Golf Courses
Accommodation
Vacation Planning
Vacation Section
Sample Itineraries
Sightseeing
History of Golf
Links
Tell A Friend
Information Request
Home Page
Golf Travel Ireland
Activities Restaurants Transport Daylight Hours Travel Times Weather travel Tips
 

 

 
  The following travel tips have been put together in order to ensure that visitors to Scotland are familiarised with important information on their destination. We hope that they will go some way to making your trip that bit more enjoyable.

 
 


SHOPS AND SHOPPING HOURS
TAX REFUNDS ON GOODS
BANKS AND CHANGING CURRENCY
CREDIT CARDS
GRATUITIES
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
VOLTAGE & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT
TELEPHONES
WHAT TO WEAR
MEDICAL ASSISTANCE
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
PUBS AND RESTAURANTS - WHAT TO PAY
DRIVING IN SCOTLAND



 
 



SHOPS AND SHOPPING HOURS

Shops generally open Monday to Saturday from 9:00am to 5:30pm or 6:00pm. In popular visitor areas, many shops stay open until later in the evening during the summer, while in larger towns and cities, there is usually late night shopping until 7:00pm or 8:00pm on Thursday evenings throughout the year. Scotland also offers Sunday shopping in most towns, though shops in smaller communities sometimes tend to close on Sunday and also may close on a particular afternoon during the week.

 

 

TAX REFUNDS ON GOODS

Non-EU visitors to Scotland can reclaim the Value Added Tax (VAT) on goods only by using the Foreign Exchange Tax Free Shopping arrangements. This service is not available in every shop, so VAT can only be reclaimed on goods purchased from shops participating in the scheme. A tax-free shopping form should be obtained and completed at the place of purchase (remember to take your passport with you) and subsequently presented to HM Customs and Excise as you leave the UK.

 

BANKS AND CHANGING CURRENCY

The five main Scottish banks include Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, TSB Scotland and Girobank. Banks open Monday through Friday at 9:00am or 10:00am and close at 4:00pm or 5:00pm. Some banks open late on Thursdays and a few also open on Saturday mornings. All Scottish bank notes, though different than English notes, are normally accepted in the rest of Britain, while Northern Irish bank notes are also accepted in Scotland.

In Scotland, banks usually give the best exchange rate for foreign currency and most banks offer this service. It is also possible to change money in airports, larger railway stations, travel agents and some larger hotels (if you are a resident). Bureau de Change often charges a handling fee and commission.

For further details on banking in Scotland and information on currencies, please check out Bank of Scotland

 

CREDIT CARDS

Most large shops, stores, hotels and restaurants in Scotland will accept the majority of credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diners etc.). However, it is advisable to carry some cash money in case of difficulty as many smaller accommodations, pubs, tearooms and small shops are unlikely to accept any form of credit card.

 

GRATUITIES

There are no definite rules for tipping. If you feel that you have received good service then you may wish to leave a tip. This is most common in restaurants, where it is normal to leave 10% of the total bill but you should check to see if a service charge has already been included. Tipping in hotels is also at your discretion. It is not normal to tip bar staff, although they are sometimes offered a "drink", which they can take when off duty. Taxi or cab drivers are often given a tip, particularly on longer journeys, with 1.00 to 2.00 normally sufficient.

 

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

In Scotland, bank holidays generally apply only to banks and some financial and commercial offices, whereas in England and Ireland, they are usually public holidays. Christmas Day and New Years Day are of course usually taken by everyone. Scottish towns and cities normally have a spring and autumn holiday and while the dates of these holidays vary from year to year and sometimes place to place, they are always on a Monday.

 

VOLTAGE & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT

Voltage is 240v 50Hz. Most establishments in Scotland have square-pin sockets for 3, 5 and 13 amp fuses. You can buy an adapter at your departure airport.

 

TELEPHONES

Telephone numbers comprise an area code (always beginning with 01) and then the local number. A typical Scottish phone number would be (01224) 908123. Whenever dialling another UK phone number from within Scotland, one should always dial the complete number (both the area code and local phone number).

