It was a photo of the Isle of Skye posted on Instagram that first inspired me to travel to Scotland. I saw the picture and immediately thought, “I have to go there!”. And the idea for The Great Europe Escape was born.

Wanting to travel to Scotland was the easy bit; much more difficult was crafting my itinