We are travelling to Scotland in June, will have 8 days there (not counting days we fly to and From USA) and plan to fly in and out of Glasgow. Our plan is to visit Glasgow briefly, Edinburg, Inverness and Oban ( going to Iona and Mull) and return to Glasgow in that order? We are planning to use trains or buses. Is this a realistic plan? Can we travel directly from Inverness to Oban and how long will that take?
That sounds like a lot of travel in 8 days. Do you have it laid out on a calendar, with estimated travel time? Where are the overnights - in Edinburgh, Inverness, Iona, and Glasgow? Edinburgh-Inverness travel time is 3.5 - 4.5 hours by train or bus. Rick's Great Britain book (p. 949 suggests that buses from Inverness to Oban require a connection in Fort William (total travel time 4 hours); see bus schedules at www.citylink.co.uk. Train schedules are online through DB or www.scotrail.co.uk/.
I think that the only way to get all of this in would be to drive or do some tours. The sticking points are that you will need to do the bus from Inverness to Oban. Once in Oban, I would really recommend doing a tout of Mull and not trying to do it via public transportation. Public transportation in the west of Scotland is a bit challenging.
I did suggest to a friend just tonight, that he think about this trip. Train to Fort William from Glasgow (Beautiful trip!). Then take the steam or regular train to Mallaig. Ferry from Mallaig to Armadale on Skye. Bus from Armadale to Kyle of Lochalsh. Train from Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness. Train from inverness to Edinburgh. Train from Edinburgh to Glasgow. I haven't really checked this with time tables, but I think it's possible.
The catch is having time to enjoy the places that you'r going to rather than just passing through....Personally, I wouldn't be very wild about that bus ride from Inverness to Oban.
Now, if you were driving, this might be a really nice trip.
Thanks so much. We have reservations in Glasgow on 6/10, in Callendar 6/11,12 & 13, in Inverness 6/14 & 15, Oban 6/16 & 17, back to Glasgow 6/18 and fly home out of Glasgow 6/19. Based on input we are thinking about cancelling OIban all together. Do you have any suggestions based on this itinerary. Eliminating Oban obviously gives us those 2 days play with. We are going to use public transportation ( we are 2 "mature" women). We are hoping to arrange tours in the various areas we are visiting, Any suggestions?