Fancy a trip to Scotland? Let Lonely Planet help you

Fancy a trip to Scotland? Let Lonely Planet help you


Lonely Planet guide to Scotland

By Lonely Planet -

Touring & travel

 06 February 2008 15:01

Honed by long competition with its English neighbours, buoyant Scotland has survived encroachment, brass-monkey weather and invasion by stand-up comedians.

Its people are feisty, opinionated and fiercely loyal. The countryside is a wild, beautiful tumble of raw mountain peaks and deep glassy lakes.

There's a plethora of tartan-checked beaten tracks across this land, but even in well-thumbed tourist hubs like Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Isle of Skye it's easy to veer off into one-of-a-kind adventures, usually involving extroverted locals.

The brutal climate adds an edge to the whole experience

When to go:

The main tourist period is April to September, and the height of the season is during the school holidays in July and August when accommodation, be it campsites, B&Bs or luxury hotels, is at a premium.

Edinburgh in particular becomes impossibly crowded during the festival period in August, so book well ahead.

Statistically, your best chances of fine weather are in May, June and September; July and August are usually warm, but may be wet too.

In summer, daylight hours are long; the midsummer sun sets around 11pm in the Shetland Islands and even Edinburgh evenings seem to last forever in June and July.

Conversely, in December the sun doesn't show its face for very long at all.

Travel Warning: Security Warning - Cabin Luggage Restrictions

At the time of publishing (February 2008) the security threat in the United Kingdom remains at a significant level following recent terrorist incidents in London and Glasgow.

Travellers should exercise caution, monitor the media for any developments in the situation and expect delays at airports due to increased security measures.

Restrictions on airline cabin luggage are in place throughout the UK. For details check the UK Department for Transport website.

Severity: High-level alert

Fast Facts:

  • Country Full Name: Scotland
  • Population: 4,996,000
  • Currency: Pound Sterling (GBP / £)
  • Electrical Plugs: 240V 50Hz
  • Languages Spoken: Official: English
  • Time Zones: GMT/UTC 0
  • Country Dialing Code: +44
  • Weights & Measures: Metric