Scotland Via The Train

Old Mar 31st, 2019, 02:12 PM
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Scotland Via The Train

My husband and I are planning a two week visit Scotland this summer and we do not want to rent a car. Can anyone provide information on the best way to travel via the train and bus? Is there a train/bus pass available?
You help would be appreciated.
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Old Mar 31st, 2019, 03:14 PM
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You can easily take the train from Edinburgh to Mallaig via Glasgow and then ferry to Skye but please note that bus service on Skye is rather limited and not really geared to tourists. I have no idea as to what Pal means when he says “ buses take you all around”. There is bus service on Skye but, as I said, it’s not easy to navigate.

I would recommend doing day trips with Rabbies. They are an excellent and well-rated tour company using small 16 passenger buses/ shuttles. Their guides are the most knowledgeable I’ve come across and very accommodating. They offer various tours from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. All places you can easily get to by train. You will see much more than if limiting yourself to trains and especially buses. For several years now I have traveled Scotland by taking tours with Rabbies and by utilizing a few train routes.

Rabbies website, www.rabbies.com
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Old Mar 31st, 2019, 03:39 PM
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I'm pretty certain Pal hasn't done what he suggests this century. -- so long ago he forgets how inconvenient it is. There are a few very infrequent buses on Skye. Here is the complete time table for local bus service on Skye. http://tiscon-maps-stagecoachbus.s3....292018-WEB.pdf As you can see most services only run twice a day so not at all useful for touring around.

And trains mostly serve 'big-ish' places like Inverness, Stirling, Oban, Aberdeen, etc. and a few smaller places between these hubs. Vast parts of Scotland have no train service.

For most rural areas of Scotland, assuming you won't have a car, you will do much better and see a lot more booking one or more Rabbies tours. From day trips to multi-day tours.
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Old Mar 31st, 2019, 03:46 PM
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Forgot to add that by taking several tours with a Rabbies you can see a variety of places. Remember that Skye is only one area. There is so much more to see and do in Scotland than just visiting Skye.
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Old Apr 1st, 2019, 03:12 PM
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what Pal means when he says “ buses take you all around”. There is bus service on Skye but, as I said, it’s not easy to navigate.>

Buses from ferry docks like Amandale (sp?) or over the bridge take you to Portree from where local buses go off in all directions:

Bus Services in Skye and Lochalsh

This and janis' link clearly shows that you can get around Skye by bus -showing quite a few buses radiating out from Portree. I have never traveled around Skye but just went from the bridge bus to some town and change for one to the ferry. But the two bus schedules referenced show clearly that you can get around Skye by bus - be sure to plan you itinerary with the yes at times sporadic services on some line.
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Old Apr 1st, 2019, 03:21 PM
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>>This and janis' link clearly shows that you can get around Skye by bus -showing quite a few buses radiating out from Portree.<<

yes they 'radiate' -- but they travel so infrequently it is VERY difficult to organize a reasonable sightseeing plan. When one is only on Skye for 2 or 3 or 4 days, trying to make them work for a visitors is really really difficult.

(And your mention of buses from Armadale -- I assume you know they are not coordinated/timed to meet the ferries . . . )

>> I have never traveled around Skye<<.

That is pretty obvious.
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Old Apr 1st, 2019, 03:37 PM
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The schedule bus services linked to above by janis and I seem to show adequate bus service to Portree and out from there. Maybe by taking Rabbies all the time you have not done Skye by bus?
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Old Apr 1st, 2019, 03:50 PM
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Why do you insist on posting about topics you know nothing about . . . and challenge those who do?

Where on earth did you get the idea I've taken Rabbies 'all the time'? I have been to Skye multiple times -- none with Rabbies though I have taken a couple of Rabies day trips to other places. I have driven every corner of Skye, I have taken a few buses on Skye, I do actually know what of I speak.
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Old Apr 1st, 2019, 04:03 PM
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I will just point out that on numerous trips to Skye I have frequently run into people waiting for buses that never seemed to show up and if going in my direction I have offered rides. On one trip we were taking a taxi from Kyle of Lochalsh to Eileen Iarmain. A young couple were waiting at same bus stop where we were to meet our taxi. Would have offered them a ride but they were going in different direction. As we left them still waiting for bus, the taxi driver muttered under his breath “ good luck with that”. I know buses do not meet ferries at Armadale. While waiting for my rental car to be delivered, two ferries came and went.A number of tourists were finding out that the bus did not go where they thought it would and one couple had to call a restaurant in Portree to reschedule their booking due to bus delay. A bus finally showed up ( the first one I’d ever seen at Armadale) . It was there for over an hour. Point being that trying to travel Skye by bus is at the very least sketchy. I do have serious doubts that Pal has ever done so. Reading bus schedules is not the same as actually traveling on them. If knowing so much about bus travel on Skye, I would think the correct spelling of Skye’s ferry port would be automatic.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 07:51 AM
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I do have serious doubts that Pal has ever done so.> As I said in above post.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 05:28 AM
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We had a great trip to Scotland without a car in September 2018. Did we miss driving? Of course! But driving on the other side was not too appealing, so we decided against it.

We we skipped Skye, but had taken two wonderful tours with Timberbush: one tour to Loch Lomond, the Trossachs and Stirling and another one to Scottish Borders, Rosslyn Chapel, Melrose Abbey and Glenkinchie Distillery. Both tours were from Edinburgh and both were excellent.

We also took a train to Aviemore and then a bus to Grantown on Spey, which was our base for the Highlands. We hiked in beautiful Anagach woods along the river Spey - it was so lovely.

And there is so much to see in Edinburgh that you will be spoiled for choice.

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Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 11:48 AM
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Thank you! I appreciate your help.
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