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Leaving for Great Britain

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Practical A to Z

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Practical A to Z

Embassies and consulates

Irish Consulate – 16 Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh EH3 7TT – t 0131 226 7711 – http://www.irishconsulatescotland.co.uk/


Also see Know before you go.

Doctor and hospitals

NHS centres, affiliated to the British National Health Service, are available throughout Scotland. Nurses can be consulted without appointments. Health care costs vary.


Same opening hours as shops. Addresses of out-of-hours chemists are published in the daily newspaper.


In summer, Scotland is invaded by clouds of midges, which can be extremely irritating. Anti-mosquito products are effective.



The pound sterling (£) is the currency.

Scotland prints its own banknotes, which are valid throughout the United Kingdom.

Banks / exchange

Banks are open Monday-Friday from 9-10am until 4-5pm. Some banks close for one hour at lunchtime. Some branches are open on Saturdays from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

It is possible to change money in exchange offices, travel agencies and hotels, but the commission charged is often higher than in banks and exchange rates can be very variable.

Budget / cost of living

The cost of living in Scotland is no different to anywhere else in Western Europe. £50-70 for a double room in a standard hotel or B&B (from £10 for a youth hostel). An average meal will cost around £8-10. Add between £3-6 for visits to most sites and up to £13 for castles.

Public holidays

1 and 2 January

Good Friday

1st Monday of May – May Day Bank Holiday

Last Monday of May – Spring Bank Holiday

1st Monday of August – Summer Bank Holiday

30 November – Saint Andrew’s Day

25 and 26 December


In most of the larger towns, shops are open Monday-Saturday from 9am-5.30pm (until 8pm on Thursdays) and sometimes on Sunday in the case of the larger shops. Elsewhere, shops are closed all day Monday, Wednesday or Thursday.

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