/ Visiting the Highlands

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I've got a friend visiting from abroad and she wants to see the Highlands and Skye, probably starting from Edinburgh. She wants to view the scenery and do some easy-ish walking. I can't take her and don't know what to advise, because I have no idea how to use public transport etc.

Does anyone have any advice on what's best for her to do - either by way of using the established tour companies, making good use of the public transport system, using local walking guides etc. Maybe someone has done something similar themselves and could share their plans? She will be there the end of April.

Any information gratefully received - thanks in advance.
Kevin Woods - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Hi there

Now I'm Glasgow based so maybe biased here but I'd probably start Edinburgh, come through to Glasgow then head up on public transport through Loch Lomond, Crianlarich, Glen Coe/Rannoch Moor (depending on bus or train), the Fort, etc onward to Skye. Bus goes via. Glen Shiel. Train goes to Mallaig + boat to Skye.

I'd say that gives you a good portion of western Scotland is about, though does leave out Aviemore, Gorms, etc.

Transport - Citylink go Glasgow - Portree all day every day.

The (train) West Highland Line runs Glasgow - Fort William - Mallaig (splitting in half at Tyndrum for Oban). The northward Sleeper service stops at Edinburgh at something like 5am, so could be an idea to take that and you'll be in Fort William by about mid day.

For short walks, where do you begin :o I guess there's many but Steall Falls is a big contender for great scenery for a short walk - provided you can get down to the road end.
In reply to Kevin Woods: Thanks for the reply - great info!
skog - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
Can she hire a car? It could make a big difference, particularly if the weather's changeable.

I knocked this together for someone a while back. It's of limited use if using public transport, and it could do with a wee bit of updating, but it might give some ideas:

http://www.dreamsofmountains.co.uk/scotlandhighlights/scotlandhighlights.htm
In reply to skog: Pretty sure she can't drive, but I've never actually asked. Thanks for the link )))
Flinticus - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
Take the West Coast line up to Mallaig. Some of the remote stations have bunkhouses right on the platform; Bridge of Orchy, Corrour & Tulloch.
In reply to Submit to Gravity: I'm following all these links and looking stuff up and wishing I was going now...
Toby S - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

You could give my lot a phone (a certain national tourist organisation) they're actually pretty good at planning itineraries and would be happy to send her links to timetables and local tour guides.
In reply to Toby S:
> (In reply to Submit to Gravity)
>
> You could give my lot a phone (a certain national tourist organisation) they're actually pretty good at planning itineraries and would be happy to send her links to timetables and local tour guides.

Give me a clue...

I'm a bit slow.
Douglas Griffin - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

I'd suggest that your friend includes the far north-west in her itinerary. By that I mean from Lochcarron northwards, starting with Torridon and finishing with Durness and the Kyle of Tongue.

Probably means hiring a car, though.

Toby S - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Visit Scotland :-)
Toby S - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

I was up that way today. The views were fantastic. I was cursing myself for not having a decent camera, loads of snow and blue skies for most of the morning.
skog - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Toby S:

I spent most of the day in central Glasgow, so I hope your ear hair develops split ends and your left big toenail turns cerise.

Where did you get to?
Douglas Griffin - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to skog:

I was in Torridon today. :-)
skog - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

Right, I don't like you any more.


You know, I haven't been in the North West since September. Unless you count Ardgour, which is pushing the definition a bit (lovely as it is) - just totally bogged down at work, and have missed the better weather windows. The Spring should see some chances to escape, though...

At least the September visit was a great one:
http://www.dreamsofmountains.co.uk/StacPollaidh201209/StacPollaidh201209.htm
Douglas Griffin - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to skog:

:-)

Aye I saw those pics of Stac Pollaidh on your website last year (I was checking it for ideas for where to go on Mull - got some good info!).
skog - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

Aye, I saw your sand drainage photos on Flickr. I never get tired of the Ross of Mull, it's quite a place, eh? The hills further East are pretty good too, when it isn't pouring down..!
nickyrannoch on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

what does she look like? i might take her
IainRUK - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity: Check www.walkhighlands.co.uk

It has classic walks at each distance in each area..
ice.solo - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

if i were to go back for a short time id head straight to portree from glasgow, over to Uig where the ferries leave from (correct me if im wrong) and get into the hebrides.

a part of the world unlike any other, use boats to get around and small enough to walk. easy hitching when theres no public transport.
ads.ukclimbing.com
skog - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to ice.solo:

A great plan if the weather's good and settled, but could leave you quite stuck if it's poor.

There's nowhere more beautiful than the Outer Hebrides when the weather's at least OK, but they can be a bit dismal when it isn't...
isi_o - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
I would go up to Mallaig via Loch Lomond as others have said - train or bus as far as Fort William, then train to Mallaig and boat to Skye... Then bus up through Skye to Uig, boat over to Harris, bus about Harris & Lewis and back via Stornoway - Ullapool boat. From Ullapool bus to Inverness and down to Edinburgh via Aviemore etc.
Including the far north of the mainland would be great but as others have said may well not be feasible without a vehicle.
All doable via bus and train, but most providers are still on winter timetables until May so may require some careful planning!
Try traveline Scotland as a starting point... http://www.travelinescotland.com/welcome.do
Isi
auld al on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity: possible these people would suit - have stayed in some of the hostels and found them excellent
http://macbackpackers.com/
auld al on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to auld al: they do all-in tours
ice.solo - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to skog:

I can see that. Agree totally.

But hey - aint no other way to do it. The best places take an element of risk.

Toby S - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to skog:
> (In reply to Toby S)
>
> I spent most of the day in central Glasgow, so I hope your ear hair develops split ends and your left big toenail turns cerise.
>

You're a mean, bitter, old man :-D

> Where did you get to?

Work trip to Durness. The job itself only took about twenty minutes so I went for a walk round Smoo cave and stopped off at a few spots on the way back.

MargieB - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Toby S: If in Inverness there are buses from the main central bus station to Foyers, South Loch Ness {with fab views of loch Ness} with a lovely walk around the Falls and Gorge of Foyers as a destination, Lunch at Falls cafe and home to Inverness or B&B within Foyers.Look up times on internet Inverness- Foyers
In reply to Submit to Gravity: Many thanks to all for the great replies - much appreciated!
estivoautumnal - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to isi_o:

A bit of wrong advice there.

Calmac timetables change at the end of March. Most buses and trains keep a similar timetable year round.
Dauphin - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

The Kyle to Inverness line is probably one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world, If she got over to Skye via Mallaig I'd definitely encourage her to return this way via Inverness & then down from Aviemore. Some idea of time & experience would allow us to give a better itinerary.
The far NW is amazing but the buses are not.

D

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