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Scotland-Itinerary Help for Scenic Trains

After getting so much helpful advice from this board, my husband and I have decided to skip doing any of the Highlands "all day" tours from Edinburgh and in reading many other threads about overall itineraries also decided to not include Wales but to stick with England and Scotland for our two-week Sept. trip. So, with this in mind, we would appreciate suggestions for this timeframe:

We arrive in Edinburgh via the train from York on Mon. Sept. 8th. Currently we have reservations in Edinburgh from Sept. 8th-Sept. 10th. We need leave Scotland on Sept. 15th via train to Windsor, so basically we have from Sept. 10th-Sept. 14th and there seem to be so many different directions to go from Edinburgh that some suggestions are much appreciated!

Thank you.

Posted by
16883 posts

On two maps that I have - one that used to come with BritRail passes and one published by Map Link, every rail line north of Glasgow or Edinburgh is marked as scenic, but not all bits of the route from Edinburgh to Aberdeen. Let's assume that you can't go wrong with scenery, but just need to plan a logical, 4-day loop.

Posted by
837 posts

I'd have a look at the Highland Rover, from scotrail.
4 days of travel in a 8day period,inc some coach trips and ferry journeys, and assuming you get a Two Together card would be £53 each.
The journey up to Fort William takes some beating.

Posted by
5668 posts

You're right there are lots of choices. It would help to narrow them to know a wee bit more about your interests beyond scenic train rides. :)

I often suggest taking the train north from Edinburgh and stopping of at Dunkeld/Birnam. You can go for a walk in Birnam Wood, or up to the Hermitage and then cross the bridge to Dunkeld for lunch at The Taybank and to check out the Cathedral and the restored small houses. It's a very nice little village. You can head further north on the train to as far as Inverness or stop off at Pitlochry if you want to tour a distillery or if there is something good at the Festival Theatre. Then you can go on to Inverness, with maybe a stop at Blair Castle.

My favorite train ride is the one from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh. I think it's stunning. Once you get to Kyle of Lochalsh the railroad ends and it's bus time unless you turn around and go back to Inverness.

If you go back to Inverness there are lots of great day trips that you can make--Loch Ness, Culloden, down to Aviemore and the Cairngorms etc.