08 Sep Scotland Travel Costs
After over a year of travel in Asia we were really looking forward to visiting the UK for some family time, home comforts and an exciting Scotland trip with Amy’s parents. We spent nine days in the country all together; seven in the Highlands of Scotland and two in Edinburgh – but it didn’t come cheap.
Cost of Scotland Tourist Attractions
After experiencing such low prices in Asia it was quite a shocking jolt to remember that tourist attractions in the UK are certainly not cheap. With an average of just under £22 per day, Scotland comes in as our second most expensive country for activities whereas in Laos for example, we spent just £1.38 per day! Although individual activities in Scotland seem pretty reasonably priced at around £10 – £15 each, this really adds up when you’re paying for two people, in hindsight we could have looked into getting an Explorer Pass or an English Heritage Card to save some money.
|Entry into Mallaig Heritage Centre||£4||£2|
|Boat trip on Loch Ness including entry into Urquhart Castle (£7.90)||£41||£20.50|
|Loch Ness Exibition Centre||£14.90||£7.45|
|Ben Nevis Distillery Tour||£10||£5|
|Nevis Range Gondola & Ceilidh||£23||£11.50|
|Edinburgh Dungeons (after £6 off per person coupon)||£20||£10|
|City of the Dead Edinburgh Tour||£26||£13|
|Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour||£25.90||£12.95|
Cost of Scotland Hotels
Having lived in London for nearly four years, we know that accommodation in the UK can be pretty costly but I was still surprised at how expensive hotels in Edinburgh were, prices were especially high because the Fringe Festival was on while we were there. In the end we found somewhere to stay just outside of the city centre on AirBnb which cost £68 for two nights. While in the Highlands we rented a cottage in Kinlochleven for seven nights at a cost of £450, we paid £200 towards the cottage and Amy’s parents paid the rest.
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Scotland Food Costs
After fantasising about all the foods I missed from home while we were travelling in Asia I didn’t hold back on the food-front when we were back in the UK. In Scotland we ate so many yummy dishes I don’t know where to begin; pub meals, fish and chips, hot soups, pies, puddings, cheese boards and cooked breakfasts. We also developed a habit of stopping in cafes for afternoon treats such as scones or cake accompanied by steaming pots of tea and even hot whisky, lemon and honey drinks or liqueur coffees. Even though we spent more on food per day in Scotland than we did in any other country we’ve visited – including New Zealand and Australia – I don’t regret it for a second!
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Cost of Travel in Scotland
While Amy’s parents flew to Scotland from the South of England we took her Dad’s car and drove up so that we’d be able to easily explore while we were there. If you’re visiting the Highlands you really need your own transport; we spent a lot of time driving on day trips out to Fort William, Glenfinnan, Loch Ness and Glencoe. Although having your own vehicle is the best option for getting around Scotland, the cost of fuel can really add up; we roughly split our fuel costs with Amy’s parents and spent £168. It’s worth noting that up to £150 of the total fuel costs were spent on driving from the south of England up to Scotland and then back again; although fuel in the UK usually costs about £1.25 – £1.35 per litre we kept to the cheapest stations when filling up.
|Train||Return trip Fort William to Mallaig: £28.40||£14.20|
|Bus||Two return journeys into Edinburgh: £12||£6|
|Parking||In Edinburgh NCP: £6.20||£3.10|
The wintry weather in Scotland was a huge shock for us given that we’d spent so long in Asia and then enjoyed an uncharacteristically warm summer upon returning to the UK. To cope with the cold and rain we ended up having to buy some fleeces and an umbrella in Fort William.
Total Scotland Travel Costs for Three Weeks
Although Scotland turned out to be our second most expensive country after New Zealand, we had an amazing time there and don’t regret a second of it. Despite the weather we fell in love with the country and dream of returning for Hogmanay at the end of 2015. When we do return though we’re going to have to look at ways of cutting our costs, such as house sitting.
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