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Train or Car (Edinburgh to Inverness) Updated?

This topic was discussed back in 2008 and 2009. I wonder if the driving situation has changed and/or improved at all since then? Like others, I am considering whether to rent a car on our next visit to Scotland in 2018. We've been there 3 times before and always took trains or buses. Public transportation is wonderful and cheap, but I'd like to have the luxury of stopping along the way if the mood strikes. Google map seems to think it will take 3 hours 11 minutes to drive from Edinburgh to Inverness. . . but a traveler in 2008 said it took 8 hours. Any suggestions/thoughts? Our trip will be 10 days -- Edinburgh, Inverness, Gills Bay and catch the ferry to Orkeys, then down to Glencoe, and finally to Glasgow for flight home.

Posted by
1239 posts

Ok, not sure of the question.

The driving is still on the left, and speed limits are still in archaic imperial.

There are road improvements being carried out on the A9 Perth to Inverness. If going to Orkney a car is essential.

Posted by
4 posts

The question is whether it really takes 8 hours to drive from Inverness to Glencoe? Construction and trucks and narrow roads and heavy traffic were cited as reasons why driving in Scotland is not like driving in the States. I understand that driving on the left is still the rule. I wondered if the roads have been widened/improved since 2008. Infrastructure. I suspect the answer is no.

Posted by
3996 posts

The roads in Scotland, as you will be aware from your previous trips can be narrow and winding, but the route from Inverness to Edinburgh is a major road, so is quicker.

Google Maps always underestimates timings, but I have driven this in c 3.5 hours or so. You can take 8 hours if you detour for photos and see places en route.

Posted by
2688 posts

We were given a mini-van when we went to Scotland (not what we reserved) and had no problem anywhere we went. We always have rental cars so we can stop anyplace we find interesting or change the direction we head.