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Inverness to Edinburgh and what's in between.

Hello Everyone, 

I am coming to Scotland at the end of June with my family (wife, 16 yr old son and 12 yr old daughter) and am looking for some advice for a portion of our trip. We're flying in to Inverness from Belfast (arriving about noon on a Tuesday), and are planning on taking the Jacobite steam train the following day (Wednesday) from Fort William at 14:30, returning to Fort William at 20:30 that same day.  Our plan is to be in Edinburgh the following day (ideally arriving not too late on Thursday). 

My questions are: 

Should we stay in Inverness,  Fort William or somewhere in between or nearby that first night?

Should we stay in Fort William, somewhere near by, OR somewhere on the way to Edinburgh after the Jacobite train? 

Are there any special (yet affordable) accommodation options along the way?

What are "must see" stops between Inverness and Fort William and between Fort William and Edinburgh? 

I know that there 
A little about us: We live in San Francisco, have traveled all over the world, but have not yet been to Scotland. Our kids are veteran travelers, up for adventure, but are not necessarily excited about hiking (although we do occasionally force them to).
We love the idea of staying in historic properties, but are not high end travelers, don't care how many "stars" a place has, and generally don't like to spend a "lot" (I know...subjective) on accommodations.....although would be willing to spend a bit more on a special place that creates a unique experience. 

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer. 

Desmond

Comments

  • spootsspoots Member ✭✭
    edited February 19
    DesmondSF said:
    Hello Everyone, 

    I am coming to Scotland at the end of June with my family (wife, 16 yr old son and 12 yr old daughter) and am looking for some advice for a portion of our trip. We're flying in to Inverness from Belfast (arriving about noon on a Tuesday), and are planning on taking the Jacobite steam train the following day (Wednesday) from Fort William at 14:30, returning to Fort William at 20:30 that same day.  Our plan is to be in Edinburgh the following day (ideally arriving not too late on Thursday). 

    My questions are: 

    Should we stay in Inverness,  Fort William or somewhere in between or nearby that first night?

    Should we stay in Fort William, somewhere near by, OR somewhere on the way to Edinburgh after the Jacobite train? 

    Are there any special (yet affordable) accommodation options along the way?

    What are "must see" stops between Inverness and Fort William and between Fort William and Edinburgh? 

    I know that there 
    A little about us: We live in San Francisco, have traveled all over the world, but have not yet been to Scotland. Our kids are veteran travelers, up for adventure, but are not necessarily excited about hiking (although we do occasionally force them to).
    We love the idea of staying in historic properties, but are not high end travelers, don't care how many "stars" a place has, and generally don't like to spend a "lot" (I know...subjective) on accommodations.....although would be willing to spend a bit more on a special place that creates a unique experience. 

    Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer. 

    Desmond

    Hi Desmond :)

    Here's my advice:

    Stay in Inverness for the first night.

    In the morning, head out of Inverness bus station on the 09:05 Citylink route 919 coach.  You could:

    -visit Urquhart Castle (https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/urquhart-castle/, get off at Urquhart Castle)

    -or enjoy a boat journey on Loch Ness (https://www.cruiselochness.com/scenic-tours, get off at Fort Augustus)

    You've got roughly two hours at each of these places.  Then, get the 919 Citylink bus (departs Urquhart Castle 11:40, or departs Fort Augustus bus stance 12:08) to Fort William, arriving at 13:05.  You've then got time for lunch before boarding the 14:30 Jacobite steam train to Mallaig and back.

    It's probably best to stay in Fort William for the next night.  Then, get the train to Glasgow Queen Street in the morning - it arrives in Fort William at 07:25 and leaves at 07:44.  The train arrives in Glasgow at 11:30 and you should be able to, with a change, reach Edinburgh before 13:00.

    I hope this helps. :)
  • DesmondSFDesmondSF Member
    Hi Sam, 

    Thanks so much for your reply and advice. I will be renting a car in Inverness and using that for our transportation for the 2 days until arriving in Edinburgh, so I assume that I can still do the things you talked about from the night I arrive, until finishing the Jacobite train the following night. Is there any thing you would suggest seeing/doing on the drive from Fort William to Edinburgh?

    Thanks again for your advice.
  • jesusrock7jesusrock7 Member
    Hey, Desmond. I've been researching for a future UK road trip, and I'd like to point out that Eilean Donan Castle is not far from the Inverness-Fort William route, since you're driving. Would your kids like to see one of the most-photographed castles in all of Scotland?

    If you look it up on Google Maps, just detour west at Invermoriston (near the south end of Loch Ness) onto A887 for about an hour, then on the way back divert south onto A87, take A82 at Invergarry, and you'll be back on track down to Fort William. If you only want a quick look around the castle and not take a guided tour, you should still make it to Fort William for the Jacobite train.

    -- Susie (Minnesota, USA)
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