Scottish Rail System

Jan 7th, 2014, 06:21 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 3
Scottish Rail System

Hi there!
I'm new to the forums, but I have LOVED getting to know a little bit more about traveling in Scotland thanks to all of your help in the forum.

I'm in the beginning stages of building/planning a trip for this summer. I have from late June to late August in which to travel, and my husband and I were thinking two weeks.

He has never been to Europe and is nervous about driving on the opposite side of the road, so I was thinking we could use the rail system. Is the rail system in Scotland easy to maneuver?

I was thinking we'd fly into Edinburgh and spend 3 days there, maybe doing some day trips with Rabbie's or another local business, then travel to the Aberdeen area for a day or two, Nairn for about 2-3, the Isle of Skye for 2-3 days, and wrapping up with Glencoe (back to Edinburgh to fly home). Are all of these locations stops on the system? Once we're in the towns/cities, is traveling around easy to do?

Thanks for any help you can give me. I truly appreciate it!
vzteacher is offline  
Jan 7th, 2014, 06:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,315
You can get lots of places by train - but glencoe isn't one of them. You can easily plan a nice itinerary by train, but I'd pick a Rabbies or Timberbush tour that includes glencoe.
janisj is online now  
Jan 7th, 2014, 06:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,315
Meant to add- technically you can't get to Skye by train either, but you can get to mallaig or Kyle of Lochalsh by train and then ferry or a bus to Skye.
janisj is online now  
Jan 7th, 2014, 06:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,481
Nairn is an easy train trip from Aberdeen. Skye by train is more complicated. You'll need to go via Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh or go via the West Highland route from Glasgow. Both are especially scenic routes; however, I wouldn't recommend Skye without a car. It is possible to get a driver for tours around Skye, but it can be expensive. Since you mentioned Aberdeen, there is an overnight ferry to Lerwick, Shetland. There are a couple of companies that offer a variety of tours around the islands.

Go to to view the Scottish rail routes. You need to factor in travel time when planning your itinerary. You can do this at the national rail site. Also look at the Scottish Rover Pass. It may or may not save you money.

As janisj has already mentioned, there are no trains through Glencoe, and I agree that either Rabbies or Timberbush should offer what you're looking for.
historytraveler is online now  
Jan 7th, 2014, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,481
Of course, I forgot to mention that the West Highland route ends in Mallaig where you then need to take ferry to Armadale on Skye. Train terminates at Kyle of Lochalsh and you will need to take bus or taxi across the bridge to Skye. Thanks janisj for pointing this out.
historytraveler is online now  
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