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A very quick road trip to Scottish Highlands

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
119 posts
10 reviews
A very quick road trip to Scottish Highlands

Hi All,

I know this has been asked before and I have read lots of reports but find some conflicting.

We only have around five days available to spend in Edinburgh and beyond . Having limited time I would normally just spend quality time in one or two places but Scotland just looks so beautiful I want to give it a try to see some special places.

I note some companies offer trips as short as three days to the Highlands so was wondering if the following itinerary is doable ? We will be hiring a car to get around.

Edinburgh 2 nights - one arrival day and one sightseeing day

Fort William 1 night - travel via Loch Lomond and Glencoe . Want to ride the Jacobite train in the morning 10am. This is a four hour trip ? Would we have time to get to Isle of Skye after that ?

Isle of Skye 2 nights - one arrival day, look around leave next morning.

Can we get back to Edinburgh via Eilean Donan Castle in time to catch a late train back to Peterborough to continue on our trip ?

Would appreciate any feedback / advice.

Thanks !!

24 replies to this topic
Front Royal...
Level Contributor
123 posts
53 reviews
1. Re: A very quick road trip to Scottish Highlands

A recommendation that I've partially done,

Step 1:

Drive all the way up to mallaig, Park your car, there is plenty of parking for the folks who live out on the islands, its safe to do. Its a decent sized lot next to the community center. public restrooms which is right beside the train station.

Step 2:

Take the evening train to FW, Grab accommodations for that night probably the Premier Inn which is near the train station.

Step 3:

Take Jacobite one way. (Many will state its a complete waste of money.)

Step 4:

Get back in your car in mallaig, (I've done all of this to this point -- from here made a mad dash to glasgow)

Step 5:

Drive car from parking space over to queue for the ferry which you have already reserved for that afternoon.

Step 5:

Travel to Skye that afternoon. Ensure you have reservations for that night, and for the whole period you are out there.

Edited for formatting.

Edited: 23 October 2018, 07:37
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
119 posts
10 reviews
2. Re: A very quick road trip to Scottish Highlands

Thanks Brett B !

Now that's a thought .... why would people say the Jacobite train is a waste of money ? I read it was one of THE train journeys ?

Would we have time on the way to Mallaig to look around ? Would that mean we'd miss Glencoe and Loch Lomond (both of which I read were beautiful and worth seeing) Is there much to do at Fort William ?

Thanks - always good to look at things differently !

Dingle, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Dingle
Level Contributor
16,574 posts
21 reviews
3. Re: A very quick road trip to Scottish Highlands

The Jacobite train is a waste of money, the train ride is spectacular but it's the same train ride on a normal diesel train. To see the Jacobite steam past is lovely, but once you are inside, well , a train is a train.

Wiltshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Wiltshire
Level Contributor
11,965 posts
449 reviews
4. Re: A very quick road trip to Scottish Highlands

Fort William to Mallaig on the regular service train can be booked for £7.20, which is around 1/4 the price of the Jacobite.

Level Contributor
4,032 posts
100 reviews
5. Re: A very quick road trip to Scottish Highlands

why would people say the Jacobite train is a waste of money ? I read it was one of THE train journeys ?

----

No, the journey is, there is a difference.

The Jacobite is a less convenient, less regular, more expensive of way seeing THE SAME THING as you see from the ScotRail service. It goes over the same track, and the views are the same.

Especially if you have limited time, the Jacobite makes no sense

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
119 posts
10 reviews
6. Re: A very quick road trip to Scottish Highlands

Thank you all !! Very good points and great advice ! Will look into the freight service we might even save some time doing it that way !

Edited: 23 October 2018, 12:14
Dingle, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Dingle
Level Contributor
16,574 posts
21 reviews
7. Re: A very quick road trip to Scottish Highlands

The normal train is not a freight service, it is just a normal, faster, cleaner, cheaper, regular passenger train.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
119 posts
10 reviews
8. Re: A very quick road trip to Scottish Highlands

Wonderful, thank you - will do my research:)

Winchelsea, United...
Destination Expert
for West Sussex, East Sussex
Level Contributor
6,380 posts
15 reviews
9. Re: A very quick road trip to Scottish Highlands

“The normal train is not a freight service, it is just a normal, faster, cleaner, cheaper, regular passenger train.”

If you are a steam enthusiast of course, none of these things will matter in the slightest. You’ll be looking to actually enjoy the older coaching stock, the smell of the smoke and inspecting the loco when you stop. Travel is sometimes about more than just efficiently getting from a to b.

Mike

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
119 posts
10 reviews
10. Re: A very quick road trip to Scottish Highlands

True Mike , I do love the look of a steam train though my interest was more the journey :)

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