Scotland: basic travel info

Jun 25th, 2011, 10:02 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2011
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Scotland: basic travel info

Hello again,
I will be traveling to Scotland with my fiancee in about a month, and I was looking for some basic travel advice. I've got all my accommodations, etc., but was looking for some basic info. Is there anything I should be thinking about before traveling there? I was curious about things like:

Money: We are obviously traveling with credit cards. How often is cash needed? What are some types of things that might require cash? Anything to think about here?

Getting around, particularly in Edinburgh: we are renting a car, but not until we leave Edinburgh. Our host at our accommodation in Ed. recommended taking a taxi from the airport, but what will be the best way to get around while we are there for two days? Bus, taxi? We do want to walk as much as possible, but busses are mentioned a lot. Where are bus passes acquired?

I would appreciate any advice people have for making our trip smooth and enjoyable, particularly upon arrival! Oh, one last thing: we are certainly planning on stopping at a distillery or two. What is the best way to get a bottle or two of whisky back on the plane, since you aren't allowed in carry on anymore?
Thanks for your time!
whitemtns is offline  
Jun 25th, 2011, 10:46 AM
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Midge repellent if you are going anywhere in the country!

WHisky - buy it in a tube and pack it in your checked luggage.
If you aren't checking bags then you'll have to buy it at the airport, assuming you have a direct flight home.
hetismij is offline  
Jun 25th, 2011, 10:57 AM
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Assume you will need to pay cash for any small items - under $25 or so including a drink in a pub, taxis etc. You should just pull walking around money from the nearest ATM with the debit card attached to your checking account. We generally pull about $300 at a time andd get more when we're down to about $100.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 25th, 2011, 11:15 AM
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Since we don't know where your B&B is - hard to tell the best way to get around Edinburgh. Generally the buses and walking are all you need -- but if you are in the very center, you can walk everywhere.

If you are out of town, buses may be a problem.

So -- where is the B&B?
janisj is online now  
Jun 26th, 2011, 09:20 AM
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Money- your credit card will do most things. in really small places it might be harder to use. I would do what nytraveler says (although I'd have smaller amounts myself. Mind you, ATMs can be few and far between in the north west)

Getting around- all you wanted to know about Edinburgh's buses.
Your landlady is likely right about what to do on arrival. There are regular buses to the town centre, but you than have to cart your luggage to wherever the B&B is, and you won't have a handle on scale, so, I'd do what she says there, too.

Where else are you going?

And it may be trite but when hetismij says to buy your whisky in a tbe, she means in a bottle which is encased in a tube. Some actually come in tins- even more secure. Most places will pack a tube with bubble wrap or paper to help. Depending on where you are, you might get a better deal on whisky outside Edinburgh. But the airport selection is very good anyway
sheila is offline  
Jun 26th, 2011, 09:40 AM
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Thanks Sheila - I didn't spot my typo .
hetismij is offline  
Jun 26th, 2011, 12:50 PM
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For whisky, the best way to get it on the plane is TO PACK IT ON YOUR CHECK-IN LUGGAGE, which you can do. You can't carry on unless you purchase at duty free. There are LOTS of bottlings that you will not be able to get at duty free -- most independent bottlings, the Old Malt Cask sample sizes (20 cl or about 7 oz), whatever they have at the Cadenhead shop on the Royal Mile, and more.

There are also some offerings only available at the duty free (Glenmorangie's Cellar 13 was one such, but I bought that in Belize years ago so I don't know if it's even available anymore).

Here's a distinction:

(1) Distilleries -- there are scores of distilleries throughout Scotland that make malt whisky. They sell them in under their own name (Laphraoig, Macallan, Highland Park, etc.). The distilleries blend their various casks to obtain a desired flavor, consistency, and quality.

(2) Independent bottlers -- companies purchase casks of whisky from the distilleries, store them and occasionally alter them (transfer the product to different casks to obtain different flavors) and re-sell. Signatory, Cadenhead, Murray McDavid, Duncan Laing, Provenance are some of the better and often better-known. Each bottle is far rarer than a distillery's own bottling because it comes (usually) from a specific cask and is not normalized to reach a certain flavor profile.

Go to Royal Mile Whiskies in Edinburgh on . . . the Royal Mile and talk to the salespeople. Last time we checked, they liked their trade and knew a lot about it. Their prices on bottles available at duty free will be higher, but they will have a LOT of stock you won't find at the airport.
BigRuss is offline  
Jun 27th, 2011, 03:50 PM
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Unless you're a real expert, or you're buying for somebody who is, buy a decent single malt whisky at a supermarket away from the tourist heart of Edinburgh. Even then, don't be surprised if it costs more than you would pay back home. The UK taxes on whisky are high, to put it mildly
Craigellachie is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2011, 07:06 PM
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Thanks to all for some helpful advice.

BigRuss-thanks for the helpful info on whisky. I'm interested in checking out some of those independent bottlers. And thanks for the shop in Edinburgh, I'll have to check that out.

One more question about the buses- we are going to be spending two days in Edin. at a B and B in Newington area. Should we buy some kind of pass, or just pay individual fares? And how useful are bus routes at night? Will I most likely be looking for Taxi rides later at night? I'm sure I'll have more questions, but that's all for now. Thanks again!
whitemtns is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2011, 07:21 PM
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I wouldn't even worry about buses any particular time of day. Newington is less than a mile from Old town straight down South Bridge/Nicolson and then depending on exactly where in Newington from there.

If you catch a bus fine, but it is walkable any time of the day.
janisj is online now  
Jul 4th, 2011, 04:46 AM
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Perfect. Just what I was hoping to hear! We'd much rather walk anyway!
whitemtns is offline  
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