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Lodging in Scotland and hair dryers?

Packing for our 10 day tour and trying to avoid bringing unnecessary items. Anyone have experience with hotels/bed and breakfasts on the tour or in Scotland in general? Do they often have hair dryers available? Thanks!

Posted by
690 posts

We stayed in guest houses and they all had hair dryers, which has been my experience in Europe. In Great Britain, hair dryers cannot be used in the bathroom for safety reasons. The outlets in bathrooms only accept electric razors. The hair dryers will be in a desk drawer, or closet. There was always a mirror in the bedroom to use.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks all--I was able to email 2 of the locations that did not have the info on their websites and have already heard back from 1 that does, so fingers crossed. Since I don't fully dry my hair, only use it to style my crazy curly hair before it dries, I figure I can always go "natural" if that last location doesn't have one. Thanks for your help!

Posted by
69 posts

I have curly hair as well, and I have always just hoped for the best after I nearly burned down an London hotel trying to use my American hairdryer on a converter many years ago. Most hotel have OK hairdryers - not great for curly hair, but will at least get you somewhat dry. B&Bs tend to have better ones.

Posted by
2926 posts

I noticed in the UK they often store the hair dryer in a desk drawer (not a bathroom drawer, not bathroom cabinet, not bureau, not closet shelf as many US hotels do). Mystery why someone would associate a desk with drying one's hair, but after 4 nights in one hotel letting my hair go totally natural, I finally stumbled on the dryer. Next hotel, checked in, opened desk drawer, there it was. Ditto for next hotel.

The UK has strict regulations on electrical sockets and switches in bathrooms. Only shaver points are allowed. (Remember our domestic power outlets are much more powerful than the US).

So there's no cultural tradition of drying one's hair on the bathroom. As Emma says, a desk doubles as a dressing table, which (in Britain) is the usual place for hair drying.

If you do find a hairdryer in a bathroom it'll be a ridiculously low-powered device with a button you have to keep your finger on.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks for the tip--I don't think I've ever opened the desk drawer in a hotel before so I'm sure I'd be looking all over for the dryer.

Posted by
809 posts

And if you don't find it in a drawer, just ask the proprietor if there is one you can use. That worked for me at two of our B&Bs in England.

Posted by
26 posts

LOL about Hair Dryers. Here is my story. On my 1st European trip we were staying in a Hotel in Venice. I brought with me an old travel size hairdryer, figured I should not have a problem plugging it in in the bathroom. I plugged my hair dryer in but it short circuited the plugged in the bathroom and my hairdryer. I waited 15 mins then moved to another location in the room, the same thing happened again, so I decided to use the outlet in the hallway outside my room and the same thing happened. I didn't realize the dryer didn't convert to 220 voltage. By this time I sent my husband down to the front desk to complain that the dryer kept shorting. The receptionist commented "Oh the American women and their Hairdryers" and told my husband where the nearest salon was. I finally left it damp.
We leisurely went down for breakfast and overheard the Housekeepers complaining the electricity in the building shorted and how they had to carry the laundry up and down the stairs. I'm sure I had something to do with it :(
I still bring my own hairdryer but it is a travel size Dual Voltage 220/110 Babybliss Pro. Works like a
charm:) No more short circuiting outlets!

Posted by
21 posts

We stayed in:

Bell's Brae House in Dean Village (Edinburgh)
Dionard Guest House in Inverness
Grashmor B&B in Isle of Skye (home to a photographer that books photo tours)
Mulroy B&B in Fort William

All of these places are different but loved each of them for different reasons! All of these places had hair dryers :)
We just returned on 7/14 and I feel like I left my heart in Scotland.

Posted by
914 posts

Thank you for explaining the cultural difference.

Hair is much easier (in my opinion) to clean up in a bathroom rather than in a carpeted area, and then there's the whole "I just fixed my tea and ate my biscuit near that desk" thing.

Um, I suppose it's whatever you're used to doing! :)

Posted by
205 posts

Hair is much easier (in my opinion) to clean up in a bathroom rather than in a carpeted area,

As has been explained it's about voltage.

Posted by
214 posts

The places my friend and I stayed at all had a hair I wouldn't bring one if I were you. Your hair may look crazy no matter what (at least mine did due to the humidity) embrace the highland hair...