer just for the young, but for the young at heart too, hostels welcome everyone including families, groups, clubs, backpackers and solo travellers.

Book a hostel in Scotland and you can expect:

  • a bed in an economic dormitory, or a chic and spacious private room with shared or private en-suite facilities. Some hostels can be booked out for large groups.
  • self-catering cooking facilities where you can make breakfast or an evening meal – pots, pans, plates and cups will be provided, but don’t forget to bring food, especially if the hostel is remote.
  • a common room where you can meet other guests, often with a TV, books, games, and guides to the area.
  • drying facilities for wet gear – hostels are great for backpacking or long-distance hiking.
  • luggage storage facilities – your dorm bed will usually have its own locker, but it’s worth bringing along your own padlock for extra security.
  • free WiFi – so you can book tours, download maps or print tickets, or plan the next stop on your trip around Scotland.

If you choose a bed in a dormitory, it will most likely be split by gender, but some hostels also offer mixed dorm rooms. Most hostels provide you with a sheet and pillow but require you bring your own sleeping bag or duvet, however; some hostels hire these out for a small charge.

Location-wise, hostels can be found right across Scotland, from bustling Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Inverness city centers to the base of great mountains like Ben Nevis, and in our two National Parks, the Cairngorms or Loch Lomond and The Trossachs.

Scotland’s two main hostelling organizations are Hostelling Scotland (or the Scottish Youth Hostel Association) and Scottish Independent Hostels – through which you can book your bed. Some hostels are also independently or privately operated.

Most hostel beds and rooms can be booked in advance, and we recommend doing so whenever possible to avoid disappointment. Some hostels are also seasonal, so make sure to check the opening details before setting out on your adventure.

B&B's - What Can I Expect?

We love a B&B in Scotland – there’s something special about the experience of staying in a local private home or guesthouse, looked after by a friendly host.

Whether you stay for just one night, or make the bed and breakfast your home for a week, wake up in a comfy bed and enjoy a delicious Scottish breakfast before heading out for the day to explore.

Guesthouses and bed & breakfasts in Scotland offer:

  • Accommodation in a local, private house, usually run by the owner. With lots of personalized touches, great service, and a warm welcome, make sure you make the most of your host and ask for their insider tips on places to visit, things to do, and walks in the area.
  • A traditional Scottish breakfast (haggis optional) or full continental, which will include cold meats, cheese, fresh fruit, and bakery items. There will be a vegetarian option and if you call ahead, most B&Bs cater to vegans and other dietary requirements. Some even serve evening meals. B&Bs and guesthouses do not usually provide facilities for you to cook for yourself.
  • Excellent facilities, which can include off-road parking, pet-friendly rooms, or handy storage for bikes or golf clubs. Your B&B might also offer laundry facilities.

Whilst both B&Bs and guesthouses offer a bed for the night and breakfast the next morning, B&Bs will usually host no more than six guests at one time, offering a personal touch to your stay. Guesthouses tend to be larger, with at least four bedrooms for guests.

Inns - What Can I Expect?
What could be better after a great meal than simply strolling back to your sumptuous room for a sound night’s sleep? No designated driver or taxi required – plus you’re guaranteed a great breakfast the next day. A restaurant with rooms will offer four and five-star rooms on-site, either above the restaurant, in a separate building, or maybe even in a luxury bothy! With a maximum of twelve rooms, you’ll be sure of a personal welcome and a fabulous night’s sleep after dinner.

As many restaurants with rooms in Scotland hold AA rosettes or even Michelin stars, they are immensely popular places to eat and stay – your booking will normally guarantee you a table for dinner.

Check-in is similar to a hotel or a B&B – you simply call in at reception to register and pick up your keys on arrival. Breakfast is served the next morning, either in the restaurant or in your accommodation.

Cottages - What Can I Expect?
A lone cottage lying beneath a mountain range in the Highlands, a traditional blackhouse situated by a white sandy Western Isles’ beach, or a mews-style cottage in a village in the Scottish Borders – these are just some of the many incredible holiday cottage options awaiting you in Scotland.

