My favourite booking platforms, Scottish providers and other tricks.
On this page I am sharing my favourite travel resources –
my preferred booking platforms for flights, transport and accommodation, essential apps and tools to download for a trip to Scotland and other things to keep in mind when preparing your travels.
Sign up below to get access to my Scotland Resource Library which contains downloadable checklists and links to interactive area maps.
Hiring a Car
There are two services I recommend to hire cars in Scotland:
Auto Europe | A comparison platform where I always find the best deals for car rentals. They compare prices from various international car rental agencies and offer great insurance packages (much cheaper than booking insurance directly with the agency). I recommend choosing established agencies like Avis, Europcar, Enterprise, Hertz or Sixt, and stay away from low-budget options like Easirent or Keddy because their small print can be vicious, emergency support lacking or deposits super high!
Arnold Clark Car Rental | A fantastic local car rental company with comprehensive insurance packages and great support – if a bit more expensive. They also work with Celtic Legend, a highly recommended service!
Check out my top driving tips if you decide to hire a car!
TRAINS | Most trains in Scotland are operated by Scotrail, but there are a few other companies travelling in routes between Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as down to England. There is also the Caledonian Sleeper Train that connects London with Inverness. To make it easier, I recommend booking via Trainline.
BUSSES | For inter-city travel, check out Citylink and Megabus. Stagecoach operates a wide network of buses all over Scotland. Some inter-city routes like Glasgow to St Andrews or Glasgow to Campeltown, but also numerous local routes.
FERRIES | There are two major ferry operators in Scotland. Calmac runs most ferries on the west coast, while Northlink Ferries services the northern Isles, Orkney and Shetland. There are a few smaller ferry operators in specific locations. Check our my island hopping guide for more information.
I mostly use the following websites to book accommodation around Scotland:
Booking.com – for hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation.
AirBnB – for private rooms, self-catering accommodation and B&Bs.Get £25 off your first airbnb booking
Small Group Tours
Small group tours can be a great alternative to driving yourself – they save you stress and you can focus on enjoying the scenery. They are perfect if you only have a limited amount of time in Scotland, but want to see a lot. They can provide a welcome change from travelling by yourself. And guides have a wealth of knowledge to share, whether it is about Scottish history, current life in Scotland or Scottish culture!
Here are some recommended tour providers – I’ve tried them all myself!
Attractions, Activities & Sightseeing
There are too many local activity providers and guided tours around sights and attractions to include them all here, but here are a few links for you to browse for ideas for activities & tours: