Scotland Warnings Or Dangers Tips by scotlandscotour Top 5 Page for this destination
Scotland Warnings and Dangers: 65 reviews and 59 photos
winding road going on into the distance
Not sure where to post this important tip.
My wife (Rachel) has some motion sickness so we can tell you:- Driving around Scotland can be a problem. Many roads (even the main "A" class roads) are winding and twisty, up and down, and after a while can provoke serious disorientation which makes the whole experience hell. Going slow can only do so much, as even at a crawl these roads can be upsetting.
Roads such as the "Tourist Routes" (Brown Signed) encourage you onto more scenic "back roads", often single track, car width roads with "passing places" - and they are beautiful - BUT be Prepared for motion sickness!!!
We use arm bands with acu-pressure on the wrist - which works (no need to know how, it just does!) - available from shops locally.
Anyone else with suggestions / concerns on this subject please write to me and/ or post in the Scottish Forum.
For more pictures of roads in question, see external site www.bluewoad.com
Other Contact: www.multimap.co.uk
Looks good but Megabus is unreliable!
My wife and I were left stranded in Edinburgh on 31st December, when our bus failed to show up.
We had paid in advance but this did not help us when left in the city at night, when all other buses and trains had stopped.
With the following day being New Year, with all transport closed, and with all hotels full (Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh are massive), we were stuck.
Finally, we were forced to pay double fare for a taxi all the way to Perth.
This cost £90.
We "welcomed in the New Year" in the back of a taxi, and were left broke.
Megabus is run by Stagecoach. I have eventually been reimbursed the full taxi fair - thank you!
The moral is, like other budget transport - Megabus cannot be relied upon.
Other Contact: www.megabus.com
Dead flies on my Car - July 2004
"Kill one and a thousand come to the funeral"
You have probably heard about the *Midge*, that mysterious biting insect of Scotland. Well, I have found a very readable and accurate account of them at the following website: Midge Life
Tips: Head east and up hill, keep moving, carry repellent but use sparingly, avoid overcast areas, low boggy ground and especially at dawn / dusk. Midge season peaks July & August (maybe why Edinburgh Festivals are so busy?) but they can be a significant nuisance in June and late May, early September. For environmental reasons, they are significantly less of a problem in the East and South of Scotland.
Remember, it is thanks to this 'warrier' that the Highlands remain so uninhabited and wild - and they are only a nuisance. They do not carry disease.
Maybe if Man hadn't cut down all the trees, leading to water logged, acidic soils, there would have been less of these insects and more of their natural predators. Better than toxic repellent and gas fired vacuum machines.
Note: The flies in this photo are not midges - these were very passive and much larger than the Midge - but it conveys the idea!!
Coastguard Rescue Helecopter - West Scotland
Emergency phone calls from payphones are free - no money needed.
In the mountains of Scotland, emergencies and mountain rescue are coordinated by the Police. Phone 999 and ask for Police or mountain rescue.
Do not expect a quick rescue. Prepare for a long time sat still - so carry extra clothing, some food or sugery snack, and let people know where you are going - otherwise you may be there some months! Not good.
Let your hotel know where you are going, leave a route card with the reception or local police - but please - Remember to let them know you are back safely!
Sometimes, a note in your car can help.
Little Things That Help
As well as carrying some snacks and extra clothing ... remember the importance of a good map & compass.
Carry a whistle to attract attention - far far better than shouting into the wind! A small torch is also great for getting attention as well as helping you read your map in fading light.
Watch out for this - it is too easy to get cold when it is wet and windy. These are killer conditions - and the classic Scottish weather!
Ask yourself - are you prepared for a long, long wait, cold,wet, demoralised and scared?
In the hills, just 10 minutes is often enough for people to start shivering and wanting to move on. It's cool, your clothes are damp, the wind is slicing through and chilling you to the bone. Brrr. The rain is starting, the cloud is down low and you cannot see the way anymore. You are cold. Hands too cold to properly zip up your jacket, open that mars bar. This is dangerous.
No mobile phone reception in the mountains.
Be Prepared - Please!
(A first aid kit and knowledge may well save someone else's life - so be prepared to help others - and hope others do the same for you)
Other Contact: www.mountain.rescue.org.uk
3 Tourist Road Signs Litter the A9 near Dunkeld
Scotland is becoming littered with additional road signs - unique brown signs for tourists!
