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Traveling by train/bus from Inverness to Oban

Wondering if it’s possible to travel from Inverness to Oban by taking a train from Oban to Kyle of Lochalsh, getting a bus from Kyle to Mallaig, then getting on a train in Mallaig to Oban by way of Ft. William. I’ve heard the scenery along these routes is beautiful, but also wondering how long the trip would take.


  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    The journey is pretty stunning indeed and one of the classic public transport routes in Scotland (enough to now have its own ScotRail pass) but is there a reason that you'd not want to visit Skye as a part of this trip? (which is the classic route, one that I have done myself quite a few times)
    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)

  • LochNessPhotographyLochNessPhotography Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    If you wanted to travel from Inverness to Oban by using rail for the most part, the only way of really doing it is:

    • Inverness to Kyle via rail. It's a stunning route that takes you down the strath to Achnasheen via Garve and then on to Kyle. This takes about two hours 30 minutes
    • You'd then need to get the bus from Kyle to Armadale (1 hour). Doing this means you do miss most of the best bits of Skye, although if you have time I would recommend diverting up towards Portree to get a good feel for the Island. There's a reasonable bus service run by Citylink that will get you there. 
    • Then it would be the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig, another short but impressive trip that will give you nice views up the West Coast of Scotland and towards the Small Isles. It's a short ferry journey and only about 30 minutes if I remember rightly. 
    • Train from Mallaig to Fort William. If the times work out for you then try using the Jacobite Steam Train for an extra bit of wow factor for your trip. This is just over two hours. 
    • Finally you could get the train from Fort William to Oban although it is a bit of a circuitous route via Crianlarich. It's yet another very pretty route though and you won't be disappointed.  The other option is to get the bus to Oban which is only 90 minutes compared to the three hours you'll spend on the train. This latter option is more scenic as the road heads down past Glen Coe and along the shore of Loch Linnhe

    I would however advise against trying to cram all that in as short a time as possible. I'd suggest taking at least three days to give yourself time to enjoy it and minimise the chances of missing any connections. 
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