12 Things Not to Do in Scotland

12 Things Not to Do in Scotland

12 Things Not to Do in Scotland

Your tour to Scotland can be fun-filled and extremely rewarding. Tourists have a lot of places to go, things to see, and things to do in Scotland. However, visitors can see the other side of Scotland if they do one of these 12 things not to do in Scotland. You can go back home with negative experiences if you’re not aware of the don’ts of visiting Scotland.

While you hike, tackle road trips as you enjoy some of the best islands in the world, you have to realize that Scots take exceptions to certain actions and utterances. To maximize the enjoyment of your visit, we hereby present in this video, 12 things not to do in Scotland.

  1. Trying to Be Scottish

This is one of the things not to do in Scotland. When tourists from the US, or even other parts of the UK, regardless of their looks, claim to be Scottish, many things give them away because they are not. Having a Scottish distant relative doesn’t make you Scottish. In their pretense or supposedly belongingness, some try to do a Scottish accent.

All these aren’t endearing. The pretending tourists are eventually discovered as their accent will give them away. No matter how good you are, every place has its own accent that only natives can do well. The Scots feel mocked when you try to impersonate a local Scottish accent.

  1. Asking Too Many Money-Related Questions

Basically, the pound sterling is GBP anywhere you are in the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, Scottish money appears different even though it is the same amount, currency, and value as what you spend in England. You don’t need to tell them in Scotland that this is weird, they already know that.

  1. Discussing Soccer

The argument that will ensue when you call it soccer is the first thing experience that will teach you that this is one of the things not to do in Scotland. In the UK, it is called football. Besides, the British are very parochial about football such that each part of the Kingdom is a member of FIFA. In Scotland, they love their local team even though they’re not doing too well. Any superficial discussion about those teams and football, in general, will most likely end in a disceptation.

  1. Talking About Politics

If your experience with discussing soccer is not nasty enough, try to talk about politics. You’ll then see how precious tourist time and resources can be wasted while altercating on matters with little or no direct bearing on tourists’ attractions.

Politics is a sensitive issue in Scotland. You should never be caught wondering about Scotland being part or no part of England. You can learn that not from Scottish people. This is because the history of English and Scottish people is complicated, controversial, and better storied. Therefore, any conversation around Scottish local politics or its state in the Union will end up worse than a conversation about soccer.

  1. Emphasizing Size

When you see a Scotsman in kilts, don’t ask about how big or the average size. Don’t ask him about what he’s wearing underneath or whether he’s even wearing anything under. They may just be following their Scottish tradition or their more sanitary stance. It’s not polite to ask.

A similar one of the things not to do is to be going around telling everyone how small everywhere or everything is. Your country may be the biggest in the world. Locals don’t care. You might come from the biggest state or even have the biggest house. It’s none of their business in Scotland. They’re content with how small their country is with its remote and rural areas. Don’t boast around about how cute and humble their place is.

  1. Assuming You Can Wild Camp Everywhere

One of the things not to do in Scotland is to assume that you can wild camp everywhere and anywhere. You won’t land in any trouble if you pitch your tent as usual and if it’s not on private land. You can’t just camp on such land without permission. The interesting thing is that if seek the permission of a farmer or landowner to can camp on his land, you will often be allowed as people in Scotland are superfluously friendly, generous, hospitable, and welcoming. You can actually treat yourself, and sometimes even your tour group, to an appealing night of fee-free snoozing, in an arrangement known as the right to roam.

Yet, never make the mistake of trying to wild camp everywhere. For instance, one of the don’ts of visiting Scotland is camping in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park if you you’re not on a proper campsite or you don’t have a camping permit.

  1. Focusing on Tourist Hubs

One of the things not to do in Scotland is to concentrate on the tourist hubs. If you really want to have the true Scottish experience, avoid touristic pubs which can be overcrowded. They are also not a really unique thing.

A good example of don’ts is prioritizing Loch Ness. Though it is famous and huge, it is not the best lake and it’s seriously underwhelming. Apart from being the largest body of fresh water in the UK, it is not as attractive and exciting as hyped. There are over 30,000 lochs in the nation. So why spend too much time on or even visit the one that is too famous? You can try to go after the ones off the beaten track among the less famous tourist hubs. They contain a very rich history. You can even ask the locals.

  1. Visiting on a Sunday

We all know what Sunday is known for in the west. It is a rest day and a day of worship. Scotland is not an exception here. One of the things not to do in Scotland is to visit on a Sunday. If you do, do not expect to find most shops open. You also won’t have many places to go because most tourist centers will be closed.

  1. Asking People About Clans

That is a serious don’t of visiting Scotland. Are you from a clan? If you are not, why worry anyone about clans? Even if you are from a clan, Scottish are not from a clan. So no one in Scotland is concerned about clans. It will be a distracting and nauseating discussion. It only brings back the depressing memories of the 17th century.

It was then that people had an unwholesome affinity to clans. If any tourist store tries to convince you that your clan has some famous iconic tartan, the store is just making that up as a part of sales gimmicks. You don’t have to buy into the hyped clan stuff as overplayed by movies and TV shows. It is just a way of getting into your wallet.

  1. Disparaging the Loch Ness Monster

The Loch Ness Monster is a Scottish legend. It is the most famous fictional export and some Scottish people will go to any length to prove its existence. They so much love it.

If you have to crack some denigrating joke or make some otherwise disparaging comments about what some Scots surprisingly believe in, you should know what you’re inviting. To them, there’s a weird half-dinosaur being in the depths of the nation’s biggest loch. Of course, some Scottish people question its existence. Yet, those who completely reject the legendary myth dare not say so since some Scotsmen and Scotswomen hold Loch Ness Monster in deference.


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  1. Skipping the Islands

There are over 900 islands in Scotland and some of them are incredible. We can chronicle them from the world-famous Skye to charming Arran. There are other frankly bizarre tiny settlements. The truth is that you will find some of the most attractive and incredible islands on the planet in Scotland. With a simple ferry ride, you will be able to visit these islands. Skipping them is one of the don’ts of visiting Scotland because they’re absolutely worth it. Some tourists even visit Scotland principally to see these islands.

  1. Leaving Stuff Behind

This is the final one of the things not to do in Scotland. Remember the old camping line: “Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints,” and kindly apply this when visiting Scotland. While it is quite a camping-friendly nation, it will remain that way if tourists keep it that way. So camp sensibly, responsibly, and respectfully. Be careful of campfires. Consider the landscape and inhabitants. Tidy up your campsite and avoid leaving stuff behind.


Scotland is a nice place to visit. But the memories that tourists will bring back depend on their words and actions during the visit. Bear in mind these 12 things not to do in Scotland. I appreciate that there are other don’ts of visiting Scotland. If you have any more to share, please let us know in the comment section below.

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