Keeping in Touch while You are In Scotland
Keeping in touch with friends while in Scotland | News Media in Scotland
It is now de rigeur amongst travellers to get an email address you can access through the internet, such as hotmail or yahoo. As in many places, internet access in Scotland is extensive and often easier and more reliable than the phone. Every major town now has at least one internet café, with more springing up daily. Email works out much, much cheaper than phoning home and is also useful for booking hotels and tours and for checking out information on the web. Many hotels now have internet and many hostels also offer internet access to their guests. Websites and email addresses are listed where appropriate in this guide. Cybercafés are also listed under each relevant section. Most of these can be found in Edinburgh and Glasgow. In the absence of any cybercafés listed under a particular town try the public library for internet access or ask at the tourist office.
It's well work worth carry a small headset around so you can plug in to use Skype or some other Internet telephone system.
Most post offices are open Monday-Friday 0900 to 1730 and Saturday 0900 to 1230 or 1300. Smaller sub-post offices are closed for an hour at lunch (1300-1400) and many of them operate out of a shop. Post offices keep the same half-day closing times as shops.
Stamps can be bought at post offices, but also from vending machines outside, and also at many newsagents. A first-class letter to anywhere in the UK costs 27p and should arrive the following day, while second-class letters cost 19p and take between two to four days. Airmail letters of less than 20g cost 37p to Europe. To the USA and Australia costs 45p for 10g and 65p for 20g. For more information about Royal Mail postal services, call Tel 08457-740740 or www.royalmail.com
Telephone Most public payphones are operated by British Telecom (BT) and are fairly widespread in towns and cities, though less so in rural areas. BT payphones take either coins (20p, 50p and £1) or phonecards, which are available at newsagents and post offices displaying the BT logo. These cards come in denominations of £2, £3, £5 and £10. Some payphones also accept credit cards.
For most countries (including Europe, USA and Canada) calls are cheapest between 1800 and 0800 Monday-Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday. For Australia and New Zealand it's cheapest to call from 1430 to 1930 and from midnight to 0700 every day.
Phone codes for towns and cities are given in the margin by the town's heading throughout this book. You don't need to use the area code if calling from the same area. Any number prefixed by 0800 or 0500 is free to the caller; 08457 numbers are charged at local rates and 08705 numbers at the national rate.
To call Scotland from overseas, dial 011 from USA and Canada, 0011 from Australia and 00 from New Zealand, followed by 44, then the area code, minus the first zero, then the number. To call overseas from Scotland dial 00 followed by the country code. Country codes include: Australia 61; Ireland 353; New Zealand 64; South Africa 27; USA and Canada 1.