Scotland and the Tourist
Travelling to Scotland is easy and getting around Scotland is even easier, if you know some of these practical things.
I love to travel. I know not everyone does, but for me taking a few days or weeks out of my usual life and experiencing the world in a different place, in a different way, is a wonderful experience that complements my French translation work.
The best part of modern travel is simple: The convenience. In olden days someone like me who was curious about the world would need to set aside years of his life for just one trip. Today I can hop on a plane and visit a place like Scotland and be back within a week, and still have time to check out some of the distilleries.
I do find that a lot of tourist-focussed sites stick to the things to do and see when you’re visiting a country, whereas sometimes what I need more is practical advice and information. So here’s some of the practicalities of visiting Scotland to help you plan your trip.
Getting There, Getting Around
Scotland is a modern country right smack in the midst of a modern area of the world, so getting there is very easy whether you’re driving up from London or flying in from Tokyo. And once you’re there it has a modern and extensive transit system that can get you anywhere in the country rapidly. If you have a valid driver’s license, you can drive in Scotland for up to 12 months without having to do anything – just remember they drive on the left side of the road!
Scotland can be a bit of a dreary place. It’s location on the globe conspires to make the highlands very damp, with a lot of rainfall, while the lower parts of Scotland aren’t particularly rainy. But there is a lot of cloud cover, and it isn’t the warmest place in the world. But then you wouldn’t be going to Scotland if you were seeking a tropical holiday, would you? One compensation for this is the long summer days, with a twilight that goes on forever due to its northern location. This means you get the most out of your day in Scotland. And if you hit the islands like Shetland, you can actually play golf at midnight!
If you’re travelling from the European Union your medical expenses will be covered. If not, I’d recommend taking out some travel insurance. While more than likely your trip will be a safe one, if you do need emergency medical help and aren’t from the EU, your bill might be a bit eye-popping.
One last note: When people think of Scotland they tend to focus on the cities and the highlands, including distillery tours – and that is a wonderful trip by itself. But don’t forget the islands! Scotland has almost 800 islands and about 130 of them are inhabited. A ferry tour of these islands is one of the most unique experiences in the world.
Image courtesy iliketowastemytime.com
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