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Train Travel in Scotland

My husband and I are hiring a car in Glasgow for a trip through the highlands and returning through Stirling.  The last few days of our trip are in Edinburgh.  Would we be better off returning our car to Glasgow airport and taking a train back to Edinburgh? Or, taking the car to Edinburgh (paying the 1 way fee) and then returning to Glasgow airport by train the final day of our trip?

How long does it take to travel between Glasgow and Edinburgh?  How much time should we allow?  Our flight on the final day of our trip leaves at 2:45pm in the afternoon on a Friday.  

We are trying to decide how best to manage travel at the end of our trip.

Also, what is the best type of train ticket to purchase for a simple trip between Edinburgh and Glasgow (or potentially Glasgow to Edinburgh roundtrip)?

Thank you all of your assistance!  We are very excited for our trip!

Comments

  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2017
    Hello @Lee, Glasgow & Edinburgh are the most well-connected cities in Scotland by public transport with multiple trains running between them daily. However, Glasgow International Airport is not directly connected by rail to Edinburgh, you'll have to make a 1-hop journey.

    The simplest ticket I'd recommend is an Off-Peak return ticket between Paisley Gilmour Street (rail station closest to Glasgow Airport, a 5 min taxi ride away) and Edinburgh Waverley which will cost you £25.10 per person (ScotRail website). Buy them at the station itself. Travel time will be less than 2 hours each way.

    The tickets can be used on any train not running between peak hours (ie use them anytime after 9:30 AM and not between 3:30 - 6 PM). Your return journey is surely offpeak, make sure your forward journey is.

    The other taxi-less option is to take buses between Glasgow airport - Glasgow bus station - Edinburgh which takes up to 2.5 hours each way. I've done the train journeys and they work fine. I've even popped out in Glasgow to grab a meal before connecting onwards (you can do that with your tickets).

    Let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy your trip to Scotland. :smile:
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, DunoonSpeyside)

  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour Member ✭✭✭
    Hi, where in Edinburgh are you staying and what do you want to see while there? You may not need the car when there but may have to pay to park. It's then a simple economics question ;-)
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
    yourscotlandtour.co.uk
  • LeeLee Member
    Thank you for your reply.  Our goal is to rid ourselves of the car prior to heading to Edinburgh.  It is merely a decision of whether we return the car in Glasgow and take the train to Edinburgh, stay for a few days, and return to Glasgow for our flight home...or...drop the car at Edinburgh airport, transport ourselves (not sure how yet) to Edinburgh city centre (we’re staying on the Royal Mile near the castle), and then take the train to Glasgow for our flight home on our final AM in Scotland.  While there is a fee for returning the car in a city other than rented, we just didn’t know which option made more sense (we’ll be initially renting the car in Glasgow).

    Thanks!

    Nancy
  • LeeLee Member
    I am grateful for your helpful replies!  I just read the thoughts on transport by train and bus to between Glasgow and Edinburgh.  Quick question for you all.  If we drop the car at the Edinburgh Airport, what is the best method to get to the City Centre?  Our lodging is on the Royal Mile 2 blocks from the castle.  I am ever so grateful for your assistance!

    Best,

    Nancy Lee

  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour Member ✭✭✭
    Tram... runs from the airport to the city centre. Then jump a taxi up to the hotel. 
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
    yourscotlandtour.co.uk
  • LeeLee Member
    Thank you!


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