Monday, July 22, 2024
Homescotland22 Things You Should Avoid on Your Trip To Scotland

22 Things You Should Avoid on Your Trip To Scotland

There are numerous things to do in Scotland. Hiking, road trips, and exploring some of the world’s most beautiful islands. Wild camping, multi-day excursions, and visits to some of the world’s trendiest cities.

You may even indulge in a deep-fried chocolate bar, play bagpipes, or snuggle a Highland cow.

But Scotland isn’t all must-see attractions. Aside from the excitement and adventure, there are few things you should avoid. others are cultural blunders, others are unintentional oversights, some are frequent tourist blunders, and some are simply stupid.

Here are the top dos and don’ts in Scotland, as well as the top behaviors, faults, and errors to avoid while visiting Scotland.

Do Not Pretend to Be Scottish


Many tourists, particularly those from the United States, believe that having a distant Scottish cousin qualifies them as Scottish.

No, it does not.

Don’t go around telling people you’re Scottish unless you’re genuinely Scottish. Locals will not find it endearing; rather, they will find it irritating.

Be honest with yourself; you aren’t truly Scottish, so don’t pretend to be.

Avoid Using a Stupid Scottish Accent

It is considered impolite in Scotland to (badly) simulate a Scottish accent.

You can’t, you don’t know how, and you won’t be able to learn (particularly on a short vacation of one or two weeks). So don’t even bother. People will be ambivalent at best, and offended at worst.

Nobody wants to hear your bad Scottish accent since they’ve heard it all before.

Don’t Ask Endless Money Questions

Even though they are the same denomination, Scottish and English money look different.

That’s strange. People in Scotland, on the other hand, already know it’s strange, so they don’t need you to tell them.

Instead, learn about and become acquainted with the Scottish currency.

Don’t Tip Too Much


Tipping is widespread in Scotland, however it is not a large part of the culture.

In most circumstances, you can round up to the nearest pound or add 10 to 15% to your bill (in restaurants), but don’t go overboard.

Yes, you can be generous if individuals are courteous to you and provide a good service, but don’t go crazy.

Do not set priorities. The Loch Ness Monster

However, when compared to many (and I mean many!) of Scotland’s far superior lochs (which translates as “lakes”), Loch Ness falls far short. It’s not especially appealing or thrilling, and it’s a great letdown after visiting Scotland’s far more stunning lochs.

In a country with over 30,000 lochs, don’t waste too much time on its most famous – but least impressive – loch.

People will be offended, but I believe you should skip Loch Ness totally. Tourists all throughout the world make the mistake of visiting the famous rather than the good.

Don’t be one of them visitors.

Never tell somebody that the Loch Ness Monster does not exist.

Let’s face it: we all know it doesn’t.

However, The Loch Ness Monster (or ‘Nessie,’ as it is often called) is a Scottish legend. Because it is the country’s most famous fictional export, some Scots adore it.

Some of the more jingoistic Scots unironically think that a strange half-dinosaur creature lives in the depths of the country’s largest loch.

Don’t Expect Perfect Weather

The weather in Scotland may be spectacular. If you’re lucky, the weather in Scotland will be sunny, clear, and free of rain.

But that is really unlikely.

Even if you go to Scotland in the summer, don’t expect unending days of brilliant sunshine. Because you most likely will not.

Pack waterproofs and warm clothing instead. If you’re lucky, you won’t need them, but it’s always a good idea to have them on hand in case of bad weather.

They also state:

There is no such thing as terrible weather in Scotland; only lousy clothing.

In Scotland, never expect pleasant weather. Always be ready.

Don’t Just Go to Edinburgh


Edinburgh is wonderful. Scotland’s capital is wonderful, with its massive theatrical festival, innumerable cultural sites, and one of the world’s best castles.

However, contrary to popular belief, this is not the only thing Scotland has to offer. If you only visit Edinburgh, you’ll lose out on the rest of the country’s superb (and often better!) offerings.

Other cities worth visiting are Glasgow and Inverness. If you’re looking for outdoor experiences, skip Edinburgh and instead visit The North Coast 500, several of Scotland’s islands, or one of the country’s two vast national parks.

Avoid Haggis (and Other Scottish Food)

Many tourists are turned off by haggis. When they learn about its strange ingredients, they immediately convert into small little whiney babies that appear to be terrified of putting anything unusual into their mouths.

Don’t be such a baby.

Instead than worrying about the strange ingredients that go into haggis (which are definitely strange), consider how delicious it is. It may sound strange, but it is quite fantastic.

It doesn’t sound good, made from chopped-up sheep organs and shoved into a sheep’s stomach. However, it is.

Don’t Even Bring Up Soccer.

To begin with, calling it’soccer’ will almost certainly result in an argument.

It’s known as football.

But, aside from that, people in Scotland (and England) may be highly partisan when it comes to football. They adore their local squad, and there is no place for debate.

Anything save the most superficial football chat will almost certainly end in a fight, so don’t bother.

If you’re curious, my team’s name is Newcastle (although it’s in England).

And don’t even bother discussing politics.

chatting about politics is even worse than chatting about soccer. No, Scotland is not a part of England (for further information, see here). And, no, asking Scots is not the way to learn about it.

The history of English and Scottish people is storied, convoluted, and contentious, and any discussion about Scottish politics (or how it ties to English politics) will end similarly to a discussion of football.

Do Not Contrast Cities

Don’t tell Glasgow residents that Edinburgh is superior. Or tell Edinburghians that Glasgow is superior. Alternatively, tell someone from any city that any other city is superior.

