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Scotland Travel Guide

Scotland is one of the most wildly romantic countries in the world, and also happens to be the country I call home. There’s lots to love here: bagpipes, highland dancing, tartan, the Scottish Highlands, haggis, Irn Bru, the accent, and of course, kilts!

My ultimate Scotland travel guide is filled with travel tips to help you plan your own trip. From the basics to where to go, what to do and where to stay- this is the perfect place to start your planning!


MY SCOTLAND ESSENTIALS

On a budget? Grab my Scotland Bucket List Planner

Organising a big trip? Grab my Ultimate Scotland Planner

Want to tick off all the must-sees? Grab my Must-See Scotland Essential Travel Planners

Have a question about travelling around Scotland? Join my Facebook groups Scotland Travel Tips and Scotland Travel Tips for Locals

Love podcasts? Listen to my Scotland podcast Life in Scotland

Get off the beaten path: Discover hidden gems on my other website Secrets of Scotland


Scotland Cheat Sheet

Population: 5.4 million

Size: 77,910 km²

Language: Scotland has three official languages: English, Gaelic and Scots. Gaelic and Scots are minority languages, while English is spoken throughout the country.

Currency: Pound Stirling [GBP]. Scotland accepts debit and Visa/Mastercard at most places and contactless payments are available. Carry cash, especially in the smaller towns where they may not accept card payments.

Climate:  There is a saying in Scotland: if you don’t like the weather, just wait half an hour! The weather here is changeable, so packing layers is recommended.

Best time to visit: Personally I think April/May [spring] or September/October [autumn] are the best months to visit. The weather is nice, the colours are beautiful and there are less tourists around.

scotland travel guide

How to plan a trip to Scotland

What to pack for a trip to Scotland

Accommodation in Scotland

I’ve stayed in some unique accommodation all around Scotland. There is a large variety of accommodation available- from bothies to castles, glamping to camping- there really is something to suit all tastes and budgets. 

When looking for accommodation in Scotland I use Booking.com. Once I find a place I’m happy with, I’ll also compare prices booking directly and also on Expedia to see which has the cheapest price.

For camping/glamping and quirky accommodation, I use Canopy & Stars. For castles, cottages, and traditional Scottish accommodation, I also search Cottages and Castles. I also use Airbnb to search for quirky accommodation or accommodation for large groups.

Getting around

There are four main ways to travel throughout Scotland: by car, bus, train, and by ferry.

For car hire I use Auto Europe, a car rental comparison site (similar to Skyscanner). I have my own car in Scotland, however, I used Auto Europe to hire a car on my recent trip to Ireland and they were fantastic. I was able to secure a great rate that included insurance, so all I had to do was pick up my car from the airport when I arrived.

Travel by train is my second favourite way to get around Scotland.

Scotrail is the main railway in Scotland. Their website is very useful for researching train routes and prices.

For travel within the UK, I recommend first looking at Megabus. They have some fantastic fares- some for just £1!

Stagecoach is another popular bus company in Scotland.

For ferries to the islands, Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac for short) is the major operator in Scotland. They also cater for vehicles and motorhomes. Check out their website for prices and special deals. 

How to travel Scotland on a budget

How to spend 10 days in Scotland

Top 10 Must-Sees

There are SO many things to do in Scotland, but I won’t overwhelm you. Here are the top 10 attractions and things to do in Scotland. 

1.  Edinburgh Castle – Visit Scotland’s most popular castle [tip: book your tickets online here– it’s cheaper!]

2. Ride the Jacobite Steam Train – Ride the famous ”Harry Potter train” through the highlands.

3. Underground Vaults in Edinburgh – Explore Scotland’s haunted history in this amazing tour in Edinburgh.

4. Visit a whisky distillery – Learn how to taste Scottish whisky properly!

5. Visit the highlands – An absolute must-do when you visit Scotland.

6. Stirling Castle – Visit Scotland’s most sought after castle.

7. Visit an island– Try my Isle of Skye itinerary!

8. Drive the North Coast 500 – Explore Scotland’s version of Route 66.

9. Go hiking – Explore my Scotland hiking guides for inspiration.

10. Go to a traditional Scottish pub – Check out my blog post on my favourite Scottish pubs!

Travel Tip

Have you watched my Secrets of Scotland YouTube series? Click here to watch season 1 and feel inspired for your trip to Scotland!

Join my Scotland Facebook Community

Join my amazing community and get help planning your dream trip to Scotland. It’s free to join!

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