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Glasgow to Inverness - Question

My wife and I are taking a trip to Scotland next year. From what I can tell, our best flights based on where we live will take us into Glasgow.

However, we had hoped to start our trip with time in the Highlands, particularly with Inverness as a base.

So, on our first day it appears our flight from the US would arrive 10:40 am in Glasgow. My thought was to spend the afternoon visiting Glasgow city centre (get some air, stretch our legs, take in a little of Glasgow), then take a 7 pm or so train from Queen Street train station to Inverness (about 3.5 hours based on ScotRail website).

My question is - do you think this is crazy? I'm just wondering if this plan pushes the boundaries of good sense or if it seems doable.

Any thoughts or comments are appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by
80 posts

I would say it's doable but it may be a bit of a stressful start to your trip. It depends how jetlag affects you. I have just returned to England from Calgary today. The flight was scheduled to arrive around 10:30 am but was delayed by an hour. The plane was a bit hot and stuffy and I arrived feeling not very fresh. It is now 9pm and I feel quite alert but I fell sound asleep on the train from London to Cambridge.

You would be doing something roughly similar but you would presumably be in an unfamiliar city and would need to store your luggage in the city centre for a few hours. And much of the Glasgow-Inverness journey may be in the dark, depending on the time of year.

If I were you, my preference would be to get to Inverness as soon as possible. Then I can check into my hotel, shower and relax. And save Glasgow for later in the trip.

Posted by
1913 posts

I assume you'll have been flying overnight by the time you reach Glasgow. By essentially hanging around Glasgow all day, then taking an evening train, the chances are you will be shattered when you arrive in Inverness

Glasgow's interesting; why not spend a night recovering? Only you know what you can endure but I think you're pushing your boundaries somewhat.

Posted by
5576 posts

I think that your idea is good, but I would not wait until 7. See if you can catch an earlier train. There is one that leaves at around 4:40 and gets to Inverness around 8 PM. In my mind that would be great timing. You would get to Inverness in time to check in, grab a bite, and then crash. The side benefit is that you would have good light for your whole trip north. It's a beautiful train ride. I fear that if you wait until later, you will crash on the train, miss the scenery and set back your plans to defeat jet lag. :)


Posted by
2520 posts

I would consider both suggestions so far, I think leaving it till around 7 to head to Inverness is a mistake and means you arrive there quite late at night , better getting there earlier.An overnight stay in Glasgow sounds good and that way if you are really tired you can crash early and make an early start the next day.

Posted by
6907 posts

I'd suggest a first day and night in Glasgow and head out the next morning. I can't think of many worse things to be doing my first jet-lagged night than spending 3.5 hours on a train desperately wanting to sleep but knowing i had to then get my wits about me, get my luggage, and find my way in a new city to check in to a hotel at 10:30 or 11 pm. No thanks!!

Posted by
5576 posts

I want to add that twice I've flown into the UK from the US and followed it up with a long train trip. Once I was in my 20's and with sister and we went from Gatwick to Edinburgh. Then a few years ago in my 50's I flew in to Heathrow and took a train all the way to Inverness on the first day after an Atlantic trip. So, this is a very personal decision. One thing to bear in mind is that one way to try and get yourself adjusted to the time change is to stay awake and not go to bed until 9 PM. That can be a challenge if you check into a hotel the minute you arrive. But it's a personal decision and you need to think about how you will react to being tired.

Posted by
10268 posts

The train ride is about scenery.

Check to see what time sunset will occur on the day you arrive. If it is before you reach Inverness, consider taking an earlier train.

For some people, the lull of a the train tends to make them drowsy. After flying all night, you might fall asleep on the train and miss the scenery.

Either take an earlier train or consider staying overnight in Glasgow.

And be aware that Queen Street station is going through major renovation. I have no idea when they plan to be finished.