Walking in Scotland Destination Guide
No vaccinations are required for entry into Britain. All citizens of the EU are entitled to free medical treatment under the National Health Service (NHS). If you are travelling from outside the EU you will receive free treatment from the Accident and Emergency Unit, but not if you are admitted into hospital or receive treatment at a general doctors surgery. Consequently health insurance is highly recommended.
Most shops, hotels and restaurants accept all major debit and credit cards, although you should always carry a bit of cash on you, particularly when visiting more rural areas or when using small businesses. You will also find an ATM in most small towns.
Tipping is expected in most cafés and restaurants but not mandatory. Anything between 5% and 15%, depending on the quality of service is acceptable. It is not necessary to tip bar staff as you will usually order and collect your drinks at the bar.
Internet and Phone coverage
Good, speedy internet and phone coverage in Scotland is generally clustered around the more urban areas, although reception in rural areas is generally reliable. That being said, you should always be aware that in more remote areas coverage is patchy, and in places like the Cairngorms National Park - coverage is sporadic at best. It is increasingly common to have free wi-fi in cafés, hotels and B&Bs but not guaranteed.
Citizens of the EU are free to visit the UK for any length of time with just their passports, whilst those from the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand can visit for 6 months with just their passports. Those from other countries will need to look into Visas. Once you have arrived in Scotland, you are free to cross the borders of England and Wales without having your documents checked again.
Celtic Trails will arrange necessary transfers for yourself and your luggage for the duration of the walk. This is included in the price of the holiday, but does not include transport to the start of the walk. We are very happy to arrange private transfer to the start of your walk at an additional cost. Alternatively, there are the following options:
Train: The entire UK has an excellent train network and it is the most popular form of public transport because it is comfortable, safe and fast. It covers all cities and most towns and is also suitable for travelling on with large pieces of luggage.
In Scotland, most train routes centre on Edinburgh and Glasgow. From both of these cities you can travel north along the east coast towards Aberdeen, along the west coast towards Fort William and also through the centre towards Inverness. There are also train routes going south along both the east and west coasts.
In order to check train routes and times visit www.nationalrail.co.uk. If you would like advice on which is the nearest train station to the start/end of your walk please get in touch. Train tickets can be bought on the National Rail website or at the train station on the day.
Coach: Coach travel is often one of the most affordable ways of making long journeys across the UK (but not necessarily the quickest). National Express (www.nationalexpress.com) and Megabus (www.uk.megabus.com) are the main long distance coach companies in the UK serving major towns, cities and airports. Tickets for long distance coach journeys should always be bought in advance from the company’s website.
Bus: Buses (generally smaller than coaches) are used across Scotland for shorter journeys. There are thousands of bus routes and you will find a service running through most towns in Scotland. They are particularly useful in more rural parts, where there is not a train service. Tickets are bought from the bus driver. Timetables in Scotland can be checked at http://www.travelinescotland.com/ .
Taxi: Travelling by taxi is not cheap but it is the most convenient way of travelling if you only have a small number of journeys to make. If you are in particularly rural area or need a taxi late at night, it is advisable that you book a day or two in advance. Taxi journeys should always be booked in advance unless you are in a major city or airport. Celtic Trails are very happy to provide you with the numbers of local, trustworthy taxi companies and also to book a taxi if enough notice is given.
Car: If you plan to drive to the start of your walking holiday, please let us know as we can provide advice on where to leave your car whilst walking.
Recommended Reading List
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