There is no need to compare the cities of Scotland.

Do Not Go to the Harry Potter Store

The Glenfinnan Viaduct appeared in four Harry Potter films. You’ve reached adulthood. Grow a pair.

The Glenfinnan Viaduct was not used by Harry Potter. Because he isn’t genuine.

That said, if you insist, I made a special piece for you in which I detail all of the amazing places you can see and cool things you can do. Don’t pass it up!

Avoid telling everyone how small everything is.

Locals are unconcerned whether your country, state, or home is larger.

Scotland is small, secluded, and rural, which adds to its allure. Nobody will be impressed if you tell them how charming, humble, and old-fashioned their country is.

Do Not Ignore the Islands

Scotland contains over 900 islands, some of which are spectacular. They are some of the most fascinating and unusual islands on the earth, from world-famous Skye to charming Arran to some truly strange small towns.

Yes, you normally have to take a ferry to get there, but it’s well worth it. For some, the Scottish islands are the best portion of the country. Don’t forget about them!

Don’t Assume You Can Wild Camp All Over the Place

In the vast majority of sites in Scotland, you can hike and wild camp. If it’s not private property, you can normally pitch your tent and have a pleasant night of fee-free dozing.

This is known as the right to roam.

However, this is not always the case. Camping is not permitted in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park unless you are on a designated campsite or have a camping permit.

You also cannot camp on private property without authorization. However, if you ask a farmer or landowner whether you can camp on their land, they will typically agree – people in Scotland are incredibly nice, hospitable, and inviting.

Do Not Disregard Bothies

Similarly, if you intend to spend time in bothies, exercise caution. Scottish Mountain Bothies are simple huts meant for overnight stays. It’s similar to camping, but in a hut rather than a tent.

Bothies are run by charities and have few – or no – facilities, but they’re an excellent resource for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Respect the bothy and its surroundings when utilizing it. There are numerous tips on how to utilize bothies correctly and respectfully available here.

Don’t Leave Anything Behind When Camping

‘Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints,’ says an old camping adage.

And, of course, this is the case in Scotland. It’s a camping-friendly country, but only if we keep it that way by camping responsibly and politely.

Be a responsible camper, use caution when building fires, and always keep in mind the terrain and its inhabitants (both human and otherwise).

Don’t Forget to Pack Your Bug Spray

Scottish midges are small insects that like moist, humid conditions. They are drawn to humans and other animals, and they cluster around people’s heads and faces.

Their bites can leave you with red, itchy welts on your skin. They can be very bothersome while you’re trying to enjoy a great day outside, which is why you should always have bug repellant with you when you go on a hike in the Scottish Highlands!

If you’re going to be spending time outside in Scotland, bring a bottle of mosquito repellent (or two!) with you. There are numerous brands and formulae to select from; here is one that I recommend.

Apply it again throughout the day, especially if you’re sweating or swimming.

Avoid driving too slowly on road trips.

Locals are naturally angry when tourists drive slowly on Scotland’s famous road trips (particularly the North Coast 500).

It’s easy to forget that people live here when you’re on vacation.

People stranded behind you are trying to get to work while you are hanging out your car window taking photos at 5mph. While you’ve pulled over to point out a Highland cow, the people stranded behind you are attempting to get their children to school. People stranded behind you are trying to get to a funeral while you are gawking at mountains.

Drive cautiously and responsibly. Take your time if you’re unsure about some of the more dangerous roads. But don’t upset the locals by obstructing their normal activities.

Do not park in passing zones.

While we’re talking about roads, learn how to use passing places.

Passing spots are modest lay-bys that allow traffic to flow in both directions. They are not intended for parking, yet that doesn’t stop a slew of unpleasant tourists from doing so. Instead of becoming a bothersome tourist, make proper use of passing sites.

If you’re looking for a spot to park in Scotland, you should always use authorized parking spaces, which are plenty no matter where you are.

If you live in a rural region, you can often locate parking on the side of the road. These are sometimes little parking lots, but more often than not, they are modest lay-bys with room for four or five cars.

If you live in or near a town or city, there is plenty of parking available in and around that town or city.

In Scotland, parking spaces are denoted by a blue sign with a white ‘P’ in it. These are well-marked and well-signposted, making them easy to find.

Avoid Stupid Souvenirs

Nobody buys these, but retailers sell them, so someone does. Nobody in Scotland will be impressed by your fake kilt. Or your ridiculous ginger toupee.

Having saying that, there are a plethora of fantastic souvenirs available in Scotland. You can obtain t-shirts, bumper stickers, and other great goodies if you’ve completed the North Coast 500.

Try shortbread or heather honey for a snack or a drink as a souvenir. Try Arran Sense of Scotland for natural cosmetics, or one of the innumerable cosmetic goods created from Scottish heather that Scotland seems to sell in abundance.

If you visit to more rural and distant places, you’ll find a lot of one-of-a-kind and interesting handmade items from small local merchants and enterprises. These are the finest souvenirs to buy since they are meaningful and distinctive, plus they help the local economy. Help the little guy!

I published an entire article with a variety of Scottish gifts and souvenirs to select from.

Do Not Inquire About Clans

You’re not from a clan, they’re not from a clan, and no one cares about clans in Scotland.

It is not the seventeenth century. And if a tourist shop tells you that your clan has some world-famous classic tartan that you must purchase, they’re definitely lying.

The clan stuff has been overused in movies and TV series. Don’t believe the hype.

Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular