Scotland is one of the most popular destinations on The Traveling Professor small group tour program. One of the things travelers like about Scotland is that getting around by rail is easy, inexpensive, and there are some great routes. ScotRail, the national railway of Scotland, makes this all possible. In this blog post, we talk about the best rail trips in Scotland.
Mallaig to/from Fort William: Most people are attracted to the antique "Jacobite Steam Train" made famous by the Harry Potter movie series. To be frank, the Jacobite experience is overcrowded, boarding is chaotic, seats are not very comfortable, windows are not great for viewing scenery, and is on the expensive side. On the other hand, the regular service provided by the modern ScotRail trains is cheaper, more comfortable, provides better views, and is less crowded. You can see the famous Glenfinnan Aqueduct too. Do it that way!
Fort William to Glasgow: This may be the most scenic ride I have ever taken on a train on what is called "The West Highland Line". It's about 3.5 hours directly to Glasgow passing over waterfalls, rivers, and highlands. It goes from the wide-ranging Highland countryside to the city of Glasgow with beautiful views along the way. We’ve always been lucky with spotting wildlife like stags and birds of prey.
Inverness to Kyle: The Kyle line is absolutely stunning. Starting in the Highlands capital of Inverness, travel for about 2.5 hours to the gateway to the Isle of Skye, Kyle of Lochalsh. Travel along the seaside through marshes and along rivers and bays. If you're lucky, spot herds of deer along the way. There are beautiful mountains and the views of Skye are fantastic.
Inverness to Dunrobin Castle: The "Far North Line" starts along the way of the Kyle Line but forks off for a scenic waterside journey along Cromarty Firth and Dornach Firth. Keep an eye out for seals and other wildlife. Along the way pass by Glenmorangie distillery. In the summer, passengers can request to arrive at the historic Dunrobin Castle station and at other times get off at Golspie and taxi it over to Dunrobin.
Join The Traveling Professor on a small group tour to Scotland and the Scottish Highlands.