Do you need a passport to fly to Scotland?

Written by Chris Thornton | 9th of October 2023
Do you need a passport to fly to Scotland?

If you're planning to visit Scotland, you may wonder if you need a passport. The answer is yes—if you're flying into the country, you will need a passport (an international flight). However, if you're taking a train, bus, or driving from another country within the United Kingdom, such as England or Wales, then you will not need a passport.

The United Kingdom is a union of four countries:

  • Scotland

  • England

  • Wales

  • Northern Ireland

You will require a passport to fly into any of these constituent countries from outside of the UK. But travelling internally within the UK, a passport is not required, but check with your airline or ferry provider to be on the safe side.

The United Kingdom left the European Union in 2020, ending free movement between the UK and other European countries. Europeans can still visit with a valid passport and stay for three months without a visa.

Why do you need a passport to fly to Scotland?

Passports are required for international travel by both the UK Government and foreign governments. Scotland is a bona fide country and stands by international travel law like every other nation.

Can I fly internally within the UK without a valid passport?

Technically it's possible, but you may require photographic identification of some sort. So it's best to play it safe and take your passport or get written confirmation from your airline first if you need photo identification.

Can I fly from Northern Ireland to Scotland without a passport?

Yes, it is possible, but again err on the side of caution and, at a minimum, carry photographic identification.

Do you need a passport to fly between England and Scotland?

No, internal flights require no passport, just a photographic ID.

National id card or equivalent travel document may be needed.
A UK Passport.

How long does it take to fly from London to Scotland?

Internal flights from London to Edinburgh only take between 60 and 90 minutes; it's by far the fastest way to get to Scotland from south England. Flights to Glasgow take a similar amount of time.

London to Aberdeen will take a little longer than 90 minutes, but it is ideal if you are looking to visit the northeast of Scotland and Moray.

London to Inverness takes around 100 minutes but is perfect for exploring the Highlands of Scotland.

A variety of London airports provide flights to Scotland, include:

London City Airport. Other foreign nationals may need a visa.
London City Airport has direct connections with Scotland.

The main Scottish airports are:

If your flight is delayed, check to see if flight delays compensation is available.

Scotland by coach

Flying to Scotland would be the most expensive form of transport from London, but many budget airlines are offering cheap flights. If you are on a shoestring budget, Megabus provides a regular service by coach from London to Edinburgh for around £18 for the 8-hour road trip.

Megabus, cheap transport after international flights. European Economic Area.
Megabus - a cheap way to get to Scotland.

Scotland by railway

The UK also has an extensive rail network and is a good compromise on price and speed with the added benefit of travelling through the beautiful countryside. London to Edinburgh via train can be as fast as 4 hours.

sleeper service is also available, including a private cabin with a double bed, washbasin and free Wi-Fi. Be prepared to pay around £400, though!

Driving to Scotland

Travelling by car is the final option, but it's a long drive, potentially taking over 7 to 10 hours to travel the 400 miles. But you have complete control of where you stop and can break up your journey. See my guide to driving in Scotland.

Can tourists drive without a UK driving licence?

Yes, you can use your driving licence from your home country in most cases. You can check using this handy tool from the UK Government website.

How do I apply for a passport if I need one to travel to Scotland?

Passport application procedures vary by country. Generally, you will need to submit an application form, required documentation, and a passport photo to the appropriate government agency. Check your country's government website for specific instructions and processing times.

What are the entry requirements for pets travelling to Scotland?

Pets travelling to Scotland must meet the UK's pet travel requirements. This includes having a microchip, a valid rabies vaccination, and an accompanying pet health certificate. Dogs must also be treated for tapeworms. Check the UK government website for the most up-to-date requirements for pet travel.

Can I use my passport to travel to other parts of the United Kingdom from Scotland?

If you are a non-UK citizen, you can use your passport to travel within the United Kingdom, including England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. UK citizens do not need a passport for domestic travel but should carry a valid photo ID.

Key takeaways:

  • You will need a valid passport to fly into Scotland or any UK country from outside the UK.

  • You can travel internally within the UK without a passport but take some form of photo ID.

  • Internal flights are the fastest way to travel within the UK.

  • Megabus is the cheapest for internal travel but also the slowest.

  • It is recommended that you have at least six months left on your passport before it expires when travelling to Scotland, so renew it at your nation's passport office.

  • You will also need a passport if you are planning to travel to any other country after your visit to Scotland, even if you are just passing through the airport in that country.

National identity card and passports.
A collection of UK passports.


Passports are required for all international air travel into Scotland. However, if you're taking the train, car or ferry from another country within the UK, you won't need one.

For more information on passports and travel to Scotland, you can visit the official UK Government website about entering the UK.

Further reading: Is Scotland a safe country?

All information was correct at the time of writing, please check things like entry costs and opening times before you arrive.

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Hi, please leave a comment below, or why not start a discussion on the forum?


12th of August 2023 @ 11:43:34

Hi Marie, you do not need a visa.

12th of August 2023 @ 08:15:33

Do I need a visa to travel to Scotland from England as a UK resident