Scotland is situated on the Northern part of United Kingdom (U.K) in the continent of Europe.
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland. It is covered in an area of 30,918 mi² with an estimated population of 5.295 million (2011).
Edinburgh is pure theatre, with its spires and battlements, crags and classical columns. From Edinburgh Castle, look over an exciting, cosmopolitan European capital city, whose dramatic medieval and elegant Georgian architectures have made it a World Heritage Site.
When in Edinburgh you can visit
- The Palace of Holyroodhouse
- Edinburgh Castle
- The village of Duddingston
- Tantallon Castle, East Lothian
- Salisbury Crags
St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh. Whereby for Presbyterians this is their Mother Church and for movie buffs this is one of the sites used in the movie (Da vinci code)
The other major cities in Scotland include Glasgow, Inverness, Skye, Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth.
Glasgow is Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow is a recognized centre for style, design and architecture. It is upfront, stylish, full of life and vitality – a shopper’s paradise as well as one of the friendliest places you are ever likely to visit.
The places you can visit in Glasgow city include
- Merchant square
- Willow Tea rooms, Sauchiehall street
- The Riverside museum
- Kelvingrove art gallery and museum.
- The Kibble Palace, Glasgow Botanic Gardens.
If you have never been to Europe, Scotland may seem small on the map which can be misleading. Scotland has a coastline which is 6,200 miles long with 787 major islands.
What makes Scotland so distinctive? There are some things that are uniquely Scottish but, in truth, there’s no single element that defines the country. Rather, it’s a subtle blend of our many different ingredients that have been added to the mix down through the centuries.
With a year-round programme of festivals and events, the nation celebrates its culture with spirit and style, in drama, song, poetry, dance and more.
Scotland’s culture certainly involves reaching out. That’s why, for instance, Glasgow’s Celtic Connections (held in January) showcases both native talent and performers from across the Celtic areas of Europe, while the city becomes the centre of the world of piping during the Piping Live! International Piping Festival. While high profile events such as the Edinburgh International Festival, along with the Fringe, Book and Film Festivals and the stirring Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, inevitably command attention, other parts of Scotland also stage prestigious cultural events. For example, the Perth Festival of the Arts every May brings a huge choice of music and other art forms to this handsome Scottish town on the River Tay. The annual Braemar Highland Gathering in September is Scotland’s premier Highland games because of the attendance of Britain’s royalty – but is only one event in a games programme right across Scotland.
Scotland is The Home of Golf and boasts an unparalleled golfing history
Which dates back over 600 years. With high profile events including The Open Championship, attractive courses available for all abilities, and a range of discount passes, Scotland offers the ultimate golfing experience, whether you come to play or watch the sport.
With over 550 courses including championship links courses like St Andrews,Turnberry, and Muirfield, as well as local 9-hole greens, classic parklands and challenging heathland, Scotland offers diverse play for all standards of golfer.
These are some of the golf courses you can tee off while in Scotland,
- The Old Course, St. Andrews, Fife
- Gleneagles, Perthshire
- Machrihanish Golf Club, Argyll
- Trump Turnberry Resort, South Ayrshire
- Moffat Golf Club, Dumfries & Galloway
- Asta Golf Club, Shetland
- Scotland’s Flora and Fauna
Scotland’s beautiful countryside offers wide and varied landscapes to explore, whether by foot, bike, or boat.
The country has an excellent range of signposted paths and nature trails through a variety of landscapes. You can use Scotland’s Countryside Ranger Service, nature reserve wardens, walking holiday operators and walking festivals to join organized walking and wildlife activities for a whole range of levels. If you are a good walker, you could even take on one of the 282 Scottish mountains classified as Munros which are all over 914m in height. Scotland’s Weather
Where to watch Wildlife in Scotland,
- Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
- Cairngorms National Park
- Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park
- Loch Katrine
- Ben Lomond
The weather rarely causes disruptions to transport in Scotland but it is unpredictable even at the best of times. The east part of Scotland is drier than the west. Rain can occur throughout the year and heavy snowfalls are possible in winter.
Average summer temperatures are 15–22C (59–72F);
Average winter temperatures 1–7C (34–45F).
Getting to Scotland
Immigration Laws: as with the rest of the UK, a valid passport is required to be shown on entry.
Visitors from the European Union (EU), United States and Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require visas.
