Visiting Scotland: Your questions answered

Scotland and Scottish Highlands FAQs

We’ve been writing about Scotland for years now, and there’s a wealth of information on our blog about our country and its culture. So today, we’re bringing together some of our most popular posts, to answer the questions we often receive. Explore our FAQs about Scotland and the Scottish Highlands…

What currency is used in Scotland?

In Scotland, we use the pound sterling, just like the rest of the UK. However, there are some differences. Our guide to Scottish money tells you everything you need to know.

What wildlife can I see in Scotland?

Scotland is home to a wide variety of wildlife. While out enjoying the countryside, look out for red deer, red squirrels, pine marten, golden eagles and so much more. Take a look at our post on Highland wildlife to find out more.

A stag stands on the hills in the autumn sunshine

What’s the Scottish language and accent like?

English is the main language spoken here in Scotland, but we have our own unique style, with different words and phrases. You might find our accent a little difficult to understand at first. If you need some help, here’s our guide to some Scottish words and phrases.

What should I pack for my trip?

We’ve put together this handy packing list, to help you pack the right clothes, accessories and travel essentials for your visit to Scotland.

What is a Scottish ceilidh?

Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) is a Scottish Gaelic word that means ‘gathering’ or ‘party’. The main feature of a ceilidh is traditional Scottish dancing. Read our blog on Scottish ceilidhs for more information.

What’s the history of the kilt?

The kilt is synonymous with Scotland. A tailored skirt-like garment with historic origins, made with tartan fabric and worn as formal menswear to this day. Learn all about it in our Scottish kilt post.

Group of Scotsmen lined up in kilts

How do I experience the Scottish Highland Games?

The Highland Games are traditional sporting and cultural events held over the summer months, throughout Scotland. They include sports such as the caber toss, tug o’ war and hurl a haggis. Find out more in our Highland Games blog.

Where in Scotland is Outlander filmed?

Fans of the Outlander books and TV series are keen to see some of the locations in Scotland that inspired this time-travel romance. The ongoing TV series is filmed all over Scotland and you can view the locations here. Learn more about why we love the series in our Outlander blog.

Clan Fraser memorial stone at Culloden Battlefield

What is the North Coast 500?

The NC500 is an epic driving route covering over 500 miles around the north coast of Scotland. It starts and ends in Inverness and there is so much to see and do along the way. Plan your road trip with our North Coast 500 blog.

What are traditional wedding customs in Scotland?

For those getting married in Scotland, there are lots of local customs and traditions that you can incorporate into your big day. From bagpipe music to ceilidh dancing. Explore more in our wedding traditions post.

Can we elope to Scotland?

Scotland is a popular destination for elopements, from secret weddings to small and intimate occasions. Find out how to elope to Scotland.

How do I trace my Scottish ancestry?

There are lots of ways to research your family history during a visit to Scotland. Use our family history centres, go on an ancestry tour, find your Scottish clan. Read our guide to Tracing your Scottish ancestry.

Can you see the Northern Lights in Scotland?

It is possible that you might see the Northern Lights in Scotland, but there are no guarantees. The best time of year to see them is from October to March, when the skies are darker for longer. This is also the best time for stargazing. Find out more in our Northern Lights blog.

Aurora Borealis seen in northern Scotland near Inverness

Will I see Highland cows in Scotland?

Highland cows are a common sight in rural parts of Scotland. This distinctive breed of cattle, with its long hair and horns, has become something of an icon. Read our guide to Highland cow spotting.

Is the Loch Ness Monster real?

Scientists and explorers have been trying to answer this question for many years. Loch Ness is the largest lake by volume in the British Isles, due to its incredible depth of up to 230 metres. So far, no conclusive evidence has been found, but what do you think? Explore Scottish myths and legends.

What are Scotland’s national symbols and icons?

Discover Scotland’s national flag, flower, animal and more in our guide to Scotland’s national symbols and icons. Look out for them on your travels around the country.

A purple thistle against the blue sky

What is Hogmanay?

You may know it as New Year’s Eve, but here in Scotland the last day of the year is known as Hogmanay and it’s a huge celebration. There are lots of traditions surrounding it, from reddin’ oot the hoose to first footing. Learn more about our Scottish Hogmanay traditions.

What is Burns Night?

Robert Burns was an 18th century Scottish poet and lyricist, who penned classics such as Auld Langs Syne and A Red, Red Rose. He’s the national poet of Scotland, and we celebrate his life and works each year on 25th January with poetry, feasting and dancing. Find out how to plan the perfect Burns Night.

What is the history of Scotch whisky?

Whisky was invented in Scotland. The first recorded mention of distillation in the country dates back to 1494. Today, Scotch whisky is loved around the world. During your visit, a tour of a local distillery is a must! Take a look at these Scottish whisky tours, tastings and events.

Three glasses of whisky

How can I avoid the Scottish midge?

The Scottish midge is a notorious wee beastie. They may be small, but they’ve been known to wreak havoc on unsuspecting visitors in the summer. Luckily, there are a few ways to protect yourself from their itchy bite. Find out how with our post on summer midges.

Where should I visit in Scotland?

There are lots of wonderful places to explore all across Scotland, from the rugged Highlands to the gentle Lowlands. Of course, we’d love to welcome you here to the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness. Based here, the magnificent Scottish Highlands is on your doorstep. Check out our things to do guide and start planning your adventures in this spectacular region. From must-see attractions to areas of natural beauty, there is so much to see and do!

Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness