My Experience: Scotland Transportation

1. Coaches

From Birmingham (UK) to Scotland: 
Being the cheaper alternative than taking a train, we departed from Birmingham by coach even though it takes longer. We headed to Edinburgh

The ride to Scotland lasted about 9 hours, but the coach was quite comfortable and spacious so the time seemed less long. Besides, the coach stops twice during the journey for you to move your legs a bit and to buy some food. 

As I said we departed from Birmingham, but it is also possible to leave from London or from any other cities, as coaches are available everywhere. The company that runs these coaches is National Express. You can get tickets at very cheap prices if you book in advance and when there are special offers. For example, the return journey from Edinburgh to Birmingham cost me only £7.50. As with coaches, there is space for luggage, but it cannot go over 20 kg.


Coaches (Buses) in Scotland
During our time in Scotland, we traveled mostly by coach (buses), as we didn't have a car (well, we do know how to drive, but that's a different story).

We traveled from Edinburgh to Inverness, around the Loch Ness, from Fort Augustus to Fort William, from Fort William to Isle of Skye and in the Isle as well. The coaches (buses) are very efficient and cheap.

The main company that runs these buses is CityLink. You can either book online, or pay directly to the driver upon boarding. Depending on where you go, the price range is £5 to £12. These coaches (buses) are actually a good method of transport as it is more efficient and cheaper than trains. They  also provide a better view as it is higher than cars, moves slower than the train (allowing you to really take in the scenery without being in a hurry) and brings you to different places.

Scotland Buses


2. Trains

You also have the option to travel buy train in Scotland but it can sometimes more expensive. For instance, from Fort Augustus to Inverness the train cost about £90 whereas coaches were only £6. To get there in a shorter time, you have to fork out an extra £84, but definitely worth it (the experience) if you have the budget and want to maximize visiting more places within the day.

The only time we took the train was from Fort William to Edinburgh (for which we had a transit in Glasgow), followed by a steam train from Mallaig to Fort William served by The Jacobite Company for which I will give more details later.


Scotland Trains


3. Ferry


Scotland Ferry
All on booaarrd!
For those who are more adventurous and can survive at sea (sort of), ferries are also available especially for traveling to the Isle of Skye. It costs only £4.50 for passengers and £23.50 for cars (yes, cars too - for those who have them and can drive). Tickets can be purchased at the harbor, and the journey is realatively short and bearable.

Ferry interior
Ferry interior

The ferry departs from Mallaig, a small port near the sea, and arrives at Armadale located on the Isle of Skye. For more information for the timetable of the ferry click here .


4. Cars

If you have a car or if you can drive, it can be cheaper and more flexible as you will not be constrained by bus/ferry/train timetables. If you can drive but have not car, you can also rent a car and travel through Scotland with it. 

For the Isle of Skye, I really recommend a car because buses do not run frequently there and the Isle is quite large.

 

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About TravelBytez

When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.
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