In Scotland, you’ll find a self-catering cottage that is as unique as you are. Book a place where the great outdoors is waiting to be explored on your doorstep, or choose somewhere perfect for relaxation, such as a peaceful country haven with an amazing view. Take a dip in the hot tub at a luxurious renovated barn or light the wood-burning stove in a traditional fishing cottage, and allow that holiday feeling to sweep over you.

Many cottages are pet-friendly so you can even take the dog too!

Hotels - What Can I Expect?
When it comes to planning a trip, bargain hunting for the best accommodation deals out there is half the fun, and it’s always worth the effort.

Staying in an affordable hotel in Scotland means that you can spend your money on more amazing experiences – perhaps a visit to the latest trendy foodie spot or a night of dancing at a must-see gig?

Booking a budget hotel can have many other advantages too, including handy city center locations and close proximity to transport hubs and top attractions, particularly in our seven cities.

You’ll have the choice of hotels operated by international, trusted brands or you can opt for independently managed properties.

Of course, your accommodation will provide you with all the basic essentials for your trip.

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Scottish Geography

The geography of Scotland is varied, from rural lowlands to unspoilt uplands, and from large cities to sparsely inhabited islands. Located in Northern Europe, Scotland comprises the northern half of the island of Great Britain as well as 790 surrounding islands encompassing the major archipelagos of the Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands and the Inner and Outer Hebrides.

Where Is Scotland?

Scotland is the most northern country in the UK .

How Many People Live In Scotland?

We have a population of about 5.454 million

How Many Cities Does Scotland Have?

7 – Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth and Stirling.

What Is Scotlands Capital City?


How Many Shires Does Scotland Have?

Edinburgh Sits Within the County of Midlothian.

All other towns and cities across Scotland sit within a total of 34 shires.

How Big Is The Scottish Countryside?

The Scottish countryside makes up more than 10,000 sq miles.

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Scottish Weather

Due to this wee island’s geography, predicting the weather in Scotland can be challenging in Scotland!

When Is The Best Time To Visit Scotland?

All Scotland’s seasons offer something different:

Spring (March, April, May) – seeing leaves and plants bursting into life, watching newborn animals playing, sitting by a tranquil river bed at the start of the fishing season, celebrating Whisky Month, Tartan Day, and Easter.

Summer (June, July, August) – strolling in the sunshine, enjoying a luxurious ice cream, having a blast at a festival or a traditional Highland games, cycling through a leafy forest, or along the glittering coastline.

Autumn (September, October, November) – walking on carpets of golden leaves, seeing migrating birds flying overhead, celebrating St Andrews Day, waking up to a shimmering frost.

Winter (December, January, February) – lounging by cozy fires, taking winter walks, playing in the snow, shopping at Christmas fairs, celebrating Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night.

What Sort Of Temperatures Should I Expect?
Winter temperatures in Scotland average from about 2 °C to 6 °C, rising to a peak in the summer months of July and August, at around 12 °C to 19 °C.

On the whole, Scotland boasts a largely temperate, if changeable(!), a climate that is rarely extreme on either end on the spectrum.

But that’s not to say you won’t enjoy colder days in the winter when the mercury dips to freezing and the countryside turn into a winter wonderland, or brilliant days in the summer when the sun bathes the countryside in light and warmth.

Which Part Of Scotland Has The Most/Least Rainfall?

Glasgow often comes at the top of Scotland’s “most rainy” lists, but the smaller town of Greenock nearby slightly trumps it with an average of 174.6 days of rain per year.

Dundee has been ranked among the driest cities in Scotland, helping to cement its reputation as the country’s sunniest place to live. Data from the Met office showed that the City of Discovery has the fewest rainy days per year (124), together with Edinburgh.

When Does It Snow In Scotland?

The average number of days with snow falling in Scotland ranges from 15 to 20 days. However, the peaks and mountains of the Highlands experience around 100 days of falling snow. The snowsports season varies each year, but generally, it runs from November to April.

How Quickly Does The Scottish Weather Change?

Due to this little country’s geography, predicting the weather in Scotland can be challenging!

