Scotland is a country known for its unique culture, which can be traced back to many years ago. This culture that has been around for more than 100 years is still alive and thriving today, and many people today want to experience the quirky culture that exists there, from Scottish music to Scottish film, art, and fashion. There is so much to do there that it can be hard to plan a trip, especially if you don’t know a lot about the country. Here are some useful tips and tricks for planning your trip to Scotland so you can get the most out of it.
Decide What to See & Do
The first thing you need to do when planning your trip to Scotland is to decide the purpose of your trip. Do you want to immerse yourself in the country’s history, visit the castles, palaces, and museums? You want to relax in the spectacular rich green landscapes, seek adventure, or try in the rich Scottish culinary? Set your goals, then plan your trip. You should definitely visit more than just the popular tourist destinations and explore areas such as the western areas and northernmost parts, which are stunning. For example, you could consider planning a trip to St. Kilda, which is a double world heritage site, or go for a day trip to the Northwest highlands.
Plan Your Transportation
If you are going around the Scottish cities, the best way to get around is on foot or public transportation. Public transportation in Scotland exists in the form of trains, public buses, and coaches. However, if you want to take excursions to places that are out of their range like the Western Highlands or Southern Uplands, you’ll need to book a trip with a tour company or rent a car, as public transport in these areas is practically nonexistent. Most people opt for private car hire as it’s more flexible than going on an organized tour. If you decide to rent a car, make sure you follow the Scottish driving laws and have a valid international driving license. You should also remember that cars are driven on the left side of the road, with the driver’s seat being on that side, which you may not be used to. You should also take into consideration petrol prices in Scotland, as the petrol prices in the UK, in general, are the highest in the world.
Choose Special Accommodation Options
When choosing your accommodation, stay at a hotel that reflects the unique Scottish culture to make your trip memorable. There are so many options for staying at a stylish hotel in Scotland that it can be hard to choose just one! Many of them are statements of sophisticated luxury that have been around for many years but still have many special amenities available. This allows you the perfect mix of soaking in the culture and enjoying an opulent experience. For example, some hotels offer access to splendid leisure clubs and spas, which can help you refresh and destress while on your trips.
Book Any Excursions & Tours in Advance
In Scotland, booking your trips and tours ahead of time online guarantees that you can find a spot and can also save you money. You should search ahead of your trip for the excursions you are interested in and finish your bookings before going to Scotland, as tours, especially popular ones, can fill up very fast. You’ll be disappointed if you don’t find a spot on your tour because you didn’t book in advance. For example, if you’re planning on riding the Harry Potter train, you should always book it a few months in advance to be able to land a spot!
Dress for the Weather
Scotland is a green and bonnie country because it rains almost all year long. This rainfall makes everything green and shining all the time. Because of the almost constant rain, you need to make sure you are prepared so that you aren’t caught off guard. As the Scottish always say, there is no bad weather, the only clothing that isn’t suitable for it. You should layer up your clothes by first having a base layer like a thermal, then putting on a shirt followed by a sweater, fleece, and a raincoat, always making sure that the top layer is waterproof. You will then be ready to take off or put on layers depending on if you are feeling too hot or too cold. It’s important to note that umbrellas are useless, as the rainfall in Scotland is almost always accompanied by heavy winds that can blow you away, so instead, opt for a waterproof jacket with a hood. You should also always pack comfortable shoes.
Choose Timing to Coincide with a Famous Event
To really help immerse yourself in Scottish culture, you can choose the timing of your trip to coincide with a famous event to attend. A lot of people visit Scotland during late July to attend the infamous Highland Games event. The Highland Games have been part of Scottish cultural traditions for years and have a very high level of popularity among locals and also tourists who come along to join the event. Other popular events among locals are the Mountain Film Festival in February and the Burns Supper on the 25th of January.
Whether you are drawn to the country because of the scenery of the beautiful highlands or want to try and wear a quilt, or because you are just a little too obsessed with Outlander, Scotland is a beautiful place to visit. In order to plan your trip properly, you need to make sure you decide exactly what you want to do, plan your transportation, choose a special place to stay, book any tours in advance, dress for the weather and perhaps choose your trip timing to coincide with a famous event. Hopefully, this simple guide can give you useful tricks to plan the Scottish trip of your dreams.