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Scottish Highlands | Scotland travel guide
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Scottish Highlands | Scotland travel guide

Scotland Travel Guide

Like dramatic mountain peaks, rugged coastlines and medieval old towns? Scotland's got the lot. Here's everything you need to know before you travel.

What you'll find in this guide:

Top things to do in Scotland

Practical Information

Scotland facts

Weather in Scotland

Where to visit in Scotland

Getting to Scotland

Getting around Scotland

Top things to do in Scotland

  • Urquhart Castle | Loch Ness, Scotland

    Loch Ness and the Highlands of Scotland day trip from Edinburgh

    Visit the famous Loch Ness and travel through the beautiful Highlands of Scotland on this day trip from Edinburgh.

  • Adam Smith Statue in front of St. Giles Cathedral | Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland

    Secrets of the Royal Mile walking tour of Edinburgh

    Go beyond the guidebooks and explore Edinburgh's Old Town with an expert guide.

  • Loch Lomond, Scotland

    Loch Lomond and whisky small-group day tour from Glasgow

    Admire the picturesque Loch Lomond and visit two distilleries along the way from Glasgow.

  • Jacobite steam train passing the Glenfinnan Viaduct on the West Highland Line | Scotland

    Jacobite Steam Train and Scottish Highlands tour

    Check out the iconic Forth Bridges, hop on board the renowned Jacobite Steam Train and cross over the breathtaking Glenfinnan Viaduct.

  • Isle of Skye, Scotland

    Inverness to Skye day trip

    Explore the Isle of Skye from Inverness and the hidden gems Scotland has to offer along the way.

What time zone is Scotland in?


What currency do they use in Scotland?

Pound sterling GBP

What's the average flight time to Scotland from London?

1 hours 15 minutes

Some facts about Scotland

The official animal of Scotland is the unicorn, which sounds odd until you start exploring the country's otherwordly natural landscapes. Unicorns wouldn't look out of place overlooking Loch Lomond from Ben A'an, or indeed galloping to the summit of Ben Nevis.

Speaking of mythical creatures, Scotland's most infamous is probably the Loch Ness Monster. While there are over 1,000 eye-witness accounts of people having seen this legendary beast, Nessie's rather shy so you'll have to be on your toes if you want to catch a glimpse. Whether you believe the rumours or not, a boat ride along Loch Ness is an experience you won't forget in a hurry.

But Scotland's not just about the great outdoors – it's medieval capital has everything from Edinburgh Castle, Scotland's most-visited tourist attraction, to the world's largest arts festival – the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. But don't just stop at Edinburgh – Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen and more all offer something unique.

  • Flying shuttle bus with plane wings

    Scotland Airport Transfers

    Book your Scotland Airport transfers, with prices starting from £12 and free cancellations up to 3 days before travel.

  • Scotland Car Hire

    Scotland Car Hire

    Book your Scotland car hire, with free cancellations.

  • Jacobite steam train passing the Glenfinnan Viaduct on the West Highland Line | Scotland Ultimate Experiences

    Scotland Ultimate Experiences

    From legendary lochs to the Royal Mile! Make the most of your trip and book the top Scotland experiences for you and your family before you fly.

  • Scotland Travel Insurance

    Travel Insurance for Scotland

    Whatever you're doing in Scotland, you'll want a reliable travel insurance policy for your trip.

The Good Trip Index

Scotland ranks 20th on the Good Trip Index

This score is calculated based on Sustainability, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Press Freedom, Quality of Life, LGBTQI+ Rights and Animal welfare

Find out more

What's the weather like in Scotland?

Scotland's not exactly known to be the sunniest of destinations. But wrap up warm and embrace the elements and Scotland will reward you with some of the world's most stunning natural landscapes.

Summers are fairly mild with highs of 15°C to 20°C, while winters are fairly cool and usually stay in single digits. The wind and rain can be unpredictable too, especially along the coast and in the western Highlands.

The Highlands get a fair bit of snow too. So much so that you'll find ski resorts around the Cairngorms, Ben Nevis and Glencoe to name a few legendary peaks.


Getting to Scotland

There are loads of options for getting to Scotland from other parts of the UK. You could fly from London to Edinburgh in 1 hour 15 minutes, and from Belfast in less than an hour. Airports also serve Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen and more.

Or you could hop on the train. You'll find plenty of services – including overnight sleeper trains – from London, Manchester, Cardiff and more to various parts of the country.

Driving's an option too, with the A1 linking London and Edinburgh and the M6 connecting the Midlands to the Scottish border. Or you could take to the seas on the ferry service from Belfast or by visiting Scotland as part of a cruise.

Getting around Scotland

Scotland's great for a road trip. You'll have no trouble on major roads, but country roads in the Highlands can be a bit challenging when the weather starts to turn. The North Coast 500 is particularly beautiful, starting and ending at Inverness Castle and running along Scotland's rugged northern coastline.

There's no shortgage of stunning rail journeys either. Scotland's well served by trains, but the one to look out for is the Jacobite steam train running from Fort William to Mallaig along the Glennfinnan Viaduct. You'll probably recognise it as the Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter film series.

Feeling active? Opt for one of the country's countless scenic cycling routes – it's probably the best way to explore the beauty Scotland has to offer. As long as the rain holds off, anyway.

Buses or taxis will get you where you need to go in major towns and cities. Edinburgh also has a tram service, while trains are all over Glasgow.

If you wanted to get to the Scottish islands from the mainland (and why wouldn't you?), flights and ferry services are available.