Vintage Pages from early 1996
In memory of Boswell.
Th originals, with similar layout, were written in HTML and HTML 2.0
Pages still have up-to-date and useful information!
This is the River Tweed near Melrose. Many times have I walked up and down these banks. The first time was when I was a puppy and my owner took me along this way in his jacket pocket... that is the way to travel.
Melrose is a typical small Scottish town; a market square, town hall, two churches, a rugby football pitch, butcher, baker, fishmonger, general store, post office and banks.
Advice: Shops, currency, etc
Most shops are open from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Monday to Saturday, with larger stores open on Sundays as well. Banks generally open from 9.30 a.m. to about 4 p.m. Mondays to Fridays (only sometimes on Saturdays. They are the best places to change money. The currency all over Britain is Pounds Sterling (£). Notes come in different shapes and sizes in Scotland as Scottish banks are able to issue their own notes. But they have the same value as the Bank of England notes which are more common.
Credit cards such as Mastercard and Visa are acceptable in most shops except (some) small traders. Hotels generally accept all major credit cards, but Bed and Breakfasts and Guest Houses may or may not, some prefer cash or Traveller's Cheques. The trend (as of 2004) is that credit cards are becoming accepted by even the smallest family Bed and Breakfasts... but you can't always be sure until you ask.
There is a sales tax (V.A.T.) which is levied on all goods and services except for unprepared food bought in shops, and books. If you buy goods in Scotland to take out of the country you may be able to claim back the V.A.T. (currently, 2010, 17.5 per cent) at customs. Check with customs about this when you arrive.
Weights in Britain are measured in Kilograms and Grams, (though many shopkeepers also work in Pounds and Ounces). Petrol/Gasoline and Diesel is sold by the Litre.
Distances are still measured in Miles. Although lengths are increasingly measured in Metres and Centimetres, Feet and Inches are still part of our way of life.
Travelling on a Budget
Everyone has their own way of budgeting for a journey, but its possible to say that if you are travelling on public transport, camping or staying in Youth Hostels and perhaps cooking much of your own food you could get by on about £40 to £80 per person per day, maybe less if you are careful.
A couple renting a car and staying in simple Bed and Breakfasts and eating out at for lunch and dinner could have a good time on about £75 to £150 perperson per day. (These approximations worked out in January 2010)
Note: Accommodation in Edinburgh is generally more expensive, especially during the Edinburgh International Festival (August/September).
A good reason for travelling to Scotland in the winter is that accommodation prices are lower (except for Christmas and New Year), but there are some sites of interest which have limited opening times during winter, although the major ones are usually open all year round.
All you need is a guide book, like Michelin, or Scotland, The Rough Guide, a camera or drawing pad and pencil, binoculars (good for looking at birds, or studying stone carving high up on abbeys and castles), and a sense of adventure... everything else is here, and especially the welcome...
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