My Scottish tips list is short – Scotland is an easy place to travel, and there is not much you need to know before going.
1. Bring a sweater. It doesn’t matter what season you arrive, be ready for rain, and and cool temperatures. The weather in Scotland is very similar to the weather here in the lower mainland of British Columbia. Though we do get warm summers, you never know when a cool ocean breeze is going to roll in and bring some rain.
2. Rent a car, or take a bus tour. Don’t limit yourself to one of the major city centres. You WANT to see the Scottish countryside, take in some castles and lochs. There is so much to see and do, I cannot recommend exploring enough.
3. Do some research prior to leaving. What else is in the area you will be travelling? Surely there is a magnificent piece of history close by – a stone circle, or ancient strong hold, some fantastic ruins or incredible clan/medieval history. If you are sanding right beside it, why not know it is there so you can take an informed look? We would have missed Macbeth in Lumphanen (where we were anyway) had it not been for a little research.
Scotland is generally the most affordable of its neighbouring countries, though still quite expensive in non-European terms. However, reasonably priced accommodation can always be found – especially if you are willing to stay in hostels or B&B’s – very popular options in Edinburgh and environs.
The Scots are friendly, warm and open to tourism. The country is quite safe, though there is a pervasive drug issue – watch out for hypodermic needles – even in the woods. Having said that, I have not found obvious signs of the same drug crime related incidents that happen here in Vancouver, Canada (we have a pretty seedy underbelly here in our DTES). For whatever reason, it isn’t something you should worry about – just watch out for discarded needles (we found a few ourselves), when you are walking in less travelled areas.
- Runaway *Top 10 See and Do* SCOTLAND (habitualrunaway.wordpress.com)