#TopTips Backpacking Scotland
If you’ve read our other blogs you will know that we are some of Scotland’s biggest fans. We LOVE SCOTLAND! We adventure here (vertically and horizontally). We spend our time canyoning, coasteering,
We have shared our thoughts on planning hen and stag parties, our absolute musts for a visit to Edinburgh, wild swimming spots, attractions and the best scenery in Scotland. Now the weather is improving we are donning our backpacks for a spot of hiking and travelling around Scotland.
In order to write something useful, we started thinking back to when we were first-time visitors to the incredible locations that Scotland has to offer, and what we wished we k
With that in mind, here is our backpackers guide to Scotland
First up… In Scotland, we like to talk about the weather! A lot! Moderate and changeable is the official view of weather forecasters. Before you come, it is important to know that you can absolutely experience all four seasons in a day here, each one coming rather unexpectedly. On top of that, a 20-30 minute drive could see the weather being COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from your starting point. We’ve had snow in May (that’s supposed to be nearly summer) and glorious days of sun in mid-winter. Therefore pack a jacket, no matter what time of year you are coming to visit, and take it everywhere! 🙂
In Scotland we have seasons! But you’ll hear the term “Scottish Summer” being said with some degree of irony. Sun is not nessisarily a given but is welcome and glorious when it arrives. Choosing your season to visit depends on what you like to do.
Winter – it’s going to be cold and there is a good chance of snow, especially if you are heading into the mountains. Again, as long as you are suitably attired you can have all the fun. In the cities the pub fires will be roaring and cosy. There’s Christmas markets and superb new year (Hogmanay) parties to enjoy too!
Spring – The snow and ice
Summer - Our busiest time, so if you fancy an adventure…book in early (shameless plug).
One thing to look out for is the Midges pronounced Mi-Jee. These are Scotland’s equivalent to mosquitos (without the disease) although they do suck. From June to September you may notice them if
Autumn – beautiful
In Scotland, we have great public transport! But you do need to keep in mind that some places are VERY REMOTE! It may very well take planes, trains, boats, and automobiles to get yourselves to some of Scotlands best-kept secrets. In our remote places, you might not even have a phone signal. If you want to visit some of the more remote, we encourage you to take the time to really plan your trip.
We drive on the left-hand side of the road. Most cars are manual. If you don’t fancy driving, you could check out some of the tour companies that will show you the best sites. If that’s not for you, the train network is good and there are internal flights, coaches and buses which are well networked and can get you to most places. Scotland has a lot of smaller airports on some of the Islands but for some of the smaller islands, you will need to get a ferry.
It is significantly cheaper to book things well in advance and so planning your route and getting tickets will pay off if you are on a budget. You can buy everything online. Obviously, there is uber in the cities, along with buses, trams,
What money do we use? How much do things cost?
We use pounds sterling like the rest of the UK. It is this sign £. Scottish money looks different from English money and sometimes “down south” they try not to accept it. The standard response from a Scot is “it’s legal tender”.
How much things cost depends on where you are – a pint of beer (we use pints not
What do we eat and drink… Haggis is NOT A REAL CREATURE!
Some top things to try are:
1) Deep-fried items from a chippy. This could be a deep-fried pie, pizza, mars bar haggis, battered sausage or you could just go traditional fish and chips. 2) Full Scottish breakfast – you can get
3) Irn Bru – an orange fizzy drink that comes in cans or in bottles
4) Malt Whisky – Scotland has over 120 whiskey distilleries and 5 whiskey regions: Campbeltown, Highland, Islay, Lowland
5) Tablet – like fudge but with more sugar.
6) Some best in kind foods: Scottish Salmon, Aberdeen Angus Steak, Arbroath Smokies, smoked haddock, Stornoway black pudding.
7) Haggis, neeps
8) Our seafood is great, we do a cracking burger, we make some great beers and gin and tasty desserts.
Whatever your adventure Scotland has the food to fuel you!
Now, that’s probably enough to get started.. our top places to visit we already covered here. Our fave adventures are here. Stay tuned for some of our top camping tips at another blog near you.
MY Adventure and Intrepidus Outdoors are adventure tours and outdoor experience providers, both based in Edinburgh, Scotland. We specialise in private and open canyoning, coasteering, mountain biking and hill walking tours, and deliver these adventurous experiences across Scotland. We are also a provider of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions where we run bronze, silver and gold level awards for young people.
- Adidas Terrex Canyon Boot Review: here
- Seland Verdon Wetsuit Review: here
- Top 10 canyons in Edinburgh: here
- The best hotels and hostels in Edinburgh: here
- Hen Party Adventures Edinburgh: here
- Stag Party Outdoor Adventures Edinburgh Essentials: here
- SUP, A Buying Guide: here
If you haven’t already seen it, check out the our Trip Advisor, Youtube channel, Visit Scotland page and blog to hear about how others found their outdoor adventures with us! Equally, if there is any gear that you would like us to review, drop us a DM.