Scottish weather can change abruptly, in fact, sometimes you can feel as though you’ve experienced three (or even all four) seasons in just one day.

One thing that you can usually depend on though… is that it’s going to rain at some point.

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Health & Safety

Due to Coronavirus, we are keeping up to date with any new government travel information and safety measures and we will update our website should any changes take effect.

Does Scotland Have Coronavirus?

Yes. Most Countries Have The Virus.

Read The Scottish Government Guidance.

You should:

  • wear a face covering
  • avoid crowded places
  • clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • stay 2m away from other people
  • self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms

Travel Advice

Do I Need A Vaccination To Visit Scotland?

Currently, no vaccinations are required for visiting Scotland or any other part of the UK.

However, due to Coronavirus, we are keeping up to date with any new government travel information and safety measures and we will update our website should any changes take effect.

We have a ‘no smoking’ policy for indoor public places including restaurants and pubs.

Do I Need To Wear A Face Mask In Scotland?

As of 10th July 2020, wearing a face mask will be mandatory in shops and public transport.

Find out more.

What Is Test And Protect In Scotland?

Test and Protect is Scotland’s approach to preventing the spread of coronavirus in the community.

Find out more about Test and Protect.

View the Test & Protect leaflet.

More information can be found on the Scottish government website.

Is It Safe To Drink Scottish Tap Water?
Yes. Mains tap water throughout the UK is safe to drink and produced to a much higher safety standard than bottled water.
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Scotland also offers some of the warmest, wheelchair-friendliest hospitality found in Europe.

Can I Use My Mobile Phone?

Your mobile should switch onto a UK network while you’re here, though charges for calls and data vary. Check with your own provider before your holiday.

Will I Be Able To Access Internet In The Countryside?

Most accommodation providers offer WiFi (check before you book though!) as well as many cafés and visitor attractions.

You should also be able to access roaming data from your phone (charges vary though so please check with your provider before you visit us).

Where Can I Connect To A Hearing Loop In Scotland?

Hearing loops can be found all over the place. In fact, all retail outlets such as shops and restaurants are required to provide this service by law, under the Equality Act of 2010. You’ll find them in hospitals, libraries, post offices, banks, GP surgeries, train stations, airports, and sport venues. Many taxis and trains also have hearing loop systems installed.

Public venues and tourist attractions such as theatres, museums, music venues, cinemas and places of worship also often have loop systems. Most venues will have an Accessibility page on their website, which can let you know if they have a system.

If you’re looking for a hearing loop day out, why not try some of these attractions?

The National Galleries of Scotland offer portable hearing loops for its guided tours, lectures and talks, for a cultural day out. Hearing loops are also fitted in their lecture halls and education suites.

Scottish Parliament has hearing loops installed throughout its buildings, including the debating chamber, public galleries, education centre and crèche. They also provide portable loop systems for all their guided tours.

Perth Concert Hall and Theatre have induction loop and infra-red systems for hearing aid users. Staff can advise on the best seats in the house if you’re using a hearing aid – ask at the box office.

The Scotch Whiskey Experience in Edinburgh offers hearing loops on interactive whiskey barrel ride through a virtual distillery – sure to be a memorable day out!

Royal Yacht Britannia, voted Scotland’s Best Visitor Attraction, has a hearing loop system throughout its entire route. Explore this unique royal residence at your leisure!

Can I Use Transport Easily If I Am A Wheelchair User?

Yes. Scotland offers some of the warmest and friendly services in all of Europe.

Please select your needs here to learn more about Scotlands transport accessibility.

Disability Rights UK This is an umbrella organization for voluntary groups for people with disabilities. Many wheelchair-accessible toilets can be opened only with a special Royal Association of Disability & Rehabilitation (Radar) key, which can be obtained via the website or from tourist offices for £5.40.

Disabled Persons Railcard ( Discounted train travel. Costs £20.

How Much Of The Scottish Countryside Is Accessible?
Rural Scotland accounts for 98% of the land mass of Scotland and 17% of the population are resident there.

86% of the Scottish countryside is accessible.

Magical Mystery Tour.

A journey through Scotland means there’s no knowing where your feet may take you.

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