Other nationals should check current regulations.
(International Airports and Connections)
Scotland has four international airports: Edinburgh, 7 miles from city centre (coaches every 8–20 minutes, taxis approx £15); Glasgow, 8 miles from city centre (coaches every 15–30 minutes, taxis approx £15); Prestwick, 30 miles from Glasgow city centre (trains every 30 minutes, coaches every hour, taxi approx £45); Aberdeen, 7 miles from city centre (coaches at peak times, taxis approx £12.50).
By Air from North America
Air Canada, Continental and American Airlines fly direct to Scotland. Other transatlantic airlines fly to London, where connecting flights are plentiful.
By Air from Europe
Direct flights into Scotland operate from many European cities, including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Brussels, Frankfurt, Paris, Madrid and Dublin.
By Air from within the UK
Several airlines provide regular services from cities in the UK. By far the greatest frequency of flights is out of London Heathrow and Gatwick. However, airlines other than British Airways and bmi usually depart from Stansted, Luton or London City Airport.
A new superfast ferry from Zeebrugge to Rosyth (Edinburgh) sails daily and takes 16 hrs. There are summer services from Iceland and Norway to Lerwick, and several companies provide year-round daily links to Scotland from Belfast.
Eurostar is the high-speed passenger rail service operating from European cities to London. From here there are frequent trains to Edinburgh (4 hrs) and Glasgow (5 hrs).
Coach and Rail Termini
Edinburgh and Glasgow’s principal train stations are Waverley and Central respectively. Both are in the middle of town. Edinburgh’s main coach station is on St Andrew’s Square in the New Town; Glasgow’s is opposite the Royal Concert Hall at the east end of Sauchiehall St.
High Seasons and Holidays
What defines the “high season” (when demand and prices are at their highest) varies, but generally there are three key periods: Hogmanay (New Year), Easter and Jul–Aug. The main holidays in Scotland are 1–2 Jan, Good Friday (end Mar–early Apr), first and last Mon in May, first Mon in Aug, and 25–26 Dec.
Accommodation in Edinburgh for the August festivals gets booked up months in advance. This is the most extreme case but you should reserve beds and tickets for main events in advance of any festival in Scotland, and also car space on ferries during peak periods.
It is recommended you book early to avoid the “Sorry, it is fully booked”.
Mobile phone services.
It is highly recommended you visit your local mobile operator and find out which roaming services are available in Scotland. Your mobile operator may have affiliate mobile operators in Scotland.
However if you have not made any agreements you can always buy a new Sim card from Scotland mobile operators i.e.
- Bt mobile
Then ask for assistance from the locals on how to sign up for a Data bundle and top up airtime. Take advantage of the free wifi which is available in most places then you can connected without missing a thing on your chat groups as you enjoy your stay in magnificent Scotland.
Scotland is not a dangerous country, but assaults and muggings do take place in the larger towns and cities. Take the same precautions that you would in any city: avoid deserted and unlit places, use your intuition about entering less salubrious areas and don’t flaunt money, jewellery or other coveted valuables.
Banking and shopping
Britain’s currency is the pound sterling (£), divided into 100 pence (p). Scotland’s three banks each produce different-faced notes but these, along with Bank of England and Northern Ireland notes, are all legal tender throughout the UK. Scottish notes come in £1, £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100 denominations. Coins come as 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2.
Banks tend to offer the best exchange rates and are open 9am–5pm Mon–Fri. In remote areas you may find a mobile bank parked and open for business. Bureaux de Change work longer hours in the main cities and at airports but their commission charges can be high.
ATMs, or “holes-in-the-wall” as they are affectionately called, can be found widely throughout the country, even in the Highlands and islands. Also, most supermarkets offer a cashback service when you purchase provisions with a debit card carrying the Switch or Cirrus logo.
Credit cards are widely accepted across Scotland but many small shops, cafés and most B&Bs deal only in cash or cheques in sterling. VISA and Master-card are the most commonly presented cards. Certain outlets also accept Diners Club and American Express.
Traveler’s cheques are still the safest means of carrying money and, if in pounds sterling, you can use them directly to pay for goods and services. Check on commission charges when purchasing or cashing your cheques, as practices vary. Keep your receipts separate from the cheques as you will need them in the event of loss or theft.