General Information

Passport/ID & Visa
Citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland can enter the UK freely and do not require a passport (although either a passport or a national ID will be required for identification purposes at a border crossing – please check with your air or sea carrier to confirm the necessary documents).

Other nationals are required to have a passport and may or may not require a visa. It would be best to check the visa requirements and a type of visa for your stay. For further details, see: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/. If you require a letter of invitation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Climate
Scotland has a moderate maritime climate, and though located relatively far north, it benefits from the warming influence of the Gulf Stream. July and August are the warmest months, and while it can on occasion be warm and sunny, the temperatures rarely reach above 19°C (66°F). The weather can be unpredictable and rain showers are quite common, so please plan accordingly.

Currency and Payments
As in the rest of the United Kingdom, the currency in use in Scotland is the pound sterling (£). However, you will find that the three Scottish banks issue their own sterling banknotes. These banknotes can be legally used in the rest of the UK, but are sometimes not accepted. They can, however, be easily exchanged in any UK bank for Bank of England notes with no charge. However, bear in mind that it is very difficult to exchange Scottish banknotes outside the UK, so make sure to either spend the money or exchange it before leaving.

Visa and MasterCard cards are widely recognised and accepted. Charge cards (Ames and Diners Club) are also recognised, but they might not always be accepted in smaller establishments. ATMs (also called cashpoints in Scotland) are widespread and you can use Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Cirrus, Maestro and Plus to withdraw cash. Most ATMs are free to use, but some may charge a small transaction fee (usually about £1.50).

Traveller’s cheques are usually accepted only in banks, exchange counters or the post office, but not in shops and restaurants.

Electricity / Sockets
The electric current runs at 230V, 50hz AC and, as in the rest of the UK, the plug is a three pronged British plug, so adapters may be needed.

Smoking
Smoking is prohibited in enclosed public spaces, including pubs, restaurants, public transport, etc. Hotels usually have smoking and non-smoking rooms.

Water
It is safe to drink water from the tap.