The Scottish Highlands by Public Transport

Sit back and let someone else do the driving, enjoying a journey that takes in the grandeur of the central Highlands and the high Cairngorm mountains. With Inverness, the bustling Highland capital, as your most northerly point, you can also explore on the way some of Scotland’s most spectacular castles.

Perfect Time To Go

March - December

Number Of Nights


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    Day 1

    From Edinburgh there are frequent bus and train departures for Stirling – around an hour away. Stirling Castle dominates the town’s skyline, the town grew up around this once strategically important fortress. Walk up to it by way of the busy shopping streets to reach the atmospheric Old Town, then the Esplanade with its magical views. Overnight in Stirling.

    Day 2

    Stirling lies within sight of the A9, the Highland Road, and your journey continues northwards via Perth for Newtonmore and Aviemore. (There are bus and rail services. Journey times just over two hours.) En route, Perthshire’s woods gradually give way to the open moorland and heathery hillslopes of the central Highlands, with the Pass of Drumochter, the highest point reached by rail in the UK, leading down to the valley of the River Spey, with superb views of the Cairngorm Mountains to the southeast. Break your journey at the Highland Folk Museum at Newtonmore, before continuing for an overnight at Aviemore.

    Day 3

    Aviemore is a gateway for the Cairngorms National Park with a huge choice of leisure activities. Regular bus services throughout the day, year round link the resort to CairnGorm Mountain (that is, the base station for the funicular railway). The linking buses run as a ‘hail and ride system’ from Inveruie, so you can also get off anywhere and explore the network of paths and walks around, for example, Loch Morlich. Overnight in Aviemore.

    Day 4

    Inverness is about 40 minutes by train or bus from Aviemore, with pinewood and moorland views and a fine panorama over the inner Moray Firth on the approaches to Inverness. The Highland capital has great shopping, restaurants, pubs and nightlife and also offers the option of visiting Loch Ness and the spectacular lochside ruins of Urquhart Castle. Combined bus and boat cruises leave from the city centre. Overnight in Inverness.

    Day 5

    Fascinating places easily reached from Inverness also include Fort George, Europe’s best preserved 18th-century fortress, or Culloden battlefield, or spectacularly scenic Glen Affric, all available on a day tour by bus. Alternatively, discover the Moray Firth resort town of Nairn (frequent bus or train services) with its beautiful beaches – with a chance of seeing dolphins from the shore. Boat cruises also operate from Inverness and Nairn. Overnight in Inverness.

    Day 6

    Leave Inverness to journey back over the high Grampian hills en route for Perth. Break your journey at the little resort town of Pitlochry, to visit the Blair Athol Distillery at the southern edge of the town. (About 20 minutes’ walk from train station. Most bus services stop close to the distillery). Then re-join the southbound services for Perth, an attractive town by the banks of the River Tay. Its easy-to-navigate central grid of streets are worth exploring, with plenty of shops, cafes and pubs, as well as a museum and galleries. Overnight in Perth.

    Day 7

    Depart Perth for Edinburgh (bus or train – journey times vary but around 80 minutes). Edinburgh is one of Europe’s great capitals, with a huge range of places to see and things to do and a vibrant cultural life. Compact enough to discover on foot. Visit the iconic Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile, there is also a good choice of historical and Ghost walks. Overnight in Edinburgh.

    Included in this package:

    • 7 nights hotel accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis
    • Rail tickets
    • Entry fees to Stirling and Edinburgh Castles
    • Join a group tour to Culloden (entry fee included) and the Clava Cairns
    • Edinburgh ghost walking tour
    • VAT at 20%

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