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Edinburgh Airport to Tobermory

I am parting ways with a group at the airport about 10am after a 10 day trip and hope to get to Tobermory by evening on public transport on my own. I can find several ways and times for the airport to Oban portion - and know I will need to catch the 15:55 ferry from Oban arriving Craignure 16:45, so that I can catch the 16:52 bus Craignure to Tobermory (last bus of the day).

I am wondering if someone has advice on the choice between:
10:25-11:31 Citylink Air bus EDI - Buchanon; 8 min walk; 12:24-15:28 Queen St-Oban;
heading back to Waverley for an 11:30-15:28 train (this is the same train as above Glasgow to Oban, with only the Edinburgh - Glasgow portion being train instead of bus); With this choice I could also leave from Haymarket instead of all the way back to Waverley.

With the bus choice, theoretically I would have an hour to switch bus to train in Glasgow - but would be at the mercy of traffic maybe. With the train all the way option, I have 10 min to switch platforms at Glasgow. And I assume the train would be reliable for arrival in Oban. Plus I like trains. :)

Second question: the train looks very walkable to the ferry. But would I be considered late for foot traffic on the ferry if I have my ticket pre-purchased?

I would of course like to be a bit earlier but job requirements will keep me with the group till I get them checked in at the airport.

Thoughts anyone?

Posted by
2128 posts

I would get the bus direct from Edinburgh airport to Buchanan Street bus station – can’t see the point of backtracking to Edinburgh.

I don’t quite follow your comment about being late if you have your ticket pre-purchased. As a foot passenger from the train, it’s straightforward to buy ferry tickets on the day if you want. No need to book.

Posted by
7618 posts

For getting between Buchanan Bus Station and Queen Street station in Glasgow, it's less than five minutes' walk. Even if you have a bit of traffic, you can surely still make the change.

Posted by
1811 posts

Thanks, ramblin & Kim! I think I got worried about possible traffic between the airport and Glasgow making the bus late (knowing I was most likely just overthinking).

As for being late, I had read about being 30 min early for the busier ferries - but that is probably just for car traffic.

Posted by
21088 posts

I took ferries several times between Oban and Mull. I think we were told to get there more than 30 minutes early; I don't remember whether it was 40 minutes or 45. They do start boarding foot passengers very early, and they are efficient. I didn't pay any attention to how long before the departure time the last person boarded.

Posted by
12 posts

At that time of day traffic will be lighter so you should be fine taking the CitylinkAir bus. The time you save taking the train will be lost by the travel time going into Haymarket and more so Waverley. It's a short downhill walk from Buchanan Bus Station to Queen Street railway station.

Posted by
1811 posts

Thanks, Acraven and Iain. I found this timing on the Calmac website starting in Glasgow so am now not worried about the ferry portion - and will just take the bus from the airport and save the backtracking. Thank you!