Visiting Scotland: Expectation V Reality

Home to over 5.4 million people, there’s far more to Scotland than the Loch Ness Monster, haggis and bagpipes. If you’re visiting Scotland this year, you’ve probably heard a fair few rumours about what to expect. When it comes to expectation v reality, our guide to the real Scotland has a few surprises in store!

Expectations of visiting Scotland verses the reality

People with umbrellas in the rain in Edinburgh

Expectation: It’s always raining in Scotland.

Reality: Despite what you may have heard, or read in your Edinburgh guide, Scottish weather isn’t always dour and rainy. It’s actually very changeable. We do get some dry, sunny days. In fact, Edinburgh receives less annual rain than cities such as Rome, Amsterdam and Hamburg! Showers are still likely though, so pack your umbrella.

Haggis, neeps, tatties and whisky

Expectation: You’ll eat nothing but haggis.

Reality: While it’s true that Scotland’s national dish is absolutely delicious, (don’t believe us? Just try it!) Scottish people don’t actually eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Edinburgh and Glasgow are home to a number of restaurants serving up the dish in various forms. But there are other national delicacies to try when visiting Scotland too. Such as Stovies (a warming dish of potatoes and beef) and Cullen Skink (smoked haddock and potato soup).

Man in a red tartan kilt with black sporan

Expectation: All the men wear kilts.

Reality: Don’t worry if you’re visiting Scotland and wondering if a kilt is mandatory. It isn’t! You’ll see plenty of men donning their tartan in Edinburgh and Glasgow. But they generally reserve them for formal occasions and celebrations. So you can pack your regular clothes for your trip; you’re sure to pick up something tartan on your adventures.

View from Calton Hill in Edinburgh at sunset

Expectation: The scenery’s nice.

Reality: The scenery in Scotland isn’t nice. It’s absolutely spectacular! Travel to the Highlands and you’ll be surrounded by towering mountains, deep glens and glittering lochs. You really have to see it to believe it. And the city views can be just as breathtaking. Climb up our very own Calton Hill in Edinburgh, for the most spectacular city panorama. With magnificent historic buildings and the most amazing sunsets.

Hotel lounge with Christmas tree and fireplace

Expectation: The hotels are just the same as anywhere else in the world.

Reality: You’ll find cities like Edinburgh boast a fascinating, rich history and are home to quirky boutique hotels. Our historic hotel offers something different, housed in a row of townhouses built in the late 18th to early 19th century. Each room is a different size and shape. And you’ll find charming original features, like the wrought iron lift shaft and the original kitchen range in the restaurant.

Why not book your stay at Parliament House Hotel in Edinburgh today, and see how your expectations of visiting Scotland live up to the reality!