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lindatx May 23rd, 2016 01:20 PM

3 weeks in Scotland, no car
 
Hi all, Helping my daughter plan 3 weeks in Scotland from 8/29 to 9/17 before starting a semester in Spain. She will be almost 22 and has previously solo-traveled Iceland and Budapest. She'll be flying into Glasgow and wants to do a lot of hiking/exploring, interest in museums and history, with a hostel budget. I've never been, so I'd love some advice from the experts given that info. Initial thoughts:

Arrive Glasgow - 3 days, then bus/train to Edinburgh
Edinburgh - 3 days, bus to Cairngorms National Park
Cairngorms - 2 days, bus to Inverness
Inverness to Fort Williams, combo walking, bus, train, boat? - 4 days
Jacobite Train from Fort William to Mallaig - spend a day in Mallaig, 2 days
Ferry to Skye - 4 days
2 days to get from Skye back to Edinburgh

Does this route make sense and is it doable via bus & train? Anything redundant or a "must see" missing?

Thanks for any and all advice!

janisj May 23rd, 2016 01:30 PM

>>spend a day in Mallaig<<

There is nothing to do in Mallaig except maybe a quick meal and a short walk about. She should get on the very next ferry and head over to Skye that same afternoon.

>>Inverness to Fort Williams, combo walking, bus, train, boat? - 4 days
Jacobite Train from Fort William to Mallaig - spend a day in Mallaig, 2 days
Ferry to Skye - 4 days<<

This whole bit is very confusing. Do you mean 4 days getting to Ft William, 2 days getting to Mallaig and 4 days on Skye?

If it was me after a couple of days in Glasgow, I'd take the train from Glasgow to Ft William and on to Mallaig, then straight on to Skye (Glasgow > Ft William > Mallaig > Skye would all be on the same day), then train from Kyle of Loch Alsh to Inverness then tran from Inverness to Edinburgh.

lindatx May 23rd, 2016 01:46 PM

Great info on Mallaig, thanks

And yes, idea is to take 4 days to do the journey from Inverness to Fort Williams, take the Jacobite train to Mallaig, then ferry to Isle Skye and have 4 days on Skye.

(And based on your advice, after arrival in Mallaig, take ferry next morning to Skye)

She has read alot of great things about the walk from Inverness to Fort Williams along Loch Ness and included Cairngorm for more time in the Highlands. But perhaps that is redundant?

Also, just noticed an error in my original post - she is leaving out of Glasgow as well, so back to Glasgow by the 17th or 18th. Looks like there is a bus from Kyle of Lochalsh, which looks like a beautiful spot.

PalenQ May 23rd, 2016 01:58 PM

Inverness to Fort Williams, combo walking, bus, train, boat? - 4 days
Jacobite Train from Fort William to Mallaig - spend a day in Mallaig, 2 days
Ferry to Skye - 4 days
2 days to get from Skye back to Edinburgh>

I'd suggest to me a more logical routing which I took once:

Inverness to Kyle of Lochlash on a very scenic railway - then bus over the bridge to Skye

when leaving Skye take the very very scenic West Highlands Rail Line from Maillag (yes a nothing transit town- quite down at its heels when I was there several years ago) - take that to Fort Williams and detour up a bit for a little of that walk - then take the train to Edinburgh.

Not sure how long it would take to walk from Inverness to Ft William but seems a fair hike - maybe do a bit from Inverness and Ft William - along two different lochs?

For lots of British trains check www.seat61.com - the expert on discounted tickets if available on your trains and for general info www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com. There used to be a Scottish Travel Pass valid for buses and trains and some boats - not sure it is still around but check.

PalenQ May 23rd, 2016 02:00 PM

https://www.scotrail.co.uk/offers/tr...and-travelpass

Yes there is a Scottish Rail Pass but not valid on buses or boats I think but take a look and see if it fits in - just jump on any train. Buses tend to be dirt-cheap for local runs

lindatx May 23rd, 2016 02:21 PM

More great info, thanks so much!

lindatx May 23rd, 2016 02:40 PM

From Edinburgh to Inverness, is Cairngorm worth a stop? Or would sites around Inverness be better? Or both...?


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