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Traveling From Oban To Windemere...

Los Angeles...
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Traveling From Oban To Windemere...

Hi. My husband & I are making our first visit to Scotland & England this coming May, staying in Edinburgh, Oban, Windemere and London. One challenge we're having is figuring out how best to get from Oban to Windemere on a Sunday?

We're not inclined to self-drive in the U.K. (for everyone's well-being), and the train schedule appears to require a 6 - 8 hour journey (which might be interesting, if the sights along the way are worthwhile).

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated, thanks!

Bath, United Kingdom
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1. Re: Traveling From Oban To Windemere...

Not an easy journey, involves changes of train and then a bus, by public transport but not desperately unpleasant way to pass the time on a Sunday.

Sunday tends to be the day when public transport runs on reduced services so there will be fewer options open to you in terms of trains and times.

Edinburgh...
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2. Re: Traveling From Oban To Windemere...

Your first step is the train from Oban to Glasgow Queen Street.

You might be able to do the whole thing by train, by getting a train from Glasgow Central to Oxenholme and then from there up up to Windermere.

wordsworthcountry.com/sitepics/maps/cumbria-…

Look at thetrainline for routes and timings, but buy your tickets on the scotrail site. Just plug in Oban and WIndermere and there are two trains on a Sunday, leaving Oban at lunchtime or later, and arriving mid or late evening.

When in May? Really cheap tickets come on line approx 12 weeks in advance, so you may have to wait a while for the best deals to appear. But be aware these may be tied to a particular train, and may not be flexible. And it's more expensive to buy on the day ...

I notice thetrainline says Virgin trains run a *bus* from Carlisle to Oxenholme. This seems strange. But it may reflect Sunday services.

Glasgow, United...
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3. Re: Traveling From Oban To Windemere...

That is a beautiful train journey. One of the loveliest in the UK. Certainly, the six/eight hours would be enjoyable, from the point of view of enjoying scenery. I once made the Glasgow to Oban trip on a beautiful autumn day and barely opened the book I had brought, such was the glory of the views!

Your routing is in two parts, you'll have seen: The first, Oban to Glasgow is straightforward except that on a Sunday the first service is likely to be late in the day. Then you need to change station in Glasgow, from Queen St where you arrive to Central where the next train departs. They are close together - just a 10 minute walk or five minutes by taxi.

The second leg is Glasgow to Windermere requires either one or two changes, depending on the exact timetables on the day you travel. Ideally, you would go Glasgow Central to Oxenholme, then change there for the Windermere train. But on a Sunday you might need to change at Carlisle, so your journey would be Glasgow Central -> Carlisle -> Oxenholme -> Winderere.

In Britain, Sunday is never an ideal day for train journeys for three reasons:

1. The timetable is poorer - fewer services, they start later and finish earlier.

2. It is also the day a lot of engineering works get scheduled, so you might find part of your train journey is undertaken in a 'bus replacement service'.

3. Some stations get an extremely limited service, meaning you need to make more changes, as with Oxenholme.

If you can possibly change your plans to travel on the Monday, you'd have a much simpler, speedier journey. Note that the May timetables are not fully published yet, so you'll need to check back later on exact train services you want to book.

London
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4. Re: Traveling From Oban To Windemere...

You can simplify the cross Glasgow leg. Your train from Oban will stop at Dumbarton. Get off there and (same platform) change onto one (of the many) train going to Glasgow Central - which is where your onward train to Oxenholme will depart from.

Very scenic journey throughout, but much easier Mon-Sat rather than Sunday.

Glasgow, United...
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5. Re: Traveling From Oban To Windemere...

Good spot rcspeirs on the opportunity to change at Dumbarton Central, or even Dalmuir, I think.

Note that the trains from there to Glasgow Central stop at the *low level* part of the station. Getting to the *upper level* is not too complicated, and though I've never used it, I'm guessing there must be a lift for passengers with luggage, so that they don't need to navigate the steps.

Edinburgh...
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6. Re: Traveling From Oban To Windemere...

Glasgow Central: lift and escalator ...

Los Angeles...
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7. Re: Traveling From Oban To Windemere...

Wow, thank you all for your guidance & feedback! This is looking to be much more challenging than we had initially anticipated.

Our departure day from Oban is currently Sunday, May 5th - with the first train leaving at 12:10, followed by two or three busses, arriving around 21:00 (and that's if we make every connection without incident). Departing from Oban a day later will be problematic hotel-reservations-wise (so much for our clever idea of pre-booking those).

I wonder if there are any car-and-driver services any of you might recommend?

Otherwise, it's looking like we'll need to hire a car and drive ourselves (hopefully this isn't a complicated drive?).

Your further thoughts will be very much appreciated - thanks again!

Glasgow, United...
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8. Re: Traveling From Oban To Windemere...

Hmmm You won't get a one-way hire from Oban. Rural towns usually don't have branches of the main national car hire companies. Local firms that do car hire require you to return it to the same place, normally.

A better bet might be to break up the journey in Glasgow. Arrive there mid-afternoon on the Sunday and spend the evening there. The trains the following morning will be much more straightforward, and should let you get to Windermere more easily.

Note that Monday 6th May is a public holiday in the UK - May Day. It shouldn't affect train timetables, but schools will be off, and so more people will be travelling for leisure purposes that weekend.

Los Angeles...
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9. Re: Traveling From Oban To Windemere...

Oh well, so much for renting a car ourselves....

I've now come across a company called airportcitytransfer.com that (I think) will take us from Oban to Glasgow in time to catch the (Transpennie) Glasgow-Oxenholme-Windermere Train leaving Glasgow at 1506 in the afternoon (for just a little bit more than the train trip from Oban to Windermere would be if we were able to schedule it).

Are any of you familiar with airportcitytransfer.com? Are they a reliable/legitimate Company?

Thanks soo much for your continued help!

Glasgow, United...
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10. Re: Traveling From Oban To Windemere...

No - never heard of them. Not that this should necessarily alarm you.

But I'd make contact with a taxi company in Oban to take you to Central Station in Glasgow, in time for your train. I'd expect a pick-up no later than 12 noon for a 15:06 train. Your accommodation provider should be able to put you in touch with a local firm that knows the local roads and can estimate properly the time it will take, given local conditions.

They may even know of a chauffeur-type service in the area that specialises in this sort of transfer.

Etive Taxis is a company that came up when I did a quick search. They might be worth a call. Many will bite off your hand for this sort of job - but be sure to get a firm price quoted in advance!

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