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Legroom on Rabbies Tours

I am considering Rabbies Tours as an alternative to driving on a trip to Scotland, as I would be going solo. Also the more experienced I get at traveling the more I try to avoid driving. I interacted with their customer service, a few emails back and forth; have taken that about as far as it can go productively. Rabbies seems highly rated on TripAdvisor.

The thing I am concerned with is the legroom/seat pitch of a multi-day tour (or even a long day tour). My experience riding busses in Europe is that the legroom can be very poor. (FlixBus in Poland, also buses in Ireland). Rabbies uses smaller Mercedes coaches, but I still wanted to check before committing. I have gone back and forth with them in an email exchange, and have gotten about as much as I can out of them. Here is what they told me about measurements:

"Top of seat back to seat back in front: 60cm
Base of (front of) seat back to seat back in front: 65cm"

The top measurement is the classic definition of seat pitch, and as a frame of reference economy seat pitch on a plane is around 29 inches/73 cm. So it seems like they have less legroom than a plane by around 3-5", or 8-13 cm. The second measurement seems impossible if the first is true. If I take that one at face value, it's about 25" between my back and the seat in front of me. Suppose 12" is taken up by the seat surface, that leaves 13" in actual legroom (kind of tight).

Either way, this kind of confirms my concerns. So, my questions: if you have taken a Rabbies tour in Scotland, did you find leg room to be an issue? Also, what are your thoughts on my logic? Is there something I am missing here?

Also: I do realize Rick has a tour in Scotland, which I am sure is great but I prefer to travel as independently as possible and only supplment that with tours when it makes sense. Also, the price point exceeds my willingness to pay, especially with the single supplement. And I am sort of a travel grump (intermittantly, not constantly) and not sure I am even eligible on those grounds.

Posted by
11440 posts

I have taken numerous Rabbies Tours. The seating is 1-2 with the aisle in between. If you take one of the single seats you could, sensibly, put your legs in the aisle. Additionally, the front single seat has about three feet of legroom.

You are not on the coach that long as they make many stops. But, I never gave legroom that much of a thought.

But it is a 16 seat mini-coach. It is cramped. The tours are great but if you are so concerned with legroom you may not be happy.

You could ask Rabbies if they can reserve the front single seat for you since it has lots of legroom.

Posted by
1381 posts

My thoughts are similar to Frank ll.
Unlike an airplane, you can move around more easily, and you will be up and out maybe hourly. As a tallish woman I did not find riding with Rabbies uncomfortable.

Posted by
100 posts

Hi Vftravels
I rely on Rabbies whenever I don’t want to drive for excursions. Depending upon the time of year you may not have a full van.
For example, in November 2017 we booked our first two Rabbies trips (from Edinburgh) taking us across the country. Rabbies policy is if two people paid, the van will go. On first tour only 3 other people showed up even though 8 paid. So the van went anyway. Second tour, no more than 10 people were booked so we had plenty of room to stretch out. One lady from Australia broke her ankle a few days before so she got the center back row. Allowed her to used center isle or lounge across the back bench seat.

One other later we were loading up the drivers decided rather than cramming a van full that they would rather have a second van go the same route. Rabbies chose to delay this tour by a half hour to allow the arrival of a second van. Gave folks more room.

I’m rather chubby but I find Rabbies vans to be quite comfortable and safe compared to other tour companies worldwide. I prefer a company with a strong safety record when I travel. Their vans are clean and safe. The drivers are quite responsive to their passenger’s needs.

Now, all that said, I don’t usually travel to touristy destinations (unless for business or visiting family overseas) during the height of tourist season unless I am forced to. I don’t do these types of tours during peak tourist seasons. So I honestly don’t have experience other than ‘off season’ with Rabbies.

Hope that helps. Good luck with your travels.

Posted by
186 posts

I'm with the rest. An inch here and inch there may make a difference in an overseas flight but legroom wasn't bothersome for me on Rabbies (or similar) van tours we've been on (I'm 5'11"). Highly recommend Rabbies by the by.

Posted by
1878 posts

Thanks for your helpful responses. I am only 5’10” myself and don’t have long legs so I could probably manage. On the one hand there is the hassle and expense of driving ($70 per day not counting gas with super CDW). But it does provide the opportunity to take longer hikes and linger someplace if I choose. A tour might be a bit regimented for me but more opportunity for social interaction. And of course they know the logistics and make best use of time. Then there is the value of having a guide on the tour. I guess it’s the age old question, I just have never been a tour person so I have a lot to think about.

Posted by
21300 posts

I spent over 3 weeks in Scotland this summer without a car, though a lot of that time was in cities. Still, I had plenty of opportunities to notice that there was a lot of diving onto pull-over spots required in less-populated areas. In many places you really do have to keep a sharp eye on the road, because said road may be only one lane or 1-1/2 lanes wide. It's a lot more relaxing to turn that responsibility over to a bus or van driver.

On the other hand, your own car gives you the flexibility to (attempt to) drive in the direction of good weather in search of good hiking/walking opportunities. That's especially an issue in the west, in my experience.

Posted by
11440 posts

If you're looking to do hiking, then a tour is probably not for you. But if you want to see sights, and be able to enjoy the scenery, then a tour might be a better option as not only do you leave the driving to them, but you get an experienced guide to tell you about what you are seeing. The Highlands of Scotland are beautiful and I'm glad I took the tour and could enjoy the scenery rather than having to worry about keeping my eyes on the road.

The guides employed by Rabbies are excellent.