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Itinerary and Accommodations advice — Edinburgh to Glencoe


I am planning a trip to Scotland and Ireland next June with my sister. We will be arriving in Edinburgh midmorning June 10 and leaving early morning of June 13. From there we will take the train + bus to Glencoe, arriving about noon. We plan to leave Glencoe early morning June 16. I'm mostly concerned about the feasibility of public transportation.

  1. Inexpensive accommodations — we're hoping to stay somewhere that's $75/night or less. I found several places in Kinlochleven and Ballachulish. However, we definitely plan to spend part of the day in Glencoe and hiking near Glencoe. For such a short stay, will it be a waste of time to be staying in Kinlochleven or Ballachulish and having to travel back and forth?
    1. Additional itinerary items — once again concerned about public transportation access. We would love to do a Hadrian's Wall day trip from Edinburgh, but since we really only have two and a half days in the city, maybe too much to fit in? Maybe a better use of time to see the Antonine Wall on the way to Glencoe? I've also heard the West Highland Way train route is gorgeous. Is it worth it to take the train to Glenfinnan (instead of getting off at Fort William to take the bus to Glencoe), just to spend a couple hours there and then head to Glencoe for the night? Again, not wanting to be rushed with only two and half days for Glencoe, but there's so much to see.

Any advice or experience with transportation would be appreciated. Thanks!

Posted by
16 posts

Should have mentioned that we don't mind long walks, as that's one of the main things we aim to do in Glencoe!

Posted by
2746 posts

It sounds like you are trying to fit an awful lot into a short time. Scotland has a lot to see, but if you focus on the places you can comfortably visit without rushing, you will not be missing out. Instead you'll get the real feel of Scotland.

If Glencoe is the place where you want to be, I'd advise trying to find a place to stay right there or nearby. You're right that traveling back and forth to Kinlochleven or Ballachulish would be impractical. In addition to considering the price of lodging, you need to add in the cost of bus & train tickets, so if you have to "commute" to a cheaper accommodation you might not actually be saving any money.

I would not devote one of your Edinburgh days to a drive all the way to Hadrian's Wall and back. If you did that, you'd have essentially no time to see Edinburgh.

There is plenty of gorgeous scenery all around, but if you have your heart set on seeing the Glenfinnan Aqueduct, you might be able to make the Fort William connection work. Make sure to look carefully at the train schedules, though. And, as many people on these forums have pointed out, the cheaper fares are purchased in advance but they mean you're committed to catching a certain train or else you lose your money.