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Harry Potter, the LochNess monster, Scotch whisky, towering castles; these are the things that first come to one’s mind when you think of Scotland.

An intriguing country with a long, and at times devastating, history; a road trip across Scotland is something every traveller yearns to experience at least once in their lifetime. 

We were already in the UK in the summer of 2019 to follow Team India’s campaign in the cricket world cup being held in England; and extending our trip to add a 6-day road trip across Scotland was a natural consequence.

The journey that began in Edinburgh took us through some astounding natural beauty, tricky yet pleasurable driving trails, 2 distilleries, a host of castles, some famous spots and culminated with an experience of a lifetime.

Some tips and useful info while driving around Scotland:

Car Rentals – There are a number of car rental companies available for hiring your self-drive car; Hertz, Thrifty, Avis. Since we were beginning our trip from Edinburgh, we chose EuropCar, who have an office at Waverley railway station.

Car rentals start within a range of 40-60 GBP per day from Edinburgh for a manual car, our hit on the pocket was 440GBP for 6 days.

Driving eligibility – You need to be over 21 years of age to be able to drive a car in Scotland. If you are under 25 years of age, be prepared to shell out a young drivers surcharge of 45GBP per day.

Side of the road – Scotland, like the rest of the UK, drives on the left side of the road. Something that all the Commonwealth nations will be used to.

Pass-by and wave – Single carriageway roads and narrow roads across Scotlant have by-lanes or passing-by spaces at regular intervals, to allow free flow of traffic. Look ahead, if you spot a car, blink your lights one and wait in the passing-by space to let the car go through. 

Important – ALWAYS wave when you let a car pass by/when a car lets you pass by. It’s a nice tradition and often perceived as rude behaviour if not followed.

Speed limits – Use the following speed limits, when not posted/unless mentioned as higher

Single carriage ways: 60 mph

Dual carriage ways/ motor ways: 70 mph

Stays – Like always, we used for our stay options. Scotland does have a lot of cute BnB’s across all its small towns, curated by cute families who will give you the best homely breakfast before a long drive.

Weather ready – Weather in Scotland, especially in the Highlands and Skye, is so unpredictable it feels demented at times. Be prepared to witness all 3 seasons in the span of the same day. You would have to be extremely lucky to have a journey without any rain playing some spoilsport. 

Having said that, it is this exact erratic weather that is weirdly intriguing and attractive.

Food – While Haggis might not be everyone’s cup of tea, the food around Scotland is a delight for fish-eaters and meat-eaters alike. Fresh fish, well curated and mean portions of steak topped up with a dram of a good Scotch whisky; and you are set for the day!

A tattie scone (potato scone) or a Scottish fry-up makes for a hearty meal to fuel your day up!

Scottish Jargon – 

Ben: Mountain Glen: Valley Loch: Lake More: Something big

Aye: Yes Tattie: Potato Feartie: Cow Piece: Sandwich

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