105

I'm English and lived in Glasgow for 4 years. Understanding many (but certainly not all) people will be tricky (even us native speakers struggle), but they'll be very willing to try to help you understand, and it won't cause offence. You probably won't even need to explain: as soon as they see look of blank incomprehension and hear you begin to say "Err, ...


65

This is a personal experience answer. I am Dutch, so maybe a bit more blunt than you, but my solution works well. I had that same problem last summer. I had arrived in Edinburgh one day, went to visit Glasgow the next and the first person talking to me was hard to understand. I explained to the woman that English is not my first language and I had not ...


50

Use a P plate. Here's an example of some on sale. (No affiliation, this is just a major UK retailer which came to mind). http://www.halfords.com/motoring/travel-accessories/learning-to-drive/halfords-magnetic-p-plates-x3 P plates are not mandatory and are not regulated in their use in Great Britain, but they're officially recognised as denoting a newly ...


34

In general: usually the ferries are very reliable, but cancellations do sometimes happen. I've only once had to deal with a cancellation in the last couple of years of holidaying around the islands, and that was warned a couple of days in advance. CalMac, who run the majority of ferry services, report >97% of services run as predicted, with ~2% cancellation ...


33

Flying is the fastest option (1h10), but you'll have to take into account: traveling times to the airports: London City Airport is close to the city center (22 min to Bank Station), but Edinburgh Airport is not (35 min by the tram or 30 min by the slightly faster Airport 100 bus, or 25 min in light traffic if you're driving or taking a cab outside peak ...


30

For London-Perth it looks like you'll have little more than around 5 minutes, from looking at the details. [Update: a link in Andrew's comment seems to confirm 3 minutes]. The excellent Seat61 gives heaps of info on the practicalities of train travel, and has a detailed guide to the Caledonian Sleeper. It confirms: That the segment of the train that goes ...


21

Almost certainly, each AC to DC converter you have will support both UK and US voltages, and you do not need a voltage converter. To be absolutely sure, look at the back of your laptop's charger and your AC-to-USB plug. There should be a label that, among other things, specifies supported input voltages and AC frequencies. If it says something like "100-...


20

I'm going to take issue with Dan North's accepted answer, not that it is bad, but let me put my own perspective on it. I am a Canadian, but spent most of my life in Scotland, learned to drive there and did for nearly 30 years before returning to Canada a few months ago. During this time I also did regular (2-3 times a year) multi-week driving stints on ...


18

As someone who does this route maybe twice a month my preferred options are as follows: Fly. If I am in a rush and require to be in Edinburgh early or in a short amount of time then I fly from London City Airport to Edinburgh with British Airways. The flight time is roughly an hour and I can be at the City Airport 20 minutes before take off with no security ...


18

TLDR: Yes you can do this, you must make sure not to travel on peak trains for the whole of your journey. For a more detailed explanation of why and with instructions to determine it for other journeys see below: The term you're looking for here is a break of journey. The national rail enquires websites states about these: Break of journey is allowed on ...


15

You can use ÖBB's site also for stations outside of Austria to see departures and arrivals. Just enter the station you are interested in and click on Display Information, then on Departures (or Arrivals) and under Settings you can change the date (and some other things, such as type of train). As always there is the caveat that HAFAS might not know about ...


14

I wore my kilt (heavyweight one) round Germany and I can heartily recommend it - I made many friends, had lots of drinks bought for me and got invited to a lot of events and parties as people could spot the Scotsman a mile off. I'm assuming you are Scottish - if not, you may get some hassle, potentially, for pretending to be one :-) In the summer it can be ...


14

When paying for a purchase, be sure to make the cashier aware that you are using a U.S. style credit card which requires them to swipe the card and for you to sign for the purchase. Although U.S. style credit cards are no longer issued in the United Kingdom and Ireland, most cash registers are still equipped to process transactions this way. You may, ...


13

Right, despite missing out on the first day of my tour there while my train broke down, the rest of the gang went and unfortunately for me, I missed out on an opportunity to see Nessie. One day though, one day... Firstly, you need to be aware of the geography. Loch Ness is in a natural cleft between Fort William and Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, ...


13

I'm English myself, but ive grown up with Scottish people and have a few friends I still communicate with on a daily basis. I also now live in America and I have a heavy accent so its sort of the same thing. This is my experience with this matter: One thing that most people prefer is honesty. If you're having trouble understanding what someone is saying, ...


