How can an American blend in while touring Scotland?

Whenever you travel to a foreign country, there is a certain anxiety involved. You ask yourselves all sorts of questions like: 


Will I understand anyone?
Will anyone understand me?
Am I going to offend everyone?
Do I know enough about the culture?


You may be wondering how best to blend in with the locals so that you can avoid any difficulties. But if you are coming to Scotland then we can tell you with absolute certainty that there is no need for you to blend in! It’s important to be yourself when you’re out meeting new people, so don’t try and hide your light. And, if you choose to explore Scotland with one of our Scottish Tours, our expert guides will be sure to keep you on the right track. That said, we do have a few tips and tricks to make your trip to Scotland as smooth as possible! 

Referring to Scotland or the UK as England

Old Map of Scotland / Image Source / License 

On the whole, us Scots are a pretty relaxed bunch, but if there is one thing that we can find a bit irritating it’s when people refer to Scotland as England. We’re a proud nation with a rich history and to call our country by another name can make us a little upset. This isn’t because we hate England or the English (we don’t!), it’s simply because it’s wrong. 

Putting on a Scottish accent

The best Scottish accents come from Highland cows…

Whilst we all enjoy playing around with accents, it’s probably fair to say that the Scottish accent is one of the more difficult ones to attempt. Feel free to try it out but don’t put an accent on for the duration of your stay… 

And whilst we’re on the topic of accents, we have one more tip: try not to make a big deal about the accents you hear. You may find them charming, or you may find them difficult to follow but, either way, talking about them a lot can sometimes come across as patronising. Err on the side of caution and just let the Scottish brogue wash over you! 

Scottish Politics 

If you talk politics, be sure to do it over a pint! / Image Source / License 

Scottish people often enjoy a bit of banter about politics and the political climate, but when it comes to topics like independence and Brexit, whilst you might have read a lot, it’s probably better for you to take a more listening role when discussing them. Feel free to ask questions, but as an outsider it’s probably wise not to express too much of an opinion on the matters at hand. 

Scottish Ethnicity

The flower of Scotland is prickly but the Scottish people aren’t!

Ideas like ethnicity vary quite a lot between Scotland and America. In Scotland, we tend to regard people as Scottish if they’ve grown up surrounded by Scottish culture and participated in that culture. “Scottish” is a cultural identity, rather than something tied to DNA so we see “Scots-American” as a specifically American idea. That said we’re happy to see Scots-Americans visiting the country of their ancestors and learning more about it. Come and join us! 

So, there you have a few of our tips on the best way to enjoy your Scottish adventure. Essentially, the most important thing is that you enjoy yourself and if you’re having a good time and learning about Scotland, then the people around you will be happy too. If any of our Scottish tours piqued your interest, or if you want to find out more about a customized tour of Scotland, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Scotland is waiting for your visit!

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