Please sign in to post.

Train trip involving Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness

This summer, my wife and I will be in London for a short while, and we plan to travel around Scotland by train for about 10 - 12 days. We plan to use three cities (Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness) as our hubs, from which we will take day tours by bus or train. And we plan to end our trip in the same city we started out from (it can be either Glasgow or Edinburgh). Two questions: (1) Is it better to tale this trip in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction? (2) how many days do you recommend in each city, and what guided day tours do you recommend? Thank you!

Posted by
15530 posts

I did this as a circle. (It doesn't matter which way you go. )

My itinerary was Glasgow--Fort William--Inverness--Edinburgh.

The Glasgow to Fort William train is one of the most scenic in Scotland. You can continue on the "Harry Potter" train to Mallaig but will have to return to Fort William to continue.

There are no trains between Fort William and Inverness. You will have to do this by coach.

For day tours, I, as well as many others here, recommend Rabbies

Posted by
1275 posts

The above post is excellent.
Mind you I am in Fort William right now,
Not sure it will work for you but in the "Offers" bit if the National Rail site there are area passes which might work for you.
What I can say if you fancy a day trip to Mallaig and back even the normal service prebook .
Busy ,busy

Posted by
358 posts

Edinburgh for two to three days, trips to Roslin, east coast castles, Stirling and area for another two to three days. Inverness for a couple of days to take in Culloden, Cawdor and so forth. Probably look to stop somewhere on the way perhaps - heading up the east coast look for places like Elgin perhaps

You'd have to get to Fort William to continue to Glasgow by train (ie by coach) - but the pay off is worth it right until the edges of Glasgow. I wouldn't spend any longer there than needed, I'd use the time at other nice places on the route

Posted by
6395 posts

There is a Scotrail ticket you can buy- the Scottish Grand tour- 4 days in 8 travel for £89- Glasgow or Edinburgh to Skye via Fort William and Mallaig on the service train (not steam train)- but over the same tracks, across to Skye, back to Kyle of Lochalsh, then Kyle to Inverness then back to Glasgow or Edinburgh. That may be worth while. Due to train times I think that circuit works better clockwise.
It no longer includes the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale on Skye, but that is a minor expense, a few £.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks to those of oyu who responded. One question I have is if we go by train just one way from Fort Wiliam to Mallig, will we miss much if we take the "Sprinter" train versus the steam train.

Posted by
6395 posts

Nothing at all. Exactly the same tracks. The only difference is you don't pause when on Glenfinnan Viaduct and don't have a short stop over at Glenfinnan station to see the exhibition there.

Posted by
1961 posts

If the OP is public transport to get around, then cities or towns make sense as they are a better base than the countryside. They will also see the countryside during their day trips....