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Edinburgh to Fort William and back in one day

My best friend and I will be staying in Edinburgh for three days and, during one of those days, we would like to travel to Fort William to take the Jacobite steam train morning service, then make our way back to Edinburgh that same day. Is this feasible?

I tried to find trains but nothing seems to work out for just a day trip.

We are considering driving to and from Fort William, but what would be the best routes? We're both confident, defensive drivers, but neither of us have ever driven on the left-side of the road so avoiding busy or crowded roads would be good. Also, it would be nice to take a scenic route, which I'm sure isn't lacking in Scotland. Easy and fast routes would also be good.

Any advice really would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Posted by
1335 posts

By car that is three hours there about, each way. On the various routes, the fast roads stop fairly close in to Edinburgh.

If going on the train is important, I'd suggest staying there a couple of nights.

Posted by
10952 posts

That's going to be one long, rushed day.

Why not take the train from Glasgow to Fort William, stay at the Premier Inn that's less than a 10 minute walk from the station, take the Jacobite train the next morning, and then take an afternoon train back to Glasgow. (Rail Service between Edinburgh and Glasgow are numerous all day long.)

I've taken the train from Glasgow to Ft. William and it is very scenic. Why worry about driving when you can sit back and enjoy the scenery.

Posted by
7423 posts

Do you mean taking the Jacobite from Glasgow to Fort William (once you get to Glasgow from Edinburgh)? or from Fort William to Mallaig? I almost think the latter since you mention driving to Fort William. If that's the case, I don't see how you could do this in one day. It would take you so long to get to Fort William in a car that you could never get there in time to catch the "morning service." Maybe I'm mistaken . . .

Posted by
2926 posts

If you only have 3 days in Edinburgh, it doesn't make sense to spend one of them going so far afield -- even if it were humanly possible to do the Fort William - Mallaig train trip and back.

There are lots of wonderful places to visit closer to Edinburgh. For example, if you want a taste of the highlands, you could go to Pitlochry and back.