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Staying in Scotland

Hiya I'm after some advise please, me and my husband are really wanting to visit Scotland for a week,however we don't drive we would love to stay in a cottage with a small village near by,but still have the amazing scenery and walks etc but as we don't drive we need to be near shop/pub anyone know the best places for this in Scotland. Thank you. Xx

Comments

  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Hey @Chantel , after giving it a fair amount of thought I suggest you stay the week at Pitlochry. I am dispensing this knowledge based on seeing most of Scotland by public transport (I blog about it here) and under the assumption that this is your first Scotland visit.

    1. Pitlochry is a major railway station and bus stop and marks the entrance of the Scottish highlands. Multiple trains & buses go to Edinburgh & Glasgow daily making it easy for non-drivers to get in & out. It's also a fairly large town with pubs, restaurants & shops.

    2. It features both Highland scenery and water scenery (River Tummel & Loch Tummel). There are a huge number of walks based in that area.

    3. It's a very romantic location and there are hotels / AirBnbs that either look towards the water or towards the Highland landscape.

    4. There are public transport options that can help you create day trips from Pitlochry. A few that I have done & recommend are Dunkeld & Birnam, Aberfeldy, Loch Tummel & Blair Atholl and Aviemore & Newtwonmore

    5. The town is also home to 2 distilleries and a festival theatre.

    There are so many other towns & villages I can recommend but they all need a bit more travel time / planning. Honorable mentions are Luss, Brodick in Isle of Arran & if you're really adventurous, Portree in Isle of Skye (2 out of 7 days will be spent getting there and back). Feel free to ask me any questions you may have :smile: :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)

  • ChantelChantel Member ✭✭
    Thank u so much for your reply and yes it will be my 1st time visiting Scotland I will look into where you suggested me and my husband don't really travel anywhere so we are assuming as we are coming from Torquay we would fly from the nearest airport to Glasgow or Edinburgh airport then to our location via bus or taxi? X
  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Yeah, I'd recommend flying into Edinburgh airport over Glasgow if possible because the train station from where you can catch the Pitlochry train is only a 6 minute tram ride from the airport. Visit the ScotRail website to book railway tickets from the Edinburgh Gateway station to Pitlochry (the Inverness bound train). But if you decide to go somewhere else (like Fort William, Skye or Arran), you should fly into Glasgow airport. Again feel free to ask any questions if you feel stuck at any point.
    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)

  • ChantelChantel Member ✭✭
    Thank u much appreciated I'm new to all this so last thing I want to do is get lost lol so need to make sure we plan it properly we've been looking at isle of Skye and Glencoe too they look amazing we kept meaning to go Scotland last year but people kept putting us off because we don't drive,thank you if I have any more questions I'll definitely ask you. X
  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    It's my pleasure Chantel. Scotland does not have the best public transport but with a little bit of planning, it's possible to see a very large part of this country. Glencoe is fairly accessible by public transport as well (not as much as Pitlochry but still not too bad either) & it's beauty is famed. Skye too has a direct bus from Glasgow but that takes 7 hours, taking away valuable relaxation time :smile: 

    To get to Glencoe, fly to Glasgow, take the airport bus to the Glasgow Buchanan bus station (the main bus station) and transfer to a Scottish CityLink bus heading to Fort William / Uig. Tell the driver you need to be dropped off at Glencoe. Takes a bit over 2.5 hours from Glasgow and the last bus leaves at 6 PM (so a flight would need to be planned accordingly).

    If you have a smartphone, install the Google Maps app (if you don't have it already) and use it during your trip to check things like when the next bus / train is, etc. Google has a small guide on how to do so here & I found myself using it heavily doing my public transport trip of Scotland. Plus the people were friendly and gave me directions & even lifts if needed.
    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)

  • ChantelChantel Member ✭✭
    Wow thank you you've been so helpful sounds like its needs some careful planning I think we may stick to pitlochry as it sounds more assemble lol could be quite fun especially with our two dogs lol.
  • VisitScotlandLyndsayVisitScotlandLyndsay Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    edited January 2017
    Hi @Chantel. Balloch is a small town located at the southern edge of Loch Lomond and is very accessible by train from Glasgow city centre with trains departing every half hour from Glasgow Queen Street train station.

    In Balloch you could visit Balloch Castle Country Park, where you can explore the Fairy Glen, Chinese Walled Garden,  The Fairy Carvings the Secret Garden and so much more! Certainly a treat for your two dogs  :D. You can also visit Loch Lomond Shores where there is a variety of shops, cafes, a restaurant, woodland walk, water based activities and one of the finest views of Loch Lomond. During the evening there is plenty choice of eating out places and local pubs, some of which have live music depending on what night you visit.  

    Balloch also makes for a good base to explore the surrounding area with local buses taking you to the picturesque village of Luss on the western shores of Loch Lomond, or across to Balmaha on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, a village popular for its walking routes. Also, depending on when you are visiting you can hop aboard a waterbus to take you to the village of Luss, or for something a little bit different you can get the ferry to the islands of Inchmurrin and Inchcailloch.

    Should you decide to explore elsewhere in Scotland using the CityLink bus service, I would advise that you contact the company before travelling to check if your dogs are permitted to travel on the coach. On some CityLink routes dogs are not permitted to travel.

    I'm sure you will have a great time wherever you decide to visit!  :)


  • ChantelChantel Member ✭✭
    Thank u lyndsay for all that information sounds amazing if really helps having a guide of places to go and how to get there as like I said me and my husband don't travel only been to Dartmoor lol love it there though but I will look into where u said. X
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