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Thread: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

  1. #1
    Registered User dulcillini's Avatar
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    Default Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    Wanting to see Inverness as well as Scotland in general, including hopefully mandolin related outings. Have any of my Scotland Cafe mates taken the train from Edinburgh to Inverness? Is is a scenic ride--I assume any ride in Scotland is scenic.

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    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    Can’t say that Inverness is the most scenic City and I wouldn’t want to spend much more than a day there. The classic “scenic” railway journey in Scotland is between Fort William and Malaig but you could decribe most rail journeys outside the central belt (Glasgow - Edinburgh) as “scenic”. I’ve not done the Edinburgh/Inverness rail journey but have travelled around Scotland extensively by road (we’ve had an RV for 25+ years).

    You might like to download the National Rail Enquiries app. (Free) which gives you the times and ticket prices for trains throughout the UK. The cheapest tickets are sold 12 weeks before travel.

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    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    Scottish trains can vary enormously in cost. Whatever you do, don't just turn up and expect to buy a ticket. It's always very expensive to do it that way.

    Perhaps this might help.
    https://www.scotrail.co.uk/tickets
    David A. Gordon

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    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    Make sure you pack very warm and wind proof clothing regardless of the season. If you can take the cold and the wind and the sideways blowing rain, you are in for a very fun and beautiful journey. If you are packing an instrument you are bound to meet some very friendly and welcoming people.
    Speak slowly, they have a difficult time understanding our "unusual" style of English.
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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    I'd think someone would know much more about this by than me. However, I travelled around Scotland, a little bit by train, and, north of Edinburgh and Glasgow, by bus and ferry. From my experience, planners would have to work hard to lay tracks where they wouldn't pass through beautiful country between Edinburgh and Inverness. I didn't get a train pass, as I felt that I'd need to be travelling almost daily to get my money's worth, and that's not how I like to travel. But that was twenty years ago, so fares may have changed. I only spent a night in Inverness, but liked it. It's in a beautiful setting, literally "the mouth of the Ness," on the sea, near Loch Ness. The town and its architecture may be much more interesting to North Americans, like us, than to British people. Enjoy your trip.

    Inverness is an important linguistic dividing point too. In Newfoundland, I was introduced to a Scottish woman, who said "'Ranald'? Your people are from west of Inverness." And they were (from the Outer Hebrides). To the east, it's "Ronald." They don't tell you that in the guidebooks.
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    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post
    Scottish trains can vary enormously in cost. Whatever you do, don't just turn up and expect to buy a ticket. It's always very expensive to do it that way.

    Perhaps this might help.
    https://www.scotrail.co.uk/tickets
    Train ticket prices in the UK are a joke. You used to be able to ‘phone a rail enquiries number and the human being at the other end would work out the best price for you but, alas, no longer. Strangely, for a random journey there and back on Thursday and Friday, the National Rail Enquiries app. gives the same price as the Scotrail website but beware, you might find yourself buying a cheap return ticket and finding that you can only use it to get back on certain trains.

    Although you can get to most places in Scotland by train or bus, it can be difficult and you might find it easier to hire a car which will also enable you to reach the more scenic spots.

    Also, beware of the “wee beasties” between June and September; the “no-seeums” will eat you alive in remote places!

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    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    I grew up in the village of Dunkeld, which is on that rail line about 60 miles north of Edinburgh. It is a scenic route, the hills are great as you get north of my village and of course there is the Forth estuary crossing just outside of Edinburgh on the iconic rail bridge, although you don't see it so well because you're actually on it!
    I live on the south coast now, just outside of Brighton. I miss that Scottish countryside.
    Tony.

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    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    I would hire a car and drive.
    It is a beautiful area.
    A car allows you much more access to what is beautiful.

    If you want to pass Loch Ness along the way, I suggest taking the small road on the south-east side of the loch.
    The other side is just a motorway that scoots right by.
    The south-east road is small and takes time, but is very scenic.
    Plus you get to drive past Boleskine house, where Aleister Crowley and Jimmy Page lived.
    It winds up the hill and around the Loch.
    Much more interesting than the motorway.
    Lots of sheep though...

    Skye itself is lovely, in that Scottish barren landscape sort of way.
    Not much to see, but I loved it.
    There are some cool castles, breweries, and a Gaelic college you can see.
    I was lucky enough to be staying with the major landowner on the island, so I had a good tour guide.
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    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    There is no doubt that hiring a car will obviously get you off the beaten track, where much of the magic is.

    You perhaps hadn't thought of the bus. It is worth looking into. The main companies are Citylink, Megabus and Stagecoach.
    You need to prebook Edinburgh - Inverness journeys.

    https://uk.megabus.com/
    https://www.citylink.co.uk/

    Stagecoach is more for local trips.

