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1 Week in Scotland by Train

Midwest USA
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1 Week in Scotland by Train

My husband and I will be coming from Belfast (by sail/rail?) to Glasgow on Saturday, May 25. Our plan currently is to spend 2 nights in Glasgow, 2 nights in Mallaig (day trip to Skye?), and 3 nights in Edinburgh (day trip to St.Andrews?). From Edinburgh we will be going to London. We will not be driving, but traveling only by train. We have heard the scenery on the West Highland line is some of the best in Europe. Questions:

1) If we purchase a BritRail pass and want seat reservations on the WHL the price for 2 people to/from Glasgow would total $96! Should we pop for the reservations or take our chances? Or, perhaps we should skip the BritRail pass and just by tickets in advance. If we did this from the states, can all the tickets be picked up at one time in Glasgow?

2) Does anyone have suggestions on improving this itinerary? The WHL train ride is really dictating our schedule. We debated whether or not to just do a day trip up/back from Glasgow.

But, we also thought a day on Skye could be fun, if we hired a driver/car/guide.

Thank you for help!

Scotland
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1. Re: 1 Week in Scotland by Train

I wouldn't stay in Mallaig. Certainly not for 2 nights. When you arrive there, take the ferry to Skye and stay in Armadale or better yet, hire a car there and get further into Skye. It'll be well worth it.

Ferry timetable at www.calmac.co.uk

Please use GBP when posting about prices. Most people here have no idea what your currency is worth.

Manchester, United...
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2. Re: 1 Week in Scotland by Train

Steal a night from Glasgow, and give yourselves three nights on Skye, which will mean two whole days - the minimum necessary to visit this splendid island. As the goodwitch suggests, if you cross from Mallaig to Armadale on Skye as soon as you get to Mallaig, you can pick up a pre-booked hire car from a local rental firm, and use it for a couple of days, dropping it off at Kyle of Lochalsh, by the Skye Bridge, where you can catch a train to Edinburgh via Inverness. This is another very scenic rail route, btw.

Stirling, United...
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3. Re: 1 Week in Scotland by Train

check the prices for train fares at scotrail.co.uk

Train tickets bought online can be picked up at any main railway station with your reference number and the payment card you used.

Dundee, United...
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4. Re: 1 Week in Scotland by Train

Yeah, if you search at the scotrail site given above, on the 27th May there are three trains Glasgow QS-Mallaig and they all have an advance single fare of £15.70, which would seem to work out better than the the price you quote. You can to pick up the pre-booked tickets a the station ticket desk or automtic ticket machines in QS stn. Bear in mind that this is a 5hour long train journey, so it's never going to be a bargain.

Most train companies in the UK offer heavily discounted limited availability advance fares (best prices about 12 weeks before travel), so you my find booking these is cheaper than a rail pass, although be aware they are only valid on the specific train booked and that they sell out quickly, so if you see a cheap ticket, book it!

I would agree its better to stay in Skye than Mallaig. I wouldn't personally "steal" a day from Glasgow cause if you're only here one night you won't see much.

Re Belfast-Glasgow, there are various combinations of ferry with the train or bus, so I guess you need to just find the quickest/cheapest. Bearing in mind you don't have that much time here, it might be worth considering flying from Belfast city apt to Glasgow (www.flybe.com) as this may prove a bit quicker.

Midwest USA
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5. Re: 1 Week in Scotland by Train

Thank you for your advice! I think we'd like to have a couple of days exploring Glasgow (May 25 & 26) and then enjoy traveling by train on the WHL up to Mallaig to Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness and on to St. Andrews. This post-Glasgow period would involve one overnight somewhere, perhaps Mallaig. Your ideas? My main worry is how reliable the public transportation (involving two different bus lines) is between Armadale and Kyle of Lochalsh rail station. My husband does not want to rent a car; neither of us wants to be standing out in the rain waiting for a bus that never shows or competing bus companies that do not synchronize their arrivals/departures. Traveline Scotland shows it is possible for us to spend one night in Mallaig, then ferry (May 28) to Armadale at 8:00; leave Armadale for Broadford at 9:20 (MacLean); leave

Broadford at 10:05 and arrive in Kyle of Lochalsh rail station by 10:31. From there, it seems I can finish our train travel straight to St. Andrews. What do you recommend? Also, if worse came to worse, is it possible to take a cab for part/all of this portion? Any idea on what the fare between Armadale and Kyle of Lochalsh would be?

Thanks so much for your help! This is our first trip to Scotland and we are excited...but nervous about these connections!

6. Re: 1 Week in Scotland by Train

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