Find everything you need to plan your trip to Scotland from England and Wales, including current Covid-19 restrictions and information on transport options.
Can I travel from England and Wales?
Yes. You can travel to Scotland and stay overnight from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
You cannot travel to Scotland from Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen. This applies from midnight on Sunday 23 May, and Manchester and Salford from Monday 21 June, this will be reviewed weekly.
Can I visit friends and family in Scotland?
Yes. You can travel to Scotland to visit friends and family and can stay overnight.
How many people can I travel with?
You will be able to travel with people from your household or support bubble.
For an overnight stay in accommodation, you should still have one bedroom per household. For self-catering/unstaffed accommodation, you can follow the rules for indoor socialising, and share between 6 people from 3 households.
You can meet people outdoors or enjoy outdoor hospitality - this is limited to 8 people from 8 households in level 2 or 12 people from 12 households for level 1.
You can also meet people indoors for food & drink, but this is limited to 6 people from 3 households in level 2 or 8 people from 3 households for level 1.
Are there any special restrictions on travel from England and Wales?
No. Only those travelling from outside of the UK (or Common Travel Area) are expected to need to quarantine. See Travelling To & Around Scotland for more information.
VISITING THE ISLANDS
Anyone visiting Scotland's islands is:
- Encouraged to take two lateral flow tests before travelling.
- The first test should be three days before you travel.
- The second test on the day of travel.
- If you test positive, you would be able to take a more-sensitive PCR test to confirm the result before cancelling your visit.
- Find out more on details around how to order a rapid lateral flow test.
- You can order the lateral flow kit directly from the UK Government.
PLANNING YOUR FUTURE TRIP
WHEN WILL BUSINESSES REOPEN IN SCOTLAND?
From the 26 April:
- All retail premises, libraries, museums and galleries, and accommodation will be able to reopen.
- Hospitality will be able to reopen outdoors for serving alcohol and will open indoors for food and soft drinks.
From the 17 May:
- Amusement arcades
- Small scale outdoor and indoor events.
HOW BUSINESSES ARE PREPARING FOR REOPENING
We'll be asking businesses to say "We're Open" so you're able to search our site and see what's available for your trip. Just use our search facility which is automatically set to show We're Open businesses.
We've also introduced a new scheme - Good to Go - where businesses can sign up to complete a Covid-19 risk assessment. This scheme is now part of the global Safe Travels scheme, so it's even more reassurance for our international visitors.
Accommodation - hotels, self-catering, camping and more.
Outdoor Activities - watersports, cycling, walking, fishing, golf.
Attractions - castles, museums, galleries, parks, gardens, monuments.
Food & Drink - pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars.
Find out more on Good to Go.
WHEN YOU'RE HERE IN SCOTLAND
Download the Protect Scotland app for free from the Apple and Google stores. The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another user who has tested positive for coronavirus. It supports contact tracing and works through Bluetooth anonymously, protecting your privacy.
Maintain a 2 m distance from anyone outside your household, unless in hospitality where a 1 m distance is allowed.
Wear a face covering on public transport, in shops, tourist attractions, cinemas and pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés, when not at your table.
Pay by contactless card - most businesses prefer not to take cash right now.
If you develop Covid-19 symptoms, self-isolate and follow the advice from the Scottish Government.
Take advantage of food and drink businesses offering delivery and collection, especially in our cities. Check out places you can buy quality local food and drink.
When it comes to getting to Scotland from the rest of mainland Britain it's really very easy indeed. With the great range of rail, air and road options, you could be in Scotland in time for dinner, or even lunch!
Glasgow and Edinburgh are both served by frequent direct train services from London, and are easily reached from other main English towns and cities, though you may have to change trains en route.
- LNER (formerly Virgin Trains East Coast) depart from London King's Cross and run up the east coast via Peterborough, York and Newcastle to Edinburgh, with some continuing on to Glasgow, Aberdeen or Inverness.
- Avanti West Coast run up the west coast from London Euston via Crewe, Preston and Carlisle to Glasgow.
- Overnight sleeper services from London Euston also operate to a number of Scottish cities via the west coast route.
Services from other areas
There are a number of long-distance direct services to Scotland that begin from outside London:
- Avanti West Coast runs services from Birmingham to Edinburgh or Glasgow.
- CrossCountry services link Cardiff, Paignton, Penzance, Bournemouth and Brighton with Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, via Birmingham.
- First TransPennine Express operate direct services to Edinburgh and Glasgow from Manchester Airport via Manchester, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme Lake District and Carlisle.
Timetables and UK fare information
- For all train times to Scotland and fares across the UK network, visit National Rail Enquiries.
- For any other rail travel information including rail operators serving Scotland, visit Traveline Scotland.
Flying to Scotland from elsewhere in the UK is the generally the fastest travel option. This is particularly true if your ultimate destination is beyond the major cities or on any of the islands.
In addition to regular carriers such as British Airways and BMI, Scotland is well served by the budget airlines operating from airports around London and from other area hubs on routes to Scotland's major city and regional airports.
To find flights and fares to Scotland's major airports, search on comparison sites such as:
The two main driving routes to Scotland from the south are via the east of England on the A1, or via the west using the M6, A74 (M) and M74.
The A1, which passes by Peterborough, Doncaster, Newcastle and Berwick-upon-Tweed, gives you the option of branching off onto the A68, which takes the hilly but scenic route over the border at Carter Bar and adds an hour or so to the journey time.
The M6 route, which goes around Birmingham, between Manchester and Liverpool and on to Carlisle, offers at least dual-carriageway driving the whole way.
As you travel into Scotland look out for scenic driving routes that include plenty of great attractions to stop off at.
If travelling via the M6 consider taking the Borders Historic Route to Edinburgh, following the A7, or the Galloway Tourist Route, which begins on the A75 and travels to Dumfries before carrying on to Ayr.
From the A74 you can also join the South West Coastal 300, which travels in a beautiful circular route around the Dumfries & Galloway and Ayrshire coastline, or travel on towards Glasgow via the Clyde Valley Tourist Route.
Find more driving routes in Scotland.
Plan ahead - think about your route planning and get live traffic updates.
- Information and advice on driving on Scottish roads
- Park and ride locations
- Find a petrol station
- Find an LPG station
You can easily get to Scotland by road from the rest of Britain. Coach services duplicate many train routes, often with much cheaper ticket prices.The frequency of service is often similar to that of the train, although longer distance journey times are usually much longer by coach.
- Coach services to Scotland are operated by National Express, which runs routes to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.
- Megabus and Megabus Gold cover some routes including Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Perth. On some overnight services, passengers have their own berth as well as a standard seat for greater comfort during their journey.
- Full details of coach routes and timetables of services running to Scotland can be found on the Traveline website.