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To join Stornoway from Fort William in July

Hello,

I need concils about my travel in Scotland : Indeed, I will come next summer, especially for the Hebcelt Festival, at Stornoway. But I would like to take a few days before this event to discover Fort William. I found informations about the way to come there from the Airport of Glasgow, but I'm lost about the better wau to choose for the travel from Fort William to Stornoway. I saw It's possible in plane but It's not the easier way because there aren't a lot of flights ; And with boats too, but I don't know where to take it, and if It's possible to find a bus, for exemple, to do the trip between Fort William and the Harbor.

So, if you know the necessary time for It, It will perfect to choose the better day and flight to come back in France after the festival. 

I hope my post is understandable, I haven't possibilities to practice English at work and I try to keep the results of school.

Thank you and have a nice day !

Comments

  • HorizonsHorizons VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭✭
    Hello @Math, welcome to the community, we'll be happy to try to help you form your travel itinerary.

    As I think you've already found out, there is a bus and a train from Glasgow to Fort William. There are 2 ways forward from here (I highly recommend the 1st one)

    1. Take the bus from Stornoway to Uig on the Isle of Skye. If you have not been to Scotland before, Skye is one of the must-see islands even if you just pass through it by bus (just have to stay awake for the last 2 hours in the bus). Stay overnight at Uig. There is a morning ferry that operates on some days from Uig to Tarbert on the Isle of Harris. Once you get off at Tarbert, there is a connecting bus (W10) to Stornoway and the Hebcelt festival.
    2. Take the bus to Inverness, followed by the bus to Ullapool and finally the ferry directly to Stornoway from Ullapool. This can be done in a single day (about 9 hours) and there is only 1 set of connections (so your problem with flights extends easily to public transport as well).
    I recommend flying back from Stornoway to Glasgow, book early as Hebcelt flights are packed. Here is the link for CalMac ferries and Citylink buses which contain timetable and ticket information.

    Hope this helps, if anything is unclear, let me know and I'll add more details.
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  • MathMath Member
    edited October 17
    Thank you for your answer.

    From Fort William, the best way to follow is your first proposition. I simulated both on Google, indeed, It's the better choice I think.

    I found flights Stornoway -  Glasgow via Loganair for the sunday, I think I'll buy it now because I think you're right about the people who want to come back via the plane.

    Oh last question, Is it easy to find on place the bus ? And  do you think I'll need to book tickets before (and for the ferry too) or you can do it the d day, at place ?

    Thank you for your help ;)
  • HorizonsHorizons VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭✭
    It is easy to find a place on the bus mostly but buying in advance does make it cheaper. If you plan to go to Fort William by bus (and explore the surrounding areas), it may also make sense to buy the Citylink explorer pass, I came to know of this pass a few days back and I think it is good value.
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  • If you can book far enough in advance I'd recommend booking your ferry ticket now too. Both the Ullapool - Stornoway and Uig - Tarbert routes get booked up very quickly at that time of year. I was hearing stories of people not being able to get on the boat if they hadn't booked in advance. 
  • HorizonsHorizons VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭✭
    @LochNessPhotography am pretty certain that the OP is travelling as a foot passenger and using public transport throughout and you can walk into any ferry as a foot passenger no matter what. People getting turned away from a "full ferry" are car passengers as the limiting factor is car space.
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  • @Horizons ; Calmac are now advising foot passengers to book online for the Lewis/Harris services. If I was using either of the Skye - Harris or Ullapool to SY routes I would definitely book a space. Heb Celt week is one of the peak wees on the Island and I wouldn't dream of travelling at that time without having booked a ticket. It's just not worth the risk. The MV Loch Seaforth has a capacity of 700 passengers so getting on board 'no matter what' isn't a given at peak times. Chances are you will get on board but it's not worth the risk in my view. 
  • HorizonsHorizons VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭✭
    That's a safe bet to make. Funnily enough I visited during HebCelt last year and it was a fairly busy ferry but not even close to 700 people on board. That being said, if there have been instances of foot passengers being turned away then no hard booking ahead.
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  • MathMath Member
    edited October 19
    I tried to book the Ferry travel yesteday but for the moment, It's not possible, It's too far. I'll try to send a mail at the Compagny to know when It'll be possible to do it. Because I also prefer when everything is clear before the travel.

    So, when you take the ferry at Uig, It goes directly to Stornoway ? Or It's better to take it at Ullapool ?
    I keep monday for the travel in bus from Fort William to Uig or Ullapool, the night at place, and I'll take the ferry the next day, It's my plan for the moment
  • HorizonsHorizons VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭✭
    As I described earlier, Fort William to Uig bus is direct but the ferry goes to Tarbert after which you have to board the connecting W10 bus to Stornoway (takes 1 hour, this is option 1). On the other hand, Fort William to Ullapool is not direct and you'll have to change buses at Inverness but the Ullapool ferry goes straight to Stornoway (this is option 2). My preference is for Option 1 and you'll be able to see both Skye and some of Harris & Lewis from the bus and both are very scenic.
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  • MathMath Member
    Thank you for your advices, I chose your first option, at Uig, and I find a hotel for the night.
    I booked everything, I still have to book the ferry and bus but It's impossible to do it for July for the moment.
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