rail tours of Scotland

Old Apr 6th, 2024, 08:26 AM
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rail tours of Scotland

I have given up on the idea of touring Ireland for now. Maybe next year.

I came across the website GreatRail. They have two escorted rail tours of Scotland .
One is named Skye, Orkney and the Wild North
The other is named Edinburgh, Highlands and the Islands

Any thoughts on the parts of Scotland visited and the hotels?

Thank you.
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Old Apr 6th, 2024, 08:43 AM
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Haven't looked them over yet but here are the links:

https://www.greatrail.com/tours/skye...he-wild-north/

https://www.greatrail.com/tours/edin...s-and-islands/
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Old Apr 6th, 2024, 08:59 AM
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Thank you.
I am still not allowed to post links.

I am thinking about flying in/out of London and taking the train to/from Scotland.
After the tour, I am thinking about going to see the first day of competition at Wimbledon at a "show" court.


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Old Apr 6th, 2024, 11:06 AM
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Have briefly looked over both itineraries and both hit hit some great sites. You'd probably enjoy either one but I might just lean to the Edinburgh, Highlands and Islands tour even though it does cost just a wee bit more. I especially like the Glencoe/Ballachulish hotel options. and the Edinburgh hotel is in a great location

That train ride from Glasgow to Helmsdale on the Skye, Orkney and the Wild North trip is one looooong haul.
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Old Apr 6th, 2024, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj
Have briefly looked over both itineraries and both hit hit some great sites. You'd probably enjoy either one but I might just lean to the Edinburgh, Highlands and Islands tour even though it does cost just a wee bit more. I especially like the Glencoe/Ballachulish hotel options. and the Edinburgh hotel is in a great location.
Thank you. I am leaning towards that one myself.

Originally Posted by janisj
That train ride from Glasgow to Helmsdale on the Skye, Orkney and the Wild North trip is one looooong haul.
Unless the train schedule changes in the summer from now, they must be taking the 10:07AM train from Glasgow with a change of train in Inverness and arriving in Helmsdale at 4:36PM.
The longest train ride I have been on was from Boston to NYC. That was about 4.5 hours.

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Old Apr 6th, 2024, 11:50 AM
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Even if the precise schedule changes it will still be have to be a minimum 6+ hour train ride -- actually 5.5 hours on trains and 35-ish minutes to change in Inverness.
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Old Apr 6th, 2024, 12:01 PM
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Getting tix for Wimbledon isn't easy or cheap. Before you make a lot of plans around that idea, look into availability and cost.

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Old Apr 6th, 2024, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Jean
Getting tix for Wimbledon isn't easy or cheap. Before you make a lot of plans around that idea, look into availability and cost.
I will need to read up on how tickets to Wimbledon work.
I bought Day1 tickets to the US Open in 2019 using Ticketmaster since they are the US Open's official ticket vendor.
I was able to buy re-sold tickets and since it was through Ticketmaster I didn't have to worry about fraud.
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Old Apr 6th, 2024, 07:03 PM
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Ticketing is nothing like the U.S. Open, esp. for a show court.
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Old Apr 6th, 2024, 07:25 PM
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I had assumed you already had your tickets. Seems not. The public ballot for tickets closed last Fall. So what you'd have to do is queue very early AM (the evening before is better) for grounds tickets or the very limited number of show court tickets available each day.

Otherwise you'll have to find a 'hospitality' package through someplace like the Keith Prowse agency (thought I'm sure they are long sold out)

If you are willing to queue, the chances of getting Grounds passes are fairly good -- and the queueing can be fun, like a party. Show Court tickets - you'd have to be REALLY lucky.
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Old Apr 8th, 2024, 01:56 PM
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Unless you go down the very expensive hospitality route getting any decent tickets for Wimbledon now requires getting in a long queue and ideally being there from the night before. You would have to really, really want to do it.

In case it isn’t clear those rail trips only have you travelling on trains on about 3 days of each holiday. You will spend just as much time in a coach and will have some long travel days on both itineraries. A day trip to Orkney starting from Helmsdale and requiring two ferries - it’s an hour to the ferry which takes 90 minutes, so 5 hours of travelling without any time on Orkney. Similarly the day on Skye is on a coach to and from Plockton.

Nevertheless I think I’d prefer that one to the other, which has one day mostly on a cruise on Loch Ness, one of Scotland’s less impressive lochs. (There is no monster).
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