The following information is Scotland focused, but most also applies to rest of the British Isles during the main touring season
Clothing: Scotland has, subject to occasional extremes, a mild, wet climate. Bring:
Restaurants: Some High End restaurants will insist on a dress code but smart/casual wear is acceptable in the majority of cases.
Midges: These tiny insects are usually found in the Highlands and West of Scotland and are most active in the summer months. Bites can cause discomfort but are not usually serious. Various repellent proprietary creams and sprays can be purchased. Midges have greatest impact on participants in outdoor activities such as hiking and climbing.
Laundry: Laundromats and launderettes are relatively scarce. Inform Catswhiskers in advance if you anticipate requiring this type of service.
Electrical Appliances: If visiting from overseas please bring suitable adaptors. Alternatively, this equipment can usually be purchased at airport shops on arrival. Remember to bring chargers for mobile telephones and cameras.
Mobile Telephones/ Cell phones: Inform your service provider of the countries you intend to visit. Service can be unpredictable in some of the remoter parts of the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
WiFi: Usually available in most hotels and lodgings.
Currency and Banknotes: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland use the British Pound (commonly known as the English Pound). However, banks operating in Scotland and Northern Ireland issue their own banknotes whereas in England all notes are issued by the Bank of England. Bank of England notes are accepted in Scotland and Northern Ireland but do not rely on using Scottish and Northern notes outside of respective issuing countries. Upon leaving Scotland or Northern Ireland change local bank notes for Bank of England notes, Euros or other currency as appropriate.
Passes for Visitor Attractions: In Scotland, Government agency, Historic Scotland operates the majority of the castles and other popular visitor attractions. On arrival consider purchasing an Explorer Pass which offers substantial discounts for visitors to multiple sites. Similar schemes operate in England and Ireland.
Disabilities: Most visitor attractions are accessible to the physically disabled. Wheelchair rental is possible. Advise Catswhiskers in advance of specific requirements.
Distances: In England, Scotland and Northern Ireland official road measurements are expressed in miles whereas the Republic of Ireland uses Kilometres.
Credit Cards: Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted but less so American Express and Diners Club, particularly outside major cities. Before departure inform your card issuer(s) of the countries you plan to visit.
Travel/Trip Insurance: Guests are reminded of the benefits of purchasing suitable trip/travel insurance (with medical cover) at time of booking the tour.
Preparation for your visit: For guests who wish to undertake serious research prior to touring Scotland consider Magnus Magnusson’s Scotland The Story of a Nation ISBN 0 00 257148 X. Contact Nigel at email address below for recommended reading on other specialist topics pertaining to your visit.
Tipping: Normal rate is 10pct for taxis and restaurants.
Additional Information for Self-Drive (Driving) Tour Guests.