Should you encounter any difficulties, the local operator can be contacted toll free by dialling 100.

If calling a Scottish number from outside the United Kingdom, dial your own country's international access code for the UK, followed by the code for the UK (44) and then the area code, dropping the first 0. Taking the above number as an example, the number would be:

International Code +UK Code +Area Code +Phone Number
** 44 1244 908123


WHAT TO WEAR

If golfing, one should always pack golf waterproofs, which allow easy movement. While polo shirts and light trousers may well be required, it is essential to have adequate rain gear. Because of the variable weather, clothes should be flexible enough to allow for temperature change. Between May and September, it is often warm but a light waterproof coat or jacket should still be packed. From October to April, heavier sweaters are recommended, particularly is spending any amount of time outdoors.

 

MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

Visitors who become ill while in Scotland are eligible for free emergency treatment at National Health Service Accident and Emergency hospital departments. If however, you are admitted to hospital as a patient, or referred to an outpatient clinic, you will be asked to pay unless you are a citizen of a European country or a resident of a country, which has a reciprocal health-care agreement with the UK.

You are therefore strongly advised to take out adequate insurance cover before travelling - although it is unlikely that anything will happen, one it is best to be covered. You do not need an International Certificate of Vaccination for entry to the UK but you should check if one is required for re-entry to your own country. Scotland does have midges (small flies) that bite, so if you intend spending time out of doors, you should pick up some insect-repellent at a chemist.

 

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

For details on restaurants recommended on this site, one should check out the restaurant section on Vacation Planning.

Scottish restaurants, including those in hotels, usually open from 12:00 noon to 2:30pm for lunch and from 6:00pm to midnight for dinner, although these times do vary greatly. Country establishments however, often tend to close that bit earlier so it is important to pre-check. Last orders are often taken up to 45 minutes before closing.

Many restaurants, bistros, cafes and pubs remain open throughout the day for morning coffee, afternoon tea and beverages. One is also likely to come across the widely held Scottish institution of high tea, particularly in the smaller establishments in rural areas. This is a meal served between 4:30pm and 6:00pm approximately and consists of a simple main course accompanied by bread, cakes and tea or coffee.

The standard opening times for licensed premises are from 11:00am to 2:30pm and 5:00pm to 11:00pm Monday through Saturday, 12:30pm to 2:30pm and 6:30pm to 11:00pm on Sunday. Many pubs however, open all afternoon, while some have a late license, particularly at weekends.

PUBS AND RESTAURANTS - WHAT TO PAY

The price of food and drink varies considerably depending on the type of establishment you choose. As a general guideline, eating out in a pub at lunchtime will cost from around 6.00, while it is usually that bit more expensive in a restaurant. Dining in the evening obviously varies greatly but one can expect to pay from 15.00 to 25.00 per person for a good meal.

Pubs are generally cheaper than hotel lounges when purchasing alcoholic drinks. A measure or "nip" of whisky costs approximately 1.50, while a pint of beer costs around 2.00 or more. One should note that Scottish draught beers are usually ordered by the pint or half-pint, while some of the recommended local brews include Tennants and McEwans.

 

DRIVING IN SCOTLAND

Scotland's roads include a motorway network in central Scotland, with dual carriageways to key places further north such as Aberdeen and Inverness. In some areas of Scotland, particularly the Highlands and Islands, there are often single-track roads, which demand extreme caution.

Driving is on the left-hand side of the road, with overtaking only permissible on the right-hand side. Visitors should also remember to give way to the right on roundabouts. Speed limits are 70 mph on motorways and dual carriageways, 60 mph on single carriageways and 30 mph in built up areas, unless otherwise stated. It is also compulsory to wear seatbelts (front and back) in Scotland.

 

 
Golf Courses . Accommodation . Vacation Planning . Sample Itineraries .
Sightseeing . History of Golf . Links . Tell a Friend . Guest Book .
Information Request . Home Page