Travel in Scotland

When is the best time to visit Scotland?
What's the climate like?
What clothes should I take?
Do I need a passport or visa to enter Scotland?
Can I use my credit cards/ATM cards in Scotland?
Is it safe to drink the water in Scotland?
What is the voltage of electricity supply in Scotland? Do I need to take a converter?
Where are the international airports located in Scotland?
What types of activities are available for children?

When is the best time to visit Scotland?

Scotland is an extremely popular summer destination, both for overseas and domestic visitors. We strongly recommends you book early if travelling during the months of June,July, August to avoid disappointment.
Summer and winter temperatures vary by only about 10șC over most of the country, making Scotland an ideal holiday destination all year round. Scotland has four quite distinct seasons - Spring (Mar-May), Summer (Jun - Aug), Autumn/Fall (Sep-Nov) and Winter (Dec-Feb). In summer there's plenty of sunshine, and activities in and around the water include rafting, snorkelling, diving and kayaking. You'll find snow on the mountains in winter and excellent skiing. Away from the mountains, Scotlands winters are cold and temperatures generally fall below freezing.

What's the climate like?

Scotland's seasons are the reverse of the Southern Hemisphere. This means that the warmest months are June, July and August, while the coldest are in December, January and February. Don't let cold months put you off - winters tend to be short and generally fairly mild.
That said, on any given day the weather and temperature can change unexpectedly and sometimes dramatically. You should be prepared for that, particularly if you are going hiking or doing other outdoor activities.

What clothes should I take?

Dress is informal and relaxed on most occasions. Smart casual clothes are acceptable at most restaurants and night-spots. Men are generally not expected to wear suits and ties, except in a few of the top formal bars and restaurants in major cities.
In summer a jacket and sweater should be included in your luggage should the weather turn cooler or you visit higher altitudes. You can expect some rain, so also include a light rainproof jacket or coat. If visiting between May and September, pack warm winter garments and layer your clothing.

Do I need a passport or visa to enter Scotland?

All visitors to Scotland (and UK) must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave the country.
Most visitors who intend to stay for less than three months do not require a visa. If you want to stay longer than three months, or your country of origin does not have a visa waiver agreement with the UK, then you will need to apply for a Visitor's Visa.

Can I use my credit cards/ATM cards in Scotland?

All major international credit cards can be used in Scotland and Travellers Cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores. If your credit card is encoded with a PIN number you will be able to withdraw cash from automatic teller machines (ATMs) situated at banks and shopping centres throughout the country. If possible only withdraw small amounts of cash at a time and always shield your PIN number.

Is it safe to drink the water in Scotland?

Scotland's cities and towns have excellent water supplies and in all cases tap water is fresh and safe to drink. Water from rivers and lakes should be boiled, chemically treated or filtered before drinking to avoid stomach upsets.

What is the voltage of electricity supply in Scotland? Do I need to take a converter?

Electricity is supplied throughout Scotland at 230/240 volts (50 hertz), although most hotels and motels provide 110 volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only. For all other equipment, an adapter/converter is necessary, unless the item has a multi-voltage option. Please note that power outlets only accept flat three or two-pin plugs, depending on whether an earth connection is fitted.

Where are the international airports located in Scotland?

Scotland's international airports are at Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

What types of activities are available for children?

If you are thinking about visiting with your family, you can be confident that Scotland has a wide range of activities to keep your children happy.
Scotland's parks and large areas of unspoilt wilderness are ideal places to expand your children's appreciation of wildlife and the outdoors. Horse riding, snow activities, whale watching, fruit picking and wildlife centres and zoos are just some of the choices available.
Most family restaurants have childrens' menus and high chairs. Many cafes also have high chairs, and a toy basket to amuse babies and toddlers is becoming increasingly common in both cafes and shops. Most public gardens have well equipped play areas for young children, as do many holiday parks.