    I live near Inverness. The main places to find music are MacGregors and Hootananny, both in Church Street.
    David A. Gordon

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    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    I have taken the train from Edinburgh to Inverness and had a great time with much beautiful scenery. The train accommodations were great and I can't remember if we we served a meal, but I know we were served scones and "clotted cream" and drinks. I'll have to admit we were having such a good time with friends on the train I did not see as much as I should have. We were on a golf trip and the last course we played was Royal Dornoch. Temperature was in the mid 50's with not a cloud in the sky when we started our round there and 20 minutes later it was in the 30's and snow was coming down sideways. We finished the 18th hole with a half inch of snow on the ground. It was April 6!
    Linksmaker

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    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    Quote Originally Posted by Links View Post
    We were on a golf trip and the last course we played was Royal Dornoch. Temperature was in the mid 50's with not a cloud in the sky when we started our round there and 20 minutes later it was in the 30's and snow was coming down sideways. We finished the 18th hole with a half inch of snow on the ground. It was April 6!
    I hear you, man. I would have been doing the lambing then. The weather in April is VERY unpredictable. Dornoch is a local town to me. We often go there, usually to the beach, which is magnificent.
    David A. Gordon

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    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    If you’re into wildlife, I can recommend the wildlife (mainly dolphin) watching trips from Cromarty, on th Black Isle (not actually an island), with Ecoventures - advisable to book ahead as they only operate with a 12 seat RIB - usually followed by the best pizza in the highlands at Sutor Creek next door. My favourite is the haggis and black pudding!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    Here is a film of the Highland main line railway- on which you want to travel:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb2Fo_Zou_s

    This is a bit different as it is an enthusiast's film of the A1 steam loco Tornado on that route. Tornado is interesting as the last A1 was scrapped in 1966 and it was decided that one had to be built. After £3 million was spent and many years of hard work, Tornado was the result- a very impressive engine. Obviously, this was a special trip- one of many around the country and it is not something you just turn up and board on the day! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW5Tas6jg4g

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    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post
    I hear you, man. I would have been doing the lambing then. The weather in April is VERY unpredictable. Dornoch is a local town to me. We often go there, usually to the beach, which is magnificent.
    Dagger .... Dornoch is indeed a lovely town and the golf course is one of my favorites in the world.There were about 50 of us in my group paying golf there that day and the pro shop had a banner day selling woolen items to keep us warm. I was eventually paid back for all of my clothing purchases the entire trip because British Airway had lost all of our luggage due to the grand opening of Terminal 5 at Heathrow ..... huge mess. The BA did not even require us to send receipts, just a listing of items and the amount paid. Funny, but one of our caddies, a young local lad, was also caught off guard as he spent the day wearing short pants!
    Linksmaker

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    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    I love Scotland, every bit of it. The people are kind and helpful. I traveled there a couple of years ago for a commitment ceremony with my wife. Spent two of the three weeks 17 miles out in the Highland countryside in a two hundred year old Sheppard's cabin with mountains surrounding all sides. Watched the Red Deer slowly descend down to the river each evening. Perfection.

  17. #16

    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    We loved Inverness. There are a few "nook and cranny" pubs... one of which had the absolutely best haggis served in a pastry crust glazed with whisky. Cant remember the name of the place, but it was just a stones throw from the river.

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    Registered User Marc Berman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    Not up north but here is the home we are in the process of renovating. Part of a mill workers row. It's in the World Heritage Site, New Lanark, Scotland. Will be moving there permanently in a few years when I retire Built around 1795.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    View from the end of the row - The River Clyde
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  20. #18
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Train from Edinburgh to Inverness

    The two main scenic railway lines in Scotland are the Kyle Of Lochalsh Line from Inverness to Kyle Of Lochalsh (the traditional ferry port for a short hop to the Isle Of Skye) and the West Highland Line from Glasgow via Fort William to Mallaig -- the other traditional ferry port to Skye. Both of these lines cross large swathes of Highland that have no road connection. Indeed, Corrour Station on the West Highland Line is only accessible by rail and Rannoch Station is at the end of a 34-mile cul-de-sac going in entirely the opposite direction from the railway. The West Highland Line also has the Glenfinnan Viaduct featured in the Harry Potter movies.

    There is no road link between Mallaig and Kyle Of Lochalsh on the mainland, but there is a good road and regular bus service from Kyle Of Lochalsh via the Skye Bridge to Armadale for the ferry to Mallaig, which makes a great round trip: Edinburgh-Inverness-Kyle Of Lochalsh-Armadale-Mallaig-Fort William-Glasgow-Edinburgh.

    Martin

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