ferry/rail in Scotlantd

Old Jun 21st, 2005, 07:04 AM
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ferry/rail in Scotlantd

We will be traveling in Mid October, 2005 from Belfast to Stranraer via ferry. We will drop off our rental car in Belfast and plan to take an early morning ferry. Once we get to Scotland, our destination is Inverness - we need to get there by later in the afternoon that same day. We will spend a week in Scotland on a river barge, than we will need to get to Glasgow to fly home. My questions are:
- do we need to make advance reservations for the ferry as foot passengers - how far in advance?
- can we travel to inverness by rail from Stranraer? Should we buy rail passes so we can use them later in the trip to get to Glasgow, or just purchase tickets seperately for each trip?
- any other comments or suggestions would be most helpful. Thanks very much!
benway is offline  
Old Jun 21st, 2005, 07:35 AM
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From Stranraer, the train goes to Glasgow, then you'll have to change for Inverness. You can check schedules on www.nationalrail.co.uk. The ferry is run by Stena Line (www.stenaline.co.uk). Mid-October should be quiet time of year and you certainly won't need to worry about reservations, but you should look to see what fares they're offering. The trains in Scotland are run by First Scotrail and their web site (www.firstgroup.com/scotrail/) will have details of their fares.
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 08:01 AM
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Foot passengers rarely need reservations as these ferry boats are big ones geared to take lorries and cars and always room for foot passengers. Stena line 08705 707070 in case you want to call - UK phone, don't dial first zero from outside UK. You arn't traveling enough to warrant a railpass.
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 08:10 AM
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You will find that it is too soon to get schedules and fares from the National Rail site for October. They will not appear until August. But you can still use the site to get a feel for the schedule and fares by inserting summer dates. Note that there are a couple of train changes for the journey, and a change of train stations in Glasgow.

When the time does come to book, you should check both the cost of round-trip (return) fares, Stranraer - Inverness, and the cost of a one-way (single), Stranraer - Glasgow plus return, Glasgow to Inverness.

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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 10:49 AM
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benway, just for the fun of it I checked the timetable. You could take the 10:00 train to Glasgow then to Inverness by 5:07 with 4 changes. Did you check out flights?
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 05:49 AM
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Thanks, Roger

No, we didn't check flights because we thought we would enjoy the rail trip through the beautiful countryside. But if the train trip will be a greater expense and hassel than flying maybe we should reconsider. What do you think?
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