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ScotRail Question

Does ScotRail offer any kind of "hop on, hop off" rail pass suitable for day tripping?
If it were feasible, I thought we might take a train from Glasgow Queen St. out to Blair Atholl, and return with stops at Pitlochry and Stirling.
Would this be possible as a day trip or too ambitious? 

Comments

  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Hey @Rob, for your journey you can just buy an off peak day return ticket and break your journey as all 3 stations are on the same route. However your itinerary is ambitious as both Blair Castle & Stirling castle are 15 mins away from the station. Plus not all trains on the route stop at Blair Atholl specifically (refer to the Blair Atholl - Pitlochry bus timetables as they're useful for connections on non-Sunday days). There's also a fair amount of things to do in Pitlochry.

    As a sidenote, ScotRail did launch a new days out hop on hop off ticket but isnt valid beyond Stirling on your route.
    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)

  • RobRob Member ✭✭
    Thanks Horizons!
    Perhaps a morning visit to Pitlochry (10:20) and an afternoon stop (15:45) in Stirling?
    Based on the rail schedules, we could possibly spend 4 hours in each town and be back to Glasgow by 20:00.
    Too rushed to enjoy each? 
  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    @Rob if you're short on time, this trip sounds reasonable if you pick out before hand how you're going to spend your hours in each place. I personally would catch the earlier 7:11 AM train reaching Pitlochry by 8:42 and then catching the 1:43 PM arrival to Stirling (as the castle closes at 5 PM).

    If you like whisky, I cannot recommend visiting Edradour enough, with the early arrival train you can benefit from a nature walk along the Black Spout waterfall reaching Edradour by its opening time of 10 AM. Or book a taxi / taxis before hand to take you places.
    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)

  • RobRob Member ✭✭
    @Horizons, Yes, time is a factor, as we will only have one day to explore this area. Our dilemma is trying to choose between spending a relaxing time in a small, quaint town with a wonderful sounding distillery or spending the day in a larger town like Stirling that would likely offer more things to see and do. We most certainly want to visit a whisky distillery, and the Edradour in Pitlochry, with the small town setting and a waterfall viewing hike to get there sounds perfect. But I question whether we would be content just spending the day there or if we should try to see some of the sights in Stirling as well? Train schedules would be important and we would likely feel rushed. If we set our sight solely on Stirling, the transfer time from Glasgow would be shorter, allowing us more time to visit the Castle and perhaps the Wallace monument, and I thought we might also have time to find transportation out to see the Doune Castle and perhaps the Deanston distillery nearby. On a side note, we likely have the opportunity to visit Pitlochry during a short stop on our way back from a booked tour to the Highlands and Loch Ness. Not enough time to visit Edradour though. Do you feel there is a compelling reason to choose one of those plans over another?
  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    @Rob The Pitlochry stop on the Highland tour will likely give you the time to get ice cream & see river Tummel. I have a very biased opinion as I love Pitlochry & Perthshire to bits. I think the right answer for me has 2 components

    1) If it is raining, I'd just go to Stirling, both the castle and Wallace Monument are great places to visit but also very indoorsy. And if you'd like to get a nature fix too (assuming you have time left), I recommend visiting the village of Alva at the foot of the Ochils, it is one of those hidden gems in Scotland few people visit. The Alva Glen is a wonderful nature walk and the Harviestoun Brewery makes some of the best beer in Scotland - its Ola Dubh 18 is matured in 18 year old ex Highland Park casks. Buses run fairly frequently on weekdays and a brewery tour can be arranged if you call ahead.

    2) If it is a clear, sunny day and you'd like to enjoy nature over seeing history then I'd pick Pitlochry and make a day out of it. Outside of Edradour (where I've spent an entire day tasting whiskies with a friend), you can take a bus to either the Queen's View (weekdays only, infrequent, £15 one way with a taxi) or to Aberfeldy (fairly frequent bus service, slightly longer journey) to see the Birks of Aberfeldy and Castle Menzies (again walk or prebook a taxi, especially for the latter). It is also home to Dewar's distillery.

    My bias is towards #2 personally but both day trips have plenty to do and will give you a great taste of Scotland. The combination is also a valid itinerary as long as you start super early and must check off bucket list items :smile: I sincerely hope this is helpful.
    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)

  • Catriona_MCatriona_M Member ✭✭
    In Stirling, the red sightseeing hop on hop off would take you from the train station to the castle and/or Wallace Monument
  • RobRob Member ✭✭
    @Horizons Thanks...I'm thinking we'll just pick a day and let the weather and our sense of adventure dictate our destination. 

    @Catriona Thank You! That information will be useful.
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