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Exploring Scotland from Glasgow

Old Jul 18th, 2017, 10:03 AM
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Exploring Scotland from Glasgow

Hello! I am going to be working from Glasgow for a day in late September, and I'd like to take some time to explore the country. I have previously spent a day in Edinburgh but that's the extent of my Scotland experience. I could spend as much as 8 days over there and will be traveling by myself without a car. From what I can see, there are lots of day tours or up to 3 day trips from Glasgow. Does it make sense to base myself there and take a few different trips, or can anyone recommend a group that does a longer tour? Cost is not a huge factor. I would welcome any suggestions on how to structure my trip or links to similar discussions.
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Old Jul 18th, 2017, 10:38 AM
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Check out Rabbies Tours. They do wonderful 1 to 5 day small group tours from both glasgow and edinburgh
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Old Jul 18th, 2017, 11:46 AM
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Thank you! I am checking them out.
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Old Jul 18th, 2017, 01:27 PM
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On your own you can take a couple of Europe's most scenic railways for such an itinerary:

Glasgow to Ft William -good base for escorted or on your own forays into the Highlands and the desolate Rannoch Moor.

Then take really scenic West Highlands Railway to Maillag -scenes from Harry Potter were shot at points on this line.

From Maillag ferry to Isle of Skye and take buses around - leave Skye by bridge to Kyle of Lochlash to pick up another of Britain's most scenic railways -to Inverness and Loch Ness

return to Glasgow by train.

All easily done: for info on Scottish trains -www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

There is also a Scottish Railpass that I believe also covers some boats: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/tickets/c...it-of-scotland on which you can just hop on any train or ferry covered.

A guided tour from Glasgow can be really nice if you just want to go with the tour flow and janis (one of Fodor's Scottish experts)- her recommendation of a Rabbies tour is a great idea if taking tours.
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Old Jul 18th, 2017, 02:04 PM
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A few caveats regarding Pal's post. Fort Williams is one of the least appealing towns in Scotland. It's not horrible but with so many other options why bother.

The route from Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness does not go by Loch Ness, although the loch is close by.


>

There are bus routes through out Skye, rhe problem is that they are not geared for tourists, so getting to several sites in one day is at best difficult. Also they don't go near many of the more popular sites. Really buses on Skye are generally a PIA.

The West Highland Line actually runs through Rannoch Moor and is the best way to see the moor as opposed to a tour from Fort William to Rannoch Moor if such is even offered.

I have traveled Scotland by both car and train traveling the routes Pal mentioned several times. I have also done several Rabbies tours. While I love the train routes, I would never consider using buses on Skye. The Rabbies tours does give you the opportunity for an expert guide which is always a plus when traveling to new places that you might have little knowledge of. I also enjoy the comraderie of fellow passengers.
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Old Jul 18th, 2017, 07:23 PM
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Took a one day Rabbies tour from Glasgow last year and thought it was well done. Also went to Stirling Castle on our own from Glasgow.
Make sure you devote some time to Glasgow itself. We thought it was a beautiful city with wonderful architecture.
Enjoy
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Old Jul 19th, 2017, 08:01 AM
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An excellent day trip from Glasgow is to go to the Isle of Arran. You catch a train for a 50 minute journey to Ardrossan from Central Station, take the ferry from there for a 55 minute crossing to Brodick and then, if you want, take the round the island bus to see he sights. Arran has all the atmosphere of more distant places in the Highlands but is very accessible. The ferry meets the train when it arrives and the reverse is true for the return journey.
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Old Jul 19th, 2017, 09:02 AM
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No the Kyle to Inverness train don't go by Loch Ness - I meant to Inverness and Loch Ness which is nearby.

historytraveler has much more experience with this than I - I was just giving generalities -but you can travel Scotland via public transit on your own -but there are some travails in the travels -like buses on Isle of Skye.

Have you thought of renting a car and driving? You said no in your OP but I have driven around Scotland and there was no problem.
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Old Jul 19th, 2017, 09:49 AM
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There is no need to drive if you don't want to. Glasgow has excellent rail connections, and Rabbies can get you to most anywhere you would be driving on such a short trip.

Arrran is a terrific (and easy) day trip. Stirling on your own by train, a day trip to Edinburgh since you obviously didn't see it all in just one day, and a Rabbies tour or two . . .
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Old Jul 19th, 2017, 12:59 PM
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The Rannoch Moor Hotel sits right next to a train station in the middle of the moor -easy to get to by train from Glasgow- a full day here if you a rambler - walker in British parlance - could be so neat:

http://www.moorofrannoch.co.uk/

https://www.google.com/search?q=rann...w=1920&bih=950
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Old Jul 19th, 2017, 01:32 PM
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Ditto Arran. Great place and we ran into many Glaswegians (?) on weekend visits. Loch Lomond is not far away, either.
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 03:32 PM
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Bookmarking! Some great ideas.
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