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Highlands on my own, how does this sound?

BC
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Highlands on my own, how does this sound?

Hi,

I'm planning my own trip to the highlands. I have a week in Scotland total arriving in Glasgow and departing from Edinburgh.

After much searching and info, this is my general plan.

I am traveling alone and hoping to do things as budget as possible while still seeing everything.

Day 0 Arrive Glasgow in the evening.

Day 1 Depart Glasgow to Glencoe by bus. See Glencoe. Then take the bus to Fort Williams where I stay overnight.

Day 2 Take the steam train from Fort Williams to Mallaig one way. Then take the ferry to Isle of Skye and look around there. Take the bus to Plockton for overnight.

Day 3 Take the train from Plockton to Inverness in the morning and take a tour to Lochness in the afternoon. Overnight in Plockton.

Day 4 Take the bus from Inverness to Stirling. Tour Stirling Castle. Take another bus to Edinburgh.

Rest of the days (3) in Edinburgh.

How does this sound? Does this work?

What is there to do in the Isle of Skye for the afternoon? Any suggestions?

I'm planning to save some money by taking the bus on some legs of my trip and taking the train where I have heard it is most scenic.

Any input would be helpful. It's been a little crazy researching Scotland as I want to see so much and have so little time!

Thanks!

Isle of Skye...
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1. Re: Highlands on my own, how does this sound?

Hi BabyOrca,

just thought I'd give you the heads up for Plockton - you can't take a bus to Plockton, there is only the school bus (school start/finish times) and then the post bus which I would imagine will not be at the time you need it! Plockton is only serviced by the Inverness/Kyle train - roughly 3 a day. You will need to pre book a taxi if you can't catch the train (see www.firstscotrail.com for train times)

Kyle Taxi Company

(Taxi/Guided Tours Max. 8)

www.lochalsh.net/taxi

Tel: 01599 534 323

email: kyletaxis@aol.com

For getting round Skye without a car - see my reply to the following Scotland Forum post (it gives you details for last bus from Skye to Kyle[CityLink 917], apart from the shuttle bus linking Kyleakin & Kyle, which runs until 11pm):

"proposed itinerary --- any glaring problems?"

and maybe browse the Skye Forum generally for further advice/useful websites.

Enjoy!

Gourock, United...
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2. Re: Highlands on my own, how does this sound?

Hi Baby orca,

Day 2 is a BIG day, I would advise staying overnight in skye

use the post bus to get around if you can.

Day 3. travel to plockton from Skye then catch the train up to inverness where you would stay overnite.

Day 4 Train to Stirling. Do castle etc. Travel to Edinburgh

You could also stay a day less in Edinburgh and spend more time up north or overnite in Glasgow

Remember if you book train tickets in advance they are cheaper.

When are you arriving?

BC
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3. Re: Highlands on my own, how does this sound?

Hi.

I will be there in late May. May 23rd like 6pm or even later. i cant remember anymore. it will be a long travel day that day as i am flying from istanbul to london (luton) and then luton to glasgow.

Any suggestions for what to do in glasgow for the evening? I think my first priority will be to find the hostel and stuff. i will have the one night in glasgow to start.

it sounds like it's easier to stay overnight in kyle instead of plockton. I wish I had longer in the highlands. Just means I’ll have to come back some other time instead eh?

Can you please tell me more about the post bus? Does it have a schedule as well?

What do you think of taking the bus all the way around sky on a “public transit tour”? how long would that take and would it work?

Also, the citylink bus, do you have to book that ahead of time as well?

Can you pick up train tickets at the station if you book them ahead of time?

Thanks

Gourock, United...
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4. Re: Highlands on my own, how does this sound?

Hi again,

ok, u arrive at 6pm. It takes 20-30 mins to get to city centre on the airport bus and costs around £3.25 single.

Where is your proposed hostel in Glasgow and I will give you directions. At that time of nite all the shops and museums will probably be closed but you can still wander around the city centre and get a feel fo the place.

The post bus apparently no longer takes passengers from what I can see but if you go to a website called

www.rapsons.com

they apparently have taken up the route. Its area 4 page 7-9 on there website. They also give the timetable for the buses from Skye to Inverness on P20 of area 4.

FRom looking at the website a public transoprt tour could work but would be very tight. Portree is lovely so tou must go there and the bus route takes you past the cullin hills which are fantastic, a very photogenic route!

