I plan to spend a few days in the Highlands before my RS Scotland tour in April and am wondering if I need to book rail tickets or if I can buy the tickets at the station. I'll be traveling from Chester to Inverness, then Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh, and then Kyle of Lochalsh to Edinburgh to meet the RS tour. Post tour, I plan a day trip by train to Glasgow. I have hotels booked and wonder if I need to book rail tickets. I don't plan to get a rail pass as it wouldn't pay for itself. Thank you.
Hi Grier -
Definitely book rail tickets in advance. If you book the titled 'Advance' tickets it ties you to a specific train. These tickets, as is oft quoted in these pages, are released around eleven weeks before date of travel. While tying you to a particular train, it does dramatically reduce the ticket price. Don't forget to reserve a seat when booking - important!
The only journey that might warrant a walk up purchase is Edinburgh to Glasgow and back, but I'd check to see if there are any savings to be made on that comparatively short hop while you are at it. Begin your search at www.nationalrail.co.uk which will hopefully direct you to the relevant train operating companies.
Hope you have a great trip.
Thank you, Ian!