How much cash/British pounds to bring with?

Looking forward to my upcoming June 9-22 ESW tour!

Anyone have an opinon re: how much cash to bring? I was thinking about 1K pounds?

Also do I need Scottish pounds too or can I just bring British pounds to use in Scotland?

For gift, tips, unexpected needs. I'm sure credit cards are widely used but I always travel with some cash as backup.


  • Scotland is still part of the UK therefore Pound Sterling.

    We don't have easy access to foreign currency in our city and don't get any until we get to an ATM in the country we're going to. Normally we only get about $100 at a time which is enough for minor purchases like postcards, coffee, etc.

    You can tip in dollars and we often do. In fact, on this tour our TD was an American who didn't live in the UK.

  • Thank you Claudia. Very helpful.

  • You don't need that many pounds. I usually get about 300 and, if needed, get more local currency from ATMs. You can use any left-over pounds to pay incidental charges (such as bar bills or spa services) at the final hotel before putting the balance on a credit card, or include the local currency as part of the tip for the tour director. I usually keep left-over pounds and euros, because I intend to travel back to the countries that use them, but the last time I was in Scotland [2019], I had trouble using English pounds. I had to go to a bank to change any denomination larger than 20. They wanted Scottish pounds! Maybe that's changed since Covid.

  • edited May 11

    You don't need to get a cent (or pence) ahead of time. There are ATMs right by the baggage area at the Edinburgh airport. You don't need to get much. Everyplace accepts credit cards and you'll have other opportunities to get Pounds during the tour. Another use for leftover Pounds is for the Driver's and/or TD's tip - you can mix currency both will be able to use both.

  • First, it’s a good idea to do some research on the difference between Britain and Great Britain, the United Kingdom and the British Isles.
    I think it might be difficult to get Scottish pounds in the US
    Personally, I would not take any more than 100 pounds as credit cards are accepted everywhere. Any money left over can be given as part of your TD tip.
    Right now, it’s more expensive to go to ESW than just weeks ago because of the exchange rate. It’s so easy to exchange currency in Britain compared to in the US that I would not be concerned about giving your tour director your tip in dollars. Just work out the exchange rate if you want to be sure you give the recommended amount.
    Don’t forget, if money is stolen it is gone, if credit cards are stolen you are protected, that’s why one reason it’s a pain to have to take all the cash for your tour Director tip.

  • 1000£...omg, I would never walk around with that much cash, even at home. It's so easy to misplace/drop/lose things while traveling distracted. My shopping in UK is at Boots, M&S, Sainsbury's...all readily accept credit cards. You may need a few pounds for the occasional Scotch egg at a street market and tips, etc. I carry 50-100, then head to a cash machine as needed while on the road.

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