Key Facts (9)
Outdoor Access Scotland Official Site
Your access rights in Scotland
- Everyone can enjoy Scotland's outdoor access rights. In summary, some of the main features of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 are:
- Everyone has the statutory right of access
- Access rights apply to all land and inland waters, unless excluded (as below)
- Access rights are for outdoor recreation, for crossing land and water, and for some educational and commercial purposes
- Exercising access rights, and managing access land, must be done responsibly.
It is against the law to smoke in any enclosed public place in Scotland.
Smoke-free legislation in Scotland
The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 came into force on 26th March 2006 at 6am. Smoking is no longer be permitted in most wholly and substantially enclosed public places in Scotland. This guide was published in March 2006 and updated in June 2006.
This page provides a guide to sources of information on Scotland's smoke-free legislation.
Police, fire brigade, ambulance, mountain rescue and coastguard can be reached by dialing 999.
Unless otherwise indicated, speed limits on the roads are:
Dual Carriageway: 70mph/112kph
Single Carriageway: 60mph/96kph
Built-up areas: 30mph/48kph
It is compulsory to wear seat belts, both front and rear. Young children and babies must be restrained in an appropriate child seat or carrier. If you need child seats, these should be ordered when you book your car.
Scotland has a good road system with motorways and dual carriageway roads linking many of the main cities and towns.
Most car hire companies require the driver to be between the ages of 21 and 75. There may be more stringent requirements for specialist vehicles.
Driving on the Left
In Scotland, as in the rest of the UK, driving is on the left-hand side of the road.
Driving Licence and Insurance
Holders of an overseas driving licence may drive a motor vehicle in Britain. If you are bringing your own car from overseas you’ll require Green-Card insurance and car registration documents.
Drinking and Driving
There are serious penalties for those convicted of driving while being over the legal limit.
Tourist information centres are available in nearly every town and city as well as near attractions. They are usually run by local businesses and provide valuable information on the local area, travel information and more.
Shops are usually open Monday to Saturday 9.00am – 5.00pm.
In towns and cities as well as villages in holiday areas many shops will choose to open on a Sunday. Larger supermarkets usually open longer, many are now open 24 hours.
Many stores remain open until late evening especially during the summer months and in the lead up to Christmas.
Iit is customary to leave a tip of 10 – 15% of the bill. It is not normal to leave a tip in a pub unless you have had a meal with good service.
A 10% tip is normal.
In the more upmarket hotels, porters rely on tips.
There is a good network of Post Offices across Scotland. They provide a range of services including the sale of stamps and mailing of letters and parcels. Offices are generally open Monday to Friday 9.00am – 5.30pm. Saturdays 9.00am – 12.30pm. Look out for the Post Office sign.
Stamps can also be bought from newsagents, certain shops and visitor attractions.
Public payphones are widespread. They are operated by British Telecom (BT) and take all coins from 10p upwards plus phone cards. These cards can be bought in Post Offices and newsagents. Mobile phone reception is good across most of the country. For further information on hiring a mobile phone in the UK see www.mphone.co.uk
To call Scotland from overseas dial 011 from the US and Canada, 0011 from Australia and 00 from New Zealand followed in all cases by 44, then the area code minus its initial zero.
You’ll find internet cafés in all the major towns and cities.
Personal Computers, PDAs and WI FI hotspots.
Many of the larger hotels, self catering properties airports and some coffee shop chains now provide wireless broadband access. Make sure you have the correct adaptor. The power supply in the UK is 240 volts. Type of socket is square 3 hole sockets taking 3-square-pin plugs. Visitors from the US require a voltage transformer.
Scotland’s weather is interestingly varied. Generally speaking the east coast is cool and dry while the west coast is warmer and wetter. If the wind is from the north east it is often chilly and cloudy in the east yet clear and sunny in the south west. If it is wet in the west it is usually dry in the east.
In mid-summer there is no complete darkness in the north of Scotland. On the longest day, Lerwick, in Shetland has about four hours more daylight than London. Rainfall varies widely ranging from over 3,000mm (118 inches) per year in the west to under 800mm (31 inches) in the east. Thunder storms are comparatively rare and occur on around three to five days a year.