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Scottish £

I am exchanging dollars for pounds in the US before traveling to Scotland. Do I ask for Scottish pounds or British pounds? I know that either are acceptable.

Posted by
9110 posts

Belfast, Scotland?

Great Britain, an island, does not issue currency, that right is reserved to nations.

If you're landing at Turnhouse, there's nothing but AmExp machines and booths on the arrivals level. Walk to the other end of the short terminal, go up the escalator, and around the corner by the Nero coffee place and there's a bunch of bank ATMs. It'll look like you're heading toward departure security, but everything's outside the checkpoints.

Posted by
9110 posts

Pound sterling is the currency. GBP is customarily only used as an abbreviation when there's no £ around -- it's not exactly something you see on price tags.

It's the Bank of England notes that are universally accepted throughout Britain.

I'm not even sure you could find either Northern Ireland or Scottish notes outside of the United Kingdom.

Posted by
5461 posts

Just ask for Pounds Sterling. And personally, I always arrive with a few Pounds in my wallet so I don't have to find an ATMthe minute I land.

Pam

Posted by
5817 posts

If you asked the "average man on the street" over here they probably wouldn't be able to tell you the difference between "Great Britain" and the "UK". In normal conversation they are(admittedly wrongly) used interchangeably. That said I would imagine people in Northern Ireland use them more accurately.

The one to get right is England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. People do use these accurately and will correct you if you get it wrong. You often see this in these forums when people accidentally post questions about Edinburgh in the England Forum.

As a rule we use the £ on price tags but occasionally you will see GBP on price tags for clothing if the company sells across Europe and they use the same price tag for all countries.

Just ask for pounds sterling and you will be fine

Posted by
4468 posts

Three private banks produce notes for circulation primarily in Scotland. One of these (RBS) does notionally still produce one pound notes but they are uncommon, and I struggle to remember the last time when in Scotland that I have seen one in a transaction but I daresay it still happens. The other two stopped some years ago.

Posted by
1239 posts

The RBS apparently issue £1 notes but like Marco I have not seen one for about a decade, despite living in Scotland and banking with the RBS!

If you have a choice of ATMs go for Clydesdale Bank. In my opinion the notes are better looking than the other two, with the Bank of Scotland in second place. The RBS notes have not changed in years and are a bit uninspired.

Posted by
9110 posts

A small quirk, but don't panic if it happens.

I spend more time in Scotland than I probably should. I carry two ATM cards. One will absolutely not work in a BoS machine, but works all over the rest of the world including RBS and Clydesdale, the other works fine.

I have a friend with the same problem, but we have no banks in common. Other people we know think we're both nuts since they don't have the problem.

Posted by
1239 posts

It might change if (fingers crossed), the Scots bugger off in the
forthcoming referendum. But for the moment, a "Scottish pound" is a
"British pound". I suspect you won't get anything other than the BoE
notes if you buy in the US, but if you do get some Scotch versions,
then there is no reason to worry.

Keith, we're planning to stay. Even if we leave, we're keeping sterling, because we love our neighbours south of the Border. BTW, Scotch is something you drink, Scots or Scottish is everything else.

Posted by
1239 posts

Keith, dinnae be feart! We're here to stay, terms and conditions apply.

Only special people get to call us 'Scotch', they need to be saying it with love and possibly elderly. Or American. Actually I think elderly and American is probably it. Up here it is 'pancakes or English Pancakes/crepes'.

Actually we cannot even decide on what a pancake is. Might as well vote yes....

Posted by
5461 posts

My English grandmother always told me the same, Scotch is a drink not person! :)

Pam

Posted by
4468 posts

It is a usage that changed over the centuries. Robert Burns refers to a number things being Scotch including himself (Scotch Bard).

The old saying was only things that could be bought should be called Scotch: whisky, broth, eggs and politicians.

Keep taking the tablet :)

Posted by
1239 posts

Keep taking the tablet :)

Have you tried tablet when visiting Scotland? Worth a shot, its like crunchy fudge.

Posted by
4468 posts

Yes that is what I was alluding to. At the place I was working at few years ago a colleague regularly brought back excellent tablet home made by her mother.

Posted by
4 posts

I think the gist of my question has been lost! The first couple of replies gave me the information I requested.

Posted by
1579 posts

I would suggest that you try to spend all of your Scottish bank notes before you leave Scotland. Some of the shops in northern England weren't willing to take Scottish pounds the last time we visited.

Posted by
11681 posts

Yes answered but a summary might be useful. Get your currency from an ATM on arrival in Scotland for the best rates. If you want to have 50£ or so in hand when you land ( which we always do) just ask for pounds sterling and you will most likely get Bank of England notes. They are acceptable all over the UK, including Scotland.

For the bulk of your currency, you still have a choice between English and Scottish notes, depending on the ATM you use. My sister used an HSBC ATM in Glasgow and got Bank of England notes. I used a Bank of Clydesdale machine and got their own issue---very nice as reported above. I kept a few as souvenirs ( and to spend next trip). We did get funny looks when we tried to spend the Scottish banknotes at a grocery store in the north of England. We ended up exchanging them at a bank ( for free) to avoid further delays/questions.

But if you will only be in Scotland on your trip it won't matter.

Posted by
3262 posts

We just returned from Scotland. The bills from the ATMs we used were from Scottish banks, so they dispensed Scottish-designed bills. Merchants sometimes gave us English-designed bills as change, so we had a mix of Elizabeth II and other people on our currency.

The 2nd-floor ATMs Ed mentions at the Edinburgh airport are directly across from the "Eat" food vendor's counter, but we could see the Nero coffee a short distance away. Exiting the 2nd-floor bathrooms, those dark-blue RBS ATMs are just ahead and to your left. We were able to withdraw 400 pounds at a time from ATMs (didn't ask for more, but maybe we could've gotten more if we tried).