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Mobile phone signals in scottish highlands


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We're planning to travel around the highlands from perth to inverness, across to skye, down the west highlands and on to mull. We probably won't go any further north than ullapool.

Although I've looked at the coverage of my provider Virgin (on EE), I'm interested in peoples' practical experiences of this rather than what the coverage maps show.

If necessary I'll use another provider's sim card in a second phone if the coverage seems better.

We're not booking campsites in advance but need to be able to contact them as well as getting weather forecasts via the phone etc.


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Hi John,

For the best overall coverage particularly on the west coast it remains hard to beat Vodafone. We keep a Voda PAYG phone going just for when we're sailing on the west. The coverage is very reliable.

O2 comes second, but quite a way behind. Our main phones are on O2 with Tesco and to be honest the coverage is patchy.

Forget 3G on either of the above - I've never seen it away from the main city centres.


I did have an EE phone with Asda PAYG and I was really impressed with it in the NE and Grampian areas. If you had a signal then it seemed that you could almost always get 3G, even in the remotest of places. I never got to try it out west though - I forgot to use it for 3 months so they nicked my credit. I didn't renew it out principal..

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I have travelled there a lot, always used Vodafone and the coverage is pretty good.

But I'm writing to say, you're making a mistake if you're not planning to go further north than Ullapool - time permitting of course.

If you can, head for Lochinver, then round the coast to Kylesku, stopping at Achmelvich and Clachaig. Quite narrow single track roads, but lots of vans do it, I've done it loads towing a caravan, and the scenery is just stunning.

Enjoy. :-D

Just noticed you have a Fifer Touring S, you would have no problem whatsoever on any road in Scotland.

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Thanks for the practical advice about Vodafone. Also the suggestions on places to go.

I've found in the Peak District there are a number of places I can't get a signal with Virgin.

I don't know whether that makes it uncivilised or not?

But as with the Highlands I still like the area

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