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West Highland Line and Isle of Arran trip in 8 days?

Hi, I will be travelling to Scotland in mid June for a short holiday. I'm planning to travel by train (West Highland Line), going to Oban and Skye. I'm also really interested in visiting Isle of Arran and possibly the Holy Isle, and maybe Campbelton.  Any suggestions? I have a disability (I use a walker) so please don't suggest hiking Ben Nevis!


  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Hello @HamishInTheKitchen, 8 days seems too short a time to properly enjoy quite a large set of places you want to visit (even if you were driving this is a large distance of area to cover). Would boat rides be a good suggestion to make? From Oban, there are 2 boats I would recommend, one to Staffa and Lunga (even if you don't get off the boat, these are unique places to see with your own eyes and photograph). The other is a wildlife / bird watching tour with a company like Coastal Connections whom I recommend.

    Castles are another recommendation I have but am not sure how accessible the 3 castles close to public transport on your route (namely Duart, Dunvegan & Eilean Donan) are. On Skye, try to take a day tour with one of the local guides.

    Route wise, I'd recommend Glasgow - Oban (train) - Skye (bus via Fort William in the morning) - Mallaig (bus to Armadale via Broadford and then a ferry) - Glasgow (west highland line). This should be more than enough for 8 days. Alternatively, I'd recommend a 8 day trip from Glasgow - Brodick, Arran (train + ferry) - Lochranza Arran (bus) - Campbeltown (ferry to Claonaig followed by 2 short buses) - Oban (bus) - Glasgow (train). This journey has lesser trains and more hops and hence is not as recommended from a logistics perspective.
    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)

  • Hello @Horizons those are wonderful suggestions, thanks! I think boats/ferries would be a great way to add some interesting ways to see parts of Scotland from a different perspective. I'm intrigued by the first route that you've suggested, and I'll spend some time looking at things to do/places to stay that are accessible.  Is there a route other than West Highland that I could take for the return trip?
    As to castles, I'd love to visit one or two, but I'm also happy to stroll in castle gardens. 
  • VisitScotlandMurielVisitScotlandMuriel Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hi @HamishInTheKitchen
    Dunvegan Castle has some fantastic gardens to visit! The West Highland Line has been voted one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world so I don't think you could get tired of it. Doing it both ways will give you a different perspective anyway... another option would be to go up to Inverness by bus (Scottish Citylink) from Fort William and down to Edinburgh on a different rail journey. 
    Another beautiful rail journey is from Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness. I hope this helps  :)
  • Muriel those are wonderful suggestions. I admit travelling back via Kyle of Localsh is tempting....all those Hamish Macbeth episodes, lol. I will look at Dunvegan Castle, too.
    Thanks again!
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