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To Edinburgh from Kyle (or Portree)

Leesburg, Virginia
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To Edinburgh from Kyle (or Portree)

My husband and I are staying on SKYE for two nights at the end of our 12 day trip to Scotland. We have a day allotted to return to Edinburgh. Then, the following day we fly home to the US.

I've priced a private car service to drive us from Portree to Edinburgh but it was 525 GBP! So, I'm now looking at taking the train from Kyle - to Inverness - to Edinburgh. Any other suggestions are welcome. And, though we're renting a car to explore Skye, we're reluctant to drive it back to Edinburgh because of the unfamiliarity of UK driving.

A few questions. How do we best schedule this train trip. Is it through the national rail site?

Do we need to buy tickets before we get to Scotland or are we save waiting until a day or two before we depart on the train (ie Does the train ever fill up)?

Is there more than one train line? I saw National Rail site but also something about a Kyle Line?

What train station is closest to the Edinburgh airport (we have a hotel there for the night before departing). Is it a problem traveling with a couple of suitcases each and changing trains in Inverness? Thanks so much for any assistance.

4 replies to this topic
Edinburgh, United...
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1. Re: To Edinburgh from Kyle (or Portree)

This will help


and this


Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: To Edinburgh from Kyle (or Portree)

Travelling from Kyle to Inverness and Inverness to Edinburgh by train is a good way to do it. (Kyle to Inverness is very scenic.) I'll be doing this myself next year in April. Tickets are available up to 12 weeks in advance, and if you book 10-12 weeks in advance, you'll save. Use the scotrail website to plan your journey and book tickets. You can put in dummy bookings (up to 12 weeks from now) to see how much the tickets will cost. Compare the prices with travelling today or tomorrow and you'll see how much you'll save.

There shouldn't be a problem with changing trains at Inverness.

Edinburgh, Scotland
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3. Re: To Edinburgh from Kyle (or Portree)

Trains on the routes you mention are exceedingly unlikely to fill up - these are not urban commuter routes where people regularly stand. You can get tickets on the day, but as others have pointed out, you can make significant savings by pre-purchasing "Advance" tickets for a specific train. However, do be aware that "Advance" tickets commit you to that train.

Traveline and the National Rail websites should be your primary source of timetable information. Once you have decided which ticket you want, the National Rail site will connect you to the train operator's site to buy the ticket. Additional discounts are often available when buying from the route operator. Avoid agency sites such as TheTrainLine (and Britrail in the US) which charge standard prices and then charge you a fee on top.

Technically, Edinburgh Park is the nearest train station to the airport, but that's on a business estate, with limited service frequency and no airport links. You don't want to go there!

It is possible and not particularly difficult to transfer at Haymarket, but for maximum simplicity and as you have bags, you will likely find it easiest to go to the main Edinburgh station, Waverley, and catch the airport bus which departs from Waverley Bridge, right in front of the station.

By the way, there is nothing other than the airport in that out-of-town area. It's so easy to make the connection from the city that regular visitors prefer staying overnight in a city hotel with access to bars, restaurants, theatres &c, over staying at the airport. An early morning taxi transfer usually takes about 20 minutes, and the bus doesn't take much longer.

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4. Re: To Edinburgh from Kyle (or Portree)

I would say that the price you were quoted for a private driver is very reasonable, as a driver will either have to drive from Edinburgh and pick you up or if they are from the skye area drive home from Edinburgh empty. As most folk here have said train is probably the best way for you to go!

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