I am very much looking forward to going to Scotland again in a few weeks! :-)
After having travelled there several times already, there is not much planning involved for us anymore..
We love B&Bs and self-catering cottages which I use to book online. Often, I come across a nice place while surfing the internet and then I book it.
When we went to Scotland for the first time in 2002, we had only reserved the first few nights. We drove from place to place and simply knocked on B&B doors bearing a "vacancies" sign. I am not sure whether it still works just as well today, but we were never forced to camp under a bridge.. ;-)
Speaking of camping, I do not have any experience..
I know that wild camping is usually not a problem in Scotland if you follow along some simple rules which you can find in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Places in which camping is not welcome are signposted
accordingly. Of course, you can also find official camping sites.
Scotland packing list
So, what do you need for a holiday in Scotland?
What clothing you take along with you depends on the weather and your activities. If you plan to visit a fancy restaurant or club you should check whether they have a dresscode before going there - otherwise, you might be refused access (as happened to friends of us who were not admitted into an Edinburgh restaurant).
Most restaurants and pubs (where we also like to eat) are fine with casual wear.
I just like walking through the landscape so I do not need very much.
UPDATE January 2020: Brexit
It's expected that Brexit regulations will become effective from 1 February 2020. However, there is a transition period until the end of 2020.
Please make sure to check the new rules and regulations before you travel (EU and non-EU citizens).
For EU citizens, an ID card should still be sufficient if you travel to Britain. So far, there are no plans to introduce visa requirements for short stays under three months, but of course, that is subject to change with developments. To be on the safe side, I got myself a new travel passport as the old one had expired.
If you are driving in your own car, please make sure to bring your green insurance card and please check whether your car insurance still covers the United Kingdom. There are signs - yet! - to change the validity of EU driving licences.
Customs regulations are subject to change on short notice so please investigate before you decide to buy lots of whisky to take home with you… ;-)
It is recommended to carry the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you. You should also have an international travel, health and return insurance.
Things you MUST NOT forget:
Passport/ID (valid for another 6 months)
Driving licence and green insurance card (if you travel by car)
- Health insurance
- British Pounds (you can pay by card almost anywhere, but a little cash can't be wrong)
PLEASE NOTE: British Pounds
There are English and Scottish pound notes. If you do not use all your cash, only English notes can be returned to the bank - at least in Germany (coins cannot be returned).
Please check whether you have English or Scottish pound notes..
Things I always take with me:
- Trekking shoes (I honestly do not take any other shoes with me anymore)
- Slippers (for the cottage/B&B)
- Outdoor jacket (I have a 2-in-1 system consisting of a rainproof jacket and a fleece you can zip in/out)
- Jeans and trekking pants
- Fleece shirts/sweaters
- Depending on the season: T shirts (it can get really nice)
- comfortable socks and underwear
Other useful stuff:
- Umbrella (I prefer a hood)
- Hat/baseball cap (if you like it)
- Cushion (if you want to sit on cold surfaces)
Sunglasses - yes, sometimes you can even use those ;-)
- Picknick kit (I have a picknick backpack containing a blanket, plates/glasses, a corkscrew, cutlery and cooling compartment)
- Books (if you do not have an e-book reader or tablet computer)
IMPORTANT! Travel/Plug adapter to be able use or recharge your devices
(The UK has plug type G, 230 V/50 Hz)
- a multiple socket outlet if you do not have that many travel adapters
Mobile phone and charging cable
- Camera and charging device and - if necessary - tripod
- Sufficient quantity of memory cards (or films if you still use them)
- E-book reader or tablet computer (check whether your accommodation offers Wi-Fi)
Useful things for your accommodation:
This is strongly dependent on the type of accommodation We mostly book cottages that are already equipped rather well.
- hair dryer
- toilet paper
- trash bags
- washing-up/dish liquid/dishwasher tablets
- Coffee/Tea (filter paper depending on device available)
- (Sparkling) Water
- Salt, sugar
- Spices (if you cook yourself)
- Oil, vinegar
- (Alkoholic) Beverages according to your taste ;-)
Our cottages often had spices, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, coffee and tea available when we got there.
This time, we will be staying at Baillie Scott Cottage again, because we liked it so much last October.
No need to bring along much stuff there...
We will buy food for daily use locally.
- Necessary medication
- Plaster strips, blister plaster
pain killers if needed
- shower gel, shampoo
- Tooth brush, tooth paste
- Insect repellent (the midges can really be annoying in spring)
How much stuff you take with you to Scotland also depends on how much space you have for luggage.
As we use to travel in our own car we have enough space for everything. Things look different when travelling by plane so you might have to go shopping at your destination.
I hope, this packing list comes in handy for your trip to Scotland. If you have additions or corrections I would love to read your comments. :-)