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Scotland

Climate

The temperature in Edinburgh in June is warm; between 14 and 18°, however we recommend that you bring warm clothes for the evenings. For up to date weather reports please click on the following link: UK weather

Currency

The local currency is Sterling, the UK/British Pound £ (GBP). Euros are not used in the UK although many large hotels and shops do accept them, but you may not be offered the best exchange rate. In Scotland you will receive notes printed by the Scottish Banks from an ATM (see below) or as change. These look different to those issued in England. The different types of notes are interchangeable within the UK.

Tax

The current rate of Value Added Tax (purchase tax) in the United Kingdom is 20%. 

Credit Cards

All major credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, shops, cafés and restaurants. You should always carry photographic ID as you may be asked for this when making a transaction. American Express (AMEX) is accepted less widely in the UK.

ATM/Cash Machines

There are many ATM’s in Edinburgh either beside banks or as stand-alone cash-points. Sterling can be withdrawn from these machines by using a credit/debit card (charges apply in some cases).

Banks & Foreign Exchange Bureaux

Banks are open from 9:30 – 17:00 from Monday to Friday, and some larger branches also operate on a Saturday until 12.00.

Alternatively there are many post offices and foreign exchange bureaux, although they usually charge higher rates of commission than banks. Avoid changing money or cheques in hotels, as the rates are usually quite high.

Driving
Driving is on the left-hand side of the road. To drive in Scotland, you must have a valid driving licence. A foreign licence is valid in the UK for up to 12 months.  It is compulsory to wear seat belts in the front seat and if your car has seat belts in the back, they must also be worn.

Electricity

The UK and Republic of Ireland use a power outlet plug and socket system which is a different design to other European countries: (3 pin rectangular rather than 2/3 pin round). Adaptors can be purchased in the airports and electrical shops.

Emergency Phone Numbers

Dial 999 for fire, police, ambulance or coastguard services. 

Health

No vaccinations are required for visiting Scotland.

When travelling to Scotland from outside of the UK, make sure you know what emergency healthcare you are entitled to, what medicines you can bring into the country, what to do in an emergency, and what travel insurance you will need.

The Scottish Government provides detailed information on healthcare for overseas visitors in PDF, audio and large-print formats.

Medical Treatment

If you become ill while visiting the UK, you can receive free emergency treatment in the Accident and Emergency departments of National Health Service hospitals. However, if you are admitted to hospital as an in-patient, or referred to an out-patient clinic, you will be asked to pay.

In the UK you can buy over-the-counter (non-prescription), medications as well as get expert medical advice at pharmacies – often called chemists.

Pharmacies are usually open from 09:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays and limited availability on Sundays. However, in Edinburgh you will find a number of pharmacies open late during the week and on the weekend. For more information and to find a pharmacy near you, visit the National Health Service pharmacy information website.

Language

English is the national language.

Restaurants & Bars

Meals are normally taken earlier than in other European Cities, so please remember this when making dinner plans as restaurants tend to be busiest around 19.30-20.30hrs.

Lunch – 12.00-14.00hrs (most people take no more than one hour for lunch)

Dinner – 18.00-22.00hrs (many restaurants may stop serving food after 22.00hrs)

Bars are open for lunch and usually close at 23.30hrs with nightclubs open until 03.00 in the morning.

Taxis

The traditional ‘Black Cab’ is the most popular type of taxi and these can be pre-booked or can be stopped in the street when the ‘TAXI’ sign is illuminated.

Edinburgh airport has a fleet of taxis which do not need to be pre-booked.

Private Taxis (i.e. non-black cab) must be pre-booked and cannot be stopped in the street.

Time

It will be British Summer Time (GMT + 1) for the duration of the conference.

Tipping

Tipping is at your discretion.  Service is not normally included in restaurant, hotel and taxi bills. 10%-15% is the normal rate to add to the bill if you wish.

Smoking
Smoking, including electronic cigarettes, are banned in all public places including all enclosed or partly enclosed public areas.

Travel Insurance

Please make sure that you have valid travel insurance to cover your time in the country.

The Organisers will not be held liable for illness, accidents or thefts suffered by participants or accompanying persons during the conference or their stay in the UK before or after the conference.

Wi-Fi

Free WiFi is live throughout Edinburgh city centre, bringing free outdoor high-speed internet connectivity to visitors and residents.

Save your phone’s data connection while you’re exploring the city centre – EdiFreeWifi provides a free outdoor internet connection without cost or limits on time, so you can share photos, find transport timetables, look up directions, find a restaurant and more while out and about in the city.

Simply select ‘EdiFreeWiFi’ from the list of available wireless networks on your device, register to use the service – either with a valid email address, or, if you have a Facebook account, with your Facebook username and password and enjoy your free WiFi connection!