If you and your travelling companion - Mr S I take it - are both willing to trade off driving and navigating, so much the better. Get to know the road signs, markings, and expectations that are part of driving in the UK. Single track roads mean just that: one lane of tarmac for all traffic. They are a bit hair-raising at first, but keep in mind that there are plenty of marked passing places; use caution and good driving skillls and all should be well.
If your mobile phone will work in Scotland then buy a Sim card there and ensure your phone is charged. You may not need to use it, but it's a handy thing to have in case of emergency. Ensure you put the correct fuel in the car. At the petrol station unleaded fuel will be dispensed from a pump with a green handle; black handles are for diesel. Keep a few coins at hand for pay and display car parks. If the weather is fine then driving through the Scottish countryside and stopping to sightsee can be wonderful. Have a go and enjoy your holiday.
If I can do it, anyone can. I drive a stick shift every day so I am good on that, but if you are unfamiliar, ask in advance for an automatic. They are not common there. Shifting with your left hand isn't difficult if you already know what you are doing. Just be aware that the roads are somewhat narrower and in some towns, people park halfway up on the sidewalk. Away from the cities, like where you want to go, you will find driving a joy.
Kill someone by driving on wrong side of road? 'It happens,' says Trump | HeraldScotland
There are a zillion things that will catch your eye and you will want to stop and explore. My experience when I started driving on the right in Europe was that the first few hours are terrifying and a lot of concentration is needed for the first few days. When we drive on the 'wrong' side, in France , the only time there's any problem is pulling out onto the road onto the wrong side. This usually happens on a quiet road with no signs to remind you - maybe you stopped to look at the view, or to get some fuel.
The actual driving bit is, surprisingly, exactly the same as you're used to! Sometimes junctions 'feel' wrong, but lane markings, signs etc. I always find the first 20 mins of driving on the wrong side worse, then it becomes second nature, but I always get confused when i get home. The worse is using the channel tunnel, you drive onto it on the left, 30mins later you drive off on the right.
You will be fine, though I will just say this, beforeyou come make sure you understand how roundabouts work. To follow on from kansasbeck, ask for an automatic when organising the car and this will give you one less thing to worry about. MartinC has a point and it is usually pulling out onto a road which will give you most trouble, so take extra care if you stop for fuel, or a break and especially when you leave your lodging for the night. Have a look. One thing I would advise is not to allow traffic to build up behind you and if you notice this happening do allow people to overtake wherever it is safe to do so.
Although the good folk at Secret Scotland should already have taken this into account.
Kill someone by driving on wrong side of road? 'It happens,' says Trump
Out of curiosity I notice you are interested in Clava, Culloden and Callanish and wonder if you are inspired to visit Scotland because of the Outlander novels? I think the adventures of Jamie and Claire have encouraged many a visitor to these shores. But whatever your reasons for wanting to come to Scotland, enjoy! Being on wrong side of car is usually a good reminder. It's surprisingly easy and, once you've been doing it for 30 minutes or so, you will feel a lot more confident. If you can, avoid picking up your rental car in a busy town centre, this will make the first few miles of driving a lot easier - airport locations are usually a better place to collect a car , and you stand a better chance of getting an auto if that's what you require.
I went last year for the first time with my mother, and we had a wonderful time! But for me it was also the "wrong side" to drive on so here's my reflections on it:. Picking the car up on the airport to drive in to Edinburgh at 10 pm might seem like a good idea while looking at the map, but it's really not. First time driving on the left side, at night time, going in to a big city is utterly stupid. Waking up early the day after still shaking from last night, and getting in to the car and finding your way out of said city - in daylight with loads of traffic - is certainly no fun either.
Pick up car outside big city. Know that distances will take a lot longer than you anticipate. Keep mantra "left side, watch the signs" in your head the first day. Let cars pass you as much as possible. Scots are used to their roads and tend to want to go a little bit faster than you do.
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You will manage though it is a bit scary at first. But honestly, once I got home I actually missed driving on the "wrong side" of the road :.
Oh, one more thing! If you have as someone else also suspected read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon I can say this: Culloden is a sad place to visit. But fantastic. Guyana former British colony and Suriname former Dutch colony are the two countries in South America that still drive on the left. Finally, while the overall trend has been for countries to switch from driving on the left to driving on the right, Samoa did the opposite in and went from being a right driving country to a left.
Have any thoughts about driving on the left vs driving on the right? Please leave them in the comment section below:. Myanmar formerly Burma was a British colony until , and drove on the left until , when it changed sides. It is said that in the ruler of the country at that time, General Ne Win, ordered everyone to start driving on the right side of the road, on the advice of a wizard.
However, virtually every vehicle is right-hand-drive, since there are still many old cars and buses driving around and almost all the modern cars are second-hand imports from Japan.
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You can still even see old traffic lights in downtown Rangoon on the wrong side of the road. We drive on the correct side. You pass each other on your right — the hand most people hold a sword with. Is it? The Romans also rode on the right, and just consider most people are right-handed, not left-handed. Most people are right-handed so keeping your right hand on the steering wheel whilst changing gear with the left will reduce the likelihood of accidents.
Nervous about driving on the "wrong side" of the road - Scotland Forum
The brake handle on horse-drawn wagons also used to be on the right because most people are right-handed. The above is not meant to imply that you should all start driving on the left — please wait until the rest of your country does. While Australia is the only entire continent driving on the left and North America is the only Continent were every one drives on the right.
At least in Australia everyone use the same measure for distance and speed.
So driving on the left wins because of simplicity. When I have traveled to left-sided driving countries, I usually adapt pretty quickly.
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