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Issue 42 - What are you waiting for?

Scotland Magazine Issue 42
December 2008

 

This article is 8 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

Copyright Scotland Magazine © 1999-2017. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.

What are you waiting for?

Our guide to getting here, and getting about once you're here.

With four international airports and three major ferryports to choose from, getting to Scotland couldn’t be easier.

Scotland has excellent air links with a number of European hubs including London, Amsterdam, Paris, Reykjavik and Frankfurt. These hubs link to most of the world’s cities.

There are a number of direct flights from the United States and Canada to Scotland: Continental Airlines; American Airlines; US Airways; Canadian Affair; Air Transat; and Flyglobespan making weekly or daily flights during the summer.

Icelandair offer flights into Glasgow from Toronto, Boston, JFK, Orlando, Halifax and Minneapolis-St-Paul, and you can choose to have a short, or long, stopover in Reykjavik.

Two holidays for the price of one!

Another good option would be to take a flight into London from wherever you are in the world, and instead of a connecting flight to Scotland, hop onto one of First ScotRail’s fleet of overnight trains and arrive refreshed the next day.

The Caledonian Sleepers save time when you need an early start. Single and return tickets are available and prices start at just £59 for a single, with the price including continental breakfast. These trains have 900 berths and operate six nights a week between Fort William, Inverness, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London Euston.

But once you do arrive in Scotland, getting out and about to explore is simple.

You can easily take a connecting flight from one of Scotland’s major airports, Glasgow, Glasgow Prestwick, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, to one of Scotland’s numerous minor airports on the islands for example. Though many of them are little more than gravel landing strips.

Compared to budget carrier prices, a ticket for an internal flight can seem pretty expensive, but the time you save compared to slow ferry crossings makes it worthwhile.

Most of the internal flights are operated by British Airways or Loganair. Loganair, with partner Flybe, fly pretty much all over the UK and to more than 25 destinations in the Scottish Highlands and Islands including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.

All airports have good onward connections from the cities and towns in Scotland, either by train, bus or airport taxis.

Hiring a car allows you to travel at your own speed, but if you’d rather not have the hassle then there are many specialised tour companies that will take care of everything, allowing you to just sit back and soak up the atmosphere.

Glasgow based Cats Whiskers Tours offers a multitude of tours for people with specific interests, for example: Family History Tours; Gardens Tours; Educational Tours; Roman Britain Tours; Scotland Battlefields Tours; City Tours; Castles Tours; Whisky Tours; Stone Circle Tours; Fishing Vacations; Architecture Tours; Photography Tours and many more.

In fact, most independent tour comapnies are happy to tailor make a tour for you. Chris Gordon from Scotland Calling, sums up how it works: “From the moment an enquiry is received I call clients to discuss their requirements. I will then create a customised itinerary and email it to them for approval and revision. If they are happy with this then I will greet them at the airport and then guide them and look after them for the duration of their stay. I will book hotels, pay for sightseeing and take care of anything that makes their vacation run smoothly.” And a modern sight-seeing tour need not necessarily mean being stuffed like sardines into a coach with steamed-up windows you can’t see out of and itchy seats.

The Scotland Calling vehicle is possibly the most luxurious in Scotland – like flying First Class on the ground.

And if you come to Scotland mainly for the golf then Golf International is an award winning tour company that will tailor a golfing holiday to suit you. It can cater for parties of as few as two people travelling together up to groups of 200 or more.

But you needn’t commit yourself to a tour for the entirety of your trip; Prestige Tours offers a choice of one, two, three or four day tours to suit your holiday and your pocket.

A guided tour, long or short, is a great and trouble free way to experience the Scotland’s dramatic landscapes, lively towns and cities, history, attractions and events. So come on, what are you waiting for?

For general info
www.travelinescotland.com
Tel: +44 (0)870 608 2 608
Trains
www.firstscotrail.com
Tel: +44 (0)845 601 5929
Planes
www.britishairways.com
Tel: +44 (0)844 493 0787
www.icelandair.com
Tel: +44 (0)845 758 1111
www.loganair.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)871 700 2000
All overseas nationals who wish to enter the United Kingdom must satisfy the immigration officer at the port of
arrival that they meet the requirements of the UK immigration regulations. Information on entry requirements can
be obtained from any British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate or from the Foreign & Commonwealth
Office. www.fco.gov.uk
The holder of an overseas driving licence may, for a period of up to one year, drive a motor vehicle in Britain.
Visitors bringing their own cars from overseas require green-card insurance and the car registration documents
Selected tour companies
www.golfinternational.com
Toll Free USA: (800) 833-1389
www.prestigetours.com
Tel: +44 (0)871 200 8008
www.cietours.co.uk
Tel: + 353 1 703 1888
www.scotlandcalling.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)141 339 7500
www.catswhiskerstours.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)141 638 5500
www.perrygolf.com
Tel: +1 800 344 5257