They are the product of the government tourist body VisitScotland (previously the Scottish Tourist Board) and are polluting the very beauty you come to enjoy. Like every souvenir shop sells the same range of tartans, postcards, celtic knots and shortbread - so the countryside is getting Brown Signs every few meters, pointing to every hotel, pottery, wool mill, fish pond, distillery and B&B. You might think this is helpful - but it is in addition to all the other signs and has gone too far! It has gone mad - part of VisitScotland's dominance of Tourism Marketing and abuse of their position.
Be prepared for this eyesore, and if similarly offended, like me, write to VisitScotland and say so!
In this picture, note the sequence of 3 such signs, in fact there is a fourth, behind the camera too.(View full size). Distances on the sign are in miles - is this sign really necessary, directing you to each individual "attraction" over 20 miles away? Can you imagine this in your home area? Surely smaller and more concise signs would be better, clearer and less a distraction, less brown and less expensive? (ie just the top section, not the list below).
You, the tourist, eventually pay for this through elevated accommodation costs, as the owners pass on costs of "membership" of VisitScotland schemes to the customer. Consider it a Tourist Tax. They aint cheap.
It's not that they don't have useful information for a tourist - it's just that they are so big, ugly, and often repeat information on 'normal' road signs. The whole of Scotland is littered with them.
Maybe if they weren't so ugly I could bear them better. Well, at least you know what to look out for!
To be honest though - these attractions are pretty poor, third rate places. They are in the class of "if you are passing and it is raining / you want the toilet" type of attraction - not worth diverting 20+ miles for.
(Oh, if only people could read maps)
Other Contact: www.perthshire.co.uk
A Walking Group in the Highlands
To avoid disturbing the land management practices / sport of deer culling & stalking, please check this out before heading out into the Scottish hills.
It may even save you getting shot!
Deer stalking (shooting) is practiced both as a sport by landowners (and guests) and as an annual cull to manage the species (all its natural preditors ... like the Wolf ... have already been removed by man. Over grazing by deer is said to damage the ecosystem. As does sheep grazing.
In areas where trees are being planted or regeneration is encouraged, deer and sheep must be excluded by high fencing.
The best place for advice regarding any activity in the Scottish mountains is the MCoS http://www.mountaineering-scotland.org.uk/
Other Contact: http://www.mountaineering-scotla
Seaweed - Monster Hunting :-)
Loch Ness is a huge Lake, so deep and long it has never been fully explored - despite scientists searching for the monster (most likely a serpent) with sonar etc.
Then again it may be a myth - but its fun exploring, and there is Urquhart Castle.
Will you ever forgive yourself if you don't have a look?
THE PROBLEM is that Loch Ness is considerably less attractive than other Lochs in the mainland of Highland Scotland.
Significantly more beautiful are Loch Tay, Loch Tummel, Loch Rannoch and Loch Earn. All these four have gorgious countryside, stunning views and quiet roads and paths from which you can explore the banks on foot.
Loch Ness is grey, surrounded by featureless hills covered in plantation woods and the road is PACKED with a procession of slow moving vehicles. Its dangerous and boring.
(A road on the south side of the Loch is much better).
If you must look for a fictional monster, then of course you must go. If you need to drive that way anyway, then I am sorry, for it is busy.
If however you want breathtaking scenery from your Lochs, look elsewhere.
See this web link about Werner Herzog's new Film Incident at Loch Ness
Other Contact: www.perthshire.co.uk
A Ram (Male Sheep) without wool or road sense
Sheep are either not scared or they are very stupid or both.
Don't expect them to move, they often won't. Its worst when cycling down hill fast - bike brakes are not that good anyway, so be prepared for sheep on the road round any bend.
I have twice been sent over the handlebars by hitting a sheep side on at over 30 mph (free wheeling). On both occassions the sheep was unhurt. One sheep even remained stood still. When you think of the force a bike and human at 30mph transmits to a narrow racing tyre, it seems incomprehensible, but true.
This Ram was "patrolling" the road and wouldn't let me pass ;-)
Ever wondered why they are called Rams, male sheep? Well I've had them head but me in a charge. Sheep are not always so meek and mild. (see my homepage!!!)
Petrol Prices per Litre -March 2004
A very good reason to use public transport - the price of petrol, because of 'environmental' taxes, make the long distances exploring Scotland quite expensive.
However, should you be heading into the remote Highlands and Islands, please buy food and petrol within these small communities, even when it costs more, to support their economy. Its worth it. Maybe when returning in ten years time you'll be thankful of a remote petrol station.
Note in this photograph the unattractive modern housing in the background - so common a site on arrival in many towns in the UK.
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