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Issue 48 - Don't hesitate...

Scotland Magazine Issue 48
December 2009

 

This article is 7 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.

Don't hesitate...

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

Amazing landscape, historic monuments, wonderful wildlife and great visitor attractions and activities, and let’s not forget the best golf in the world and whisky, if you have not been to Scotland yet there is not a moment to lose, you’d better start planning.

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 fly to Glasgow and Edinburgh daily; 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, many of them on the islands.

Compared to budget carrier prices, a ticket for an internal flight can seem pretty expensive, but the time you save compared to other travel methods (eg slow ferry crossings) may make it worthwhile.

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, 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 for you, allowing you to just sit back and soak up the atmosphere.

Glasgow based Cats Whiskers 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, Photography Tours and many more special themed tours.

Chris Gordon from tour company Scotland Calling, sums up how it works: “From the moment an enquiry is received I call clients to discuss their requirements. So much more can be achieved in a phone call and it is a good way to find out what kind of vacation the clients are looking for so that I can tailor it to their needs. I will then create a customised itinerary and email it to them for approval and revision. When 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. While on tour I will 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 – it’s 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 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.

Aguided tour is a great way to experience the country’s mix of dramatic landscapes, lively towns and cities, history, attractions and events, absolutely trouble free. It’s also a great way to make friends.

•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.