Highlands, Scotland



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Emergency care at a public hospital or at a GP surgery is free for everyone. EU / EEA citizens are entitled to necessary care under the EHIC scheme, further the UK has special arrangements with other countries outside the EU / EEA. 

Pharmacies are generally open between 9am and 6pm, though opening hours may vary depending on the location and some might close over lunchtime. Opening hours tend to be longer in the larger cities and more pharmacies are also open on Saturdays and Sundays with slightly reduced opening hours. In the more rural areas, after hours and weekend services are provided on a community basis with only one or two pharmacies open after hours which are covering a certain area.




You can find up-to-date health and health advice in relation to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic and traveling to and in Scotland here:



Scotland currency is the British pound and the Royal Bank of Scotland also still issues their own notes. These can sometimes be difficult to be changed, especially outside of Scotland. Opening hours of banks are roughly from Monday to Friday from between 9 and 9:45am to 44 to 4:45pm. In rural areas, banks might close for lunch for an hour. ATMs are widely available and you can find at least one in even the smallest village. If there is no ATM available, you can also get some “cash back” from the local shop or hotel. 

Credit and debit cards can be used nearly everywhere, but some B&Bs might only accept cash. VISA and MAstercard are most


common while American Express is only accepted by major chains. You will mostly need your pin for card payments.

As a rule of thumb, for a decent service in a restaurant, a standard tip is around 10% and 15% in a more expensive place. Service charge is sometimes automatically added to the bill. Tipping in pubs is usually not expected unless for table service. 

A dinner at a mid-range restaurant costs around £30 per person including a starter, main and dessert. A pint of beer comes at around £4,50 while a soft drink in a pub or restaurant is around £1,50 and a small bottle of water is around £1.



Generally shops open between 9am and 6pm Monday to Saturday. In many cities, towns and villages Sunday opening has become more and more popular with many shops opening in the later morning and closing in the early evening. Larger supermarkets are open for longer hours, some of them even have 24 hours opening. In the smaller towns and villages, many shops might close for one afternoon a week, generally Wednesday or Thursday.

Main post offices are open between 9am and 5:30pm from Monday to Friday and between 9am and 12:30pm on Saturday.



220v is standard in Scotland. Plugs and sockets operate using three pros and plug adapters are widely available



January 1

New Years Day

Friday before Easter

Good Friday

Monday after Easter

Easter Sunday

First Monday in May

May Bank Holiday

Last Monday in May

Spring Bank Holiday

First Monday in August

Summer Bank Holiday

November 30

St. Andrew's Day

December 25

Christmas Day

December 26

Boxing Day




Celtic Connections - two weeks of concerts celebrating Celtic music and dance

Mid - late January

Ayr & Dumfries

Burns Night - celebrating the life and work of the poet Robert Burns

January 25

Lerwick / Shetland Isles

Up Helly Aa - ancient Norse fire festival

Last Tuesday in January


Six Nations Rugby Championships

Early February

Fort William

Fort William Mountain Festival

Late February


Whuppity Scourie - end of winter ceremony

Mid March


Comedy Festival

Mid March for two weeks

St Andrews

Kate Kennedy Processions & Pageant

Second Saturday in April


Beltane Fire Festival - ancient Celtic fertility ceremony

Late April


Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

Late April / early May

Fort William

Scottish motorcycle trials

Early May for six days


Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition

Early May - early June


Pilochry Festival Theatre

Mid May - October


Gay pride

One Saturday in May or June


Lanimer Day - cultural festival

Thursday between June 6 and 12

Edinburgh outskirts

Royal Highland Show - agriculture and country show

Mid - late June


Selkrik Common Riding - Commemoration of the Battle of Flodden in 1513

Mid June


Peebles Beltane Festival - medieval festival

Mid June


International Jazz Festival

Late June - early July

Isle of Skye

The Skye Festival/Fèis An Eilein - cultural festival

July & August

Isle of Lewis and Harris

Hebridean Celtic Festival - music festival

Mid July


Pride Festival

Mid July

St Andrews

Lammas Fair - street arts festical

Early August for five days


Piping live - World piping championships

Mid August


International Festival - music, arts & commemorations

Three weeks in August


Fringe Festival - alternative comedy and arts festival

Three weeks in August

Fort William

Ben Nevis Mountain Race -

First Saturday in September


Braemar Gathering - traditional festival

First Saturday in September

changing every year

Camanachd Cup Final - shinty final

Late September / early October


Highland Autumn Cattle Show - agricultural show

Mid October


Sound Festival - music festival

Late October - early November


Jazz Festival


Comrie Tayside

Flambeaux Procession - torchlight procession

December 31


Hogmanay - new years festival

December 31 / January 1