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Scottish Breakfast vs English Breakfast – Both Delicious!

Planning on visiting Scotland?

Planning on having breakfast?

Read on to find out the differences between an English and Scottish breakfast.

Here is everything you need to know about a Scottish breakfast vs. and English breakfast.

Links You Might Find Helpful:
Everything You Need to Know about the Scottish Highlands
Scottish Highlands Road Trip
How to See the Scottish Highlands

Wondering About A Scottish Breakfast?

What’s the Difference Between an English Breakfast and a Scottish Breakfast?

A Scottish breakfast is likely to include a potato scone and haggis as breakfast items. It may also include a square or ‘Lorne’ sausage instead of a normal links sausage.

Similar But Different Items in a Scottish Breakfast

Full Scottish Breakfast Vs Full English


Some places offer ‘links sausages’ as well as ‘square’ sausages. Links sausages are your normal tubular sausages, sometimes the frozen variety and sometimes a lovely local sausage lovingly handmade.

Square sausage is something altogether different. Firstly it’s square! It’s not in a casing like a regular sausage. It’s flat and like a little square sausage patty. Generally, a square sausage is made of beef, with rusk and spices rather than pork as you might expect for a breakfast sausage.

The square sausage is often fried. If left under a heat lamp for too long on a buffet breakfast it can curl up at the edges and dry out a bit.

To heighten the complexity square sausages are often referred to as Lorne sausages, but we aren’t quite sure why.

I have to confess to never having tried a square sausage in the 20 years I have lived in Scotland. Sorry!

highland holiday cottages scottish breakfast

Difference Between English and Scottish Breakfast


Porridge is quite a serious subject here in Scotland.

Scottish porridge is generally made with water, none of that fancy milk, or heaven forbid some cream. For those of us who like covering our porridge in all sorts of toppings, syrups, fruits, and nuts that’s not common in Scottish hotels.

Some posh hotels do offer whisky and cream with their Scottish porridge though!

If you are a fan of porridge then Scotland hosts the Golden Spurtle competition, which is the world porridge-making championships. The competition is pretty fierce!

scottish breakfast post picture

Different Scottish Breakfast Items

English Breakfast vs Scottish Breakfast


If you come to Scotland someone will no doubt try and tell you about the creatures that live out in the woods and who run round in clockwise circles, so to catch them you simply go anti-clockwise. Funnily enough, all that is untrue!

Haggis is a collection of offal items cooked inside a skin (traditionally the stomach of a sheep). It can be quite spicy to taste, not hot spicy but spicy because of spices and peppers.

Haggis is often served in slices for breakfast.

You really should try it at least once if you are in Scotland.

There are also now very nice vegetarian haggis options too. They have a completely different texture and flavour but are well worth trying.

Full English vs Full Scottish Breakfast

Potato Scone

When you think of a scone you might think of something light and fluffy hopefully warmed so that your breakfast butter melts into it. That’s not a Scottish potato scone.

Instead, think of something very flat and often quite tough. Some places bake it and some fry it. Let’s just say it’s a bit of a unique experience!

Of course, we don’t often call these potato scones, calling them Tattie scones instead.

Things That Are the Same

Full English vs Full Scottish

Black Pudding

Although black pudding is sometimes served with an English breakfast it is very common to serve it with a Scottish breakfast.

It’s probably best not to dwell on what is actually in the black pudding but just to enjoy eating it. (It’s made with blood and oatmeal if you want to know.)

Black pudding is cooked in a skin and served in slices. It is usually fried because most things on a Scottish breakfast plate are.

There are some very nice vegetarian black pudding options available too, with a very similar texture to the real thing.

They are worth a try just so you know what they are like really.

Mushrooms, beans, eggs, and bacon are also generally served with a full Scottish breakfast so no differences there really.

Fried bread is sometimes available the same as it is with an English breakfast.

You may be surprised to know that a Scottish breakfast is not served with Irn-Bru as the drink but actually with tea or coffee.

Toast is also served with a Scottish breakfast.

sykes highland cottages scottish breakfast

Scottish Breakfast Conclusion

  • If you order a Scottish breakfast you can expect a plate of fried delights with some uniquely Scottish features.
  • Put your qualms aside and try haggis if it’s available, you may be surprised to discover you like it.

Links You Might Find Helpful:
Everything You Need to Know about the Scottish Highlands
Scottish Highlands Road Trip
How to See the Scottish Highlands

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Find more information on my Scottish Highlands page

Further Reading

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