To get info on buses to Fortwilliam use

www.citylink.co.uk.

A special 1 way ticket to Fort William is £6.99.

If you were to stop in Glencoe it is 2 hrs before the next city link coach comes thru and if it is raining there aint much to do! Fort William is 30 mins away on the bus

Hope this helps and if you want anymore info just ask

Isle of Skye...
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5. Re: Highlands on my own, how does this sound?

Hi again,

for post bus timetables go to www.rapsons.co.uk and scroll down the Skye timetable all the way to page 30 of 32 and you will find the post buses!

Have fun!

Isle of Skye...
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6. Re: Highlands on my own, how does this sound?

Hi BabyOrca,

just spoken to Kyle Sorting Office(Post Office!) - Tel: 01599 534233 - they still operate the Post bus for passengers (although Lovescotland is right, a lot of them have been passed on to local bus companies elsewhere), but you need to phone them the day before to get yourself booked on and they will then give you the time of departure etc. On Plockton's website (ignore the tel. no. on there - that's the actual post office, where as you need their sorting office, which is the no. I've given you above!) it appears they are timed approx. at 9.45am departing Kyle and 2.30pm departing Plockton, but evidently these times may change - hence the need to phone - and of course the post bus is not huge, so it has really limited space!!

Hope this helps a bit!

BC
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7. Re: Highlands on my own, how does this sound?

Thanks guys for the information.

I have been looking at the bus schedule and see the Glasgow-Glencoe-Fort Williams and that seems to be quite doable. There will be a 3 hour stop over in Glencoe. I do want to see it if there's enough to see for that amount of time. Do you think it's worth it?

Then I have the afternoon in Fort Williams. Is there a lot to see there? Unfortunately I just don't have the time to spend a full day there and go hiking around. The most is the afternoon.

If it doesn't seem to be enough to do in both places, I can just bus directly to Fort Williams and will make it for the Jacobite steam train and can make it to Skye that day.

I may also stay an extra night in Skye. I'm not sure yet. I don't think the bus runs from Inverness to Stirling at all so I'd have to take the train to do that or do it as a day trip from Edinburgh. Also the bus doesn't do that route on Sundays.

Do you think it's worth it to stay a day and half in Skye or just half a day is enough on my limited time schedule?

Thanks everyone. you guys are so helpful. i must be worrying about it as i have been dreaming about my route and thinking about it when i wake up!!

Surrey, Canada
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8. Re: Highlands on my own, how does this sound?

Half a day on Skye : you will forever regret such a decision if you plan it ... 1 ½ day, especially when relying on public transportation, is a very bare minimum IMHO. I hope non of this 1 ½ day is a Sunday, is it?

And since you mentioned you wanted to do things as budget as possible, you might consider taking the regular train between FT William and Mallaig: the exact same ride as the Jacobite's train, for cheaper.

Ft William: there is not much to see there. I personnally found it as depressing as a mining town... I would personnally alow that time for the tiny Mallaig (enjoyed my very best fish 'n chips EVER, there ... hmmm ... fresh fish...), and the beaches nearby.

Surrey, Canada
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9. Re: Highlands on my own, how does this sound?

Just reread your post - you mentioned you were going to stay in a hostel in Glasgow. If that could help you, there is a small lovely hostel 200m from the train station in Mallaig. Called Sheena's Backpackers. Over the Tea Garden. More like a private house than a hostel: 2 X 6 beds dorms, common room, well equipped kitchen, everything spotless clean. Book ahead. And there is ONE hostel in Ft William itself (in town, within a short distance walk), called Bank St Lodge. I have stayed there: small dorms, shared rooms, and twin rooms (I have tried the 3 of them). Must be booked ahead of time, since it's the only one in town.

BC
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10. Re: Highlands on my own, how does this sound?

Eirelover,

did you go to Glencoe?

is that worth going to?

I can go directly to the train if it works. The jacobite train makes a stop at...hmm i can't remember the name. i figured if i was saving money on the buses, then I can take the jacobite train.

i just checked the fares for glasgow-glencoe-fort williams.

it's like 5lbs for each leg or like 5 lbs from glasgow to fort williams.

i guess i have to decide if i want to go to glencoe after all.

i do hear there's not much to do in fort williams but that many people use it as a base.