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country hikes by bus from Inverness, Edinburgh or Glasgow

(cross posted for those who visit another forum...) We are building our itinerary, and would like a day to take advantage of the countryside beauty. Our 'base camps' will be Inverness, Edinburgh or Glasgow. We'll probably have more time than we need in Inverness, so will likely take our day hike from there, but the itinerary is not yet set, so the other starting points are equally valid.

Are there any destinations we can travel to/from via bus (or train), over a single day including hike time? Ideally we would love about 4 hours to hike, and another hour or 2 in a nearby small town, with the remaining time spent getting to/from our destination. What would be your favorites? We will be signing up for an organized day tour of Skye from Inverness, and another of Glencoe/etc. from Glasgow. But we're assuming those will be primarily guided, with most time spent on the bus. We're looking for something informal to do on our own outside the 3 cities, but will not have a car. Thanks!

Posted by
5789 posts

An alternative to base camp hikes are self-guided inn to inn walking holidays. No buses/trains except for getting to the start and from the finish. There are a number of inn to inn trip providers (overnight accommodations and luggage transport service with walking instructions and maps). The West Highland Way (Glasgow. Milngavie to Fort William) would be an example of a classic inn to inn walk. There are a number of providers.

Posted by
2949 posts

If you go out of Glasgow to Loch Lomond (either Balloch or Luss or Tarbet), you can take a boat cruise on the loch and get off to walk for an hour or two, then catch the next boat. A sort of self-directed hop-on, hop-off tour. See these two boat companies (Cruise Loch Lomond and Sweeney's Cruise Co.). The train goes to Balloch and Tarbet. If you choose Luss (a charming but tiny village), you'll need the bus.

Posted by
975 posts

Hi, kj,

There are some good hikes in the Pentland Hills, south of Edinburgh. Check out the WalkHighlands website for some ideas.

New Lanark can be easily reached from Glasgow or Edinburgh. There is a good hike out to the Falls of Clyde, which, when they're in spate, are absolutely stunning. You can take the main footpath to Bonnington Weir, then cross over to the west bank and hike down closer to the falls.. However, there is no way to get back across the Clyde, so you have to retrace your path.

The start of both of these hikes can be reached by public transportation.

If you take the bus from Inverness to Forres, you could hike part of the Dava Way, or from Craigellachie, you could take on the best part of the Speyside Way.

Best wishes for your adventures!

Mike (Auchterless)