13

Source: I've been on the sleeper myself a number of times, usually between London and Dundee, which is on the Perth/Aberdeen route. It very much depends where you're getting off. If you're getting off at an intermediate station, then you will need to be prepared to get off as soon as the train arrives. It stays at each station no longer than any normal ...


13

Put an oval country bumper sticker on your car. Use a white one with the code of your country (which is not a secret anyway because of your license plate), not a "generic European" one with a circle of stars, because that could be confused for an anti-Brexit statement.


13

Most hotels in the UK do not ask for an ID when you check in, but I think I have been asked for one at times. If you have your Spanish National ID card, bring that, if not bring your passport. If you are not happy with taking your passport, call the hotel and ask whether they require it. There is no border between England and Scotland and therefor you do ...


13

To build on Andrew's answer, CalMac also have service status text updates (for free) and an app which serves the same purpose. I would recommend using both to cover all bases as the phone service coverage on the Hebrides is unreliable at best. It may also be worth noting that there have been some very inconvenient delays to the addition of new ferries to ...


12

Scotland is a big place and there is allot to see in every location. Additionally, the roads on the west coast, such as in Skye, are not fast roads. They twist and turn around mountains and lochs. 20 miles as the crow flies could work out as 100 miles of actual driving. To cover all those locations you'd spend about 4 days constantly driving and you'd really ...


12

I used to work in a souvenir shop in Edinburgh. Virtually every day we would have customers asking to receive change in either Scottish (collectibles) or English notes (they continued their travel to England). In both cases we would do our best to help them. I would risk to say that locals are used to such requests so obtaining Scottish notes from retailers ...


12

The Balmoral Estate is vast. On this map of Scottish estates it's the area in the centre of the image bounded by purple lines, extended south from Easter Balmoral and Braemar, over Lochnagar and Loch Muick, almost to Glen Clova. For most this area, the usual right to roam laws apply, even when the Royal Family are in residence; only the area north of ...


12

The short answer is that paths are rarely marked well, and it is generally necessary to have a map and to know how to read it. Scotland has a long-established right to roam, meaning you can walk anywhere as long as you avoid cultivated land, gardens, and area immediately around buildings. That's great for hikers, but the flip side is that there are few ...


11

The most obvious is the oldest long distance walk in Scotland: The West Highland Way. It starts in the north of Glasgow City and walks cross country, mostly off road but on good paths, north to Fort William. It is about 96 miles long and can be completed in 4-8 days depending on your level of fitness, determination and of course weather. This route takes you ...


11

The excessive cost from Hertz is to pay for somebody to bring back an Irish registered car to Ireland and then fly back to London. Two days work probably, plus ferry and flight. Only multinationals like Hertz and Avis will accept your card insurance, so be careful to check with whomever you rent, that you are fully covered! I reckon the Dublin to Dublin ...


11

There is virtually no difference where you fly, either Edinburgh or Glasgow are the same. There are bus links from Glasgow city centre to Edinburgh Airport. Also, Glasgow has a second Airport called Glasgow Prestwick, which is used mainly by low cost airlines and is about 30 miles South West from Glasgow. There is a train link from Glasgow city centre to ...


11

There is a lively LARP community in Edinburgh, and while some of the activities are more high fantasy LARPing, the city parks (Bruntsfield Links, Leith Links and the Meadows) tend to see battles ranging from 1-on-1 sword fights up to small armies. LARPEvents tends to list a lot of these as you get into Summer. While many events will have spare kit, I would ...


11

You can look at the departures or arrivals for any station on the UK rail network on the National Rail website. For example Glasgow Central Departures and Glasgow Central Arrivals. You can choose to add a second station to the search if you want to see only arrivals at a given station from a certain station. If you want a more manual option there are ...


11

On-street parking is available, and safe, in both Glasgow and Edinburgh; however it’s expensive in and near the city centres (except on Sundays when it’s free), it’s often very hard to find a spot anywhere near the “touristy” areas, and many spaces are time-limited so you wouldn’t be able to leave your car in a single spot anyway. Ground and multi-storey car ...


10

We have this question over on the Outdoors Stack Exchange: https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/132/what-can-i-do-about-those-obnoxious-biting-flies/143 Avon Skin So Soft is still the product I take with me any time I am up the west coast. I also tend to wear a midge net on my hat. Better more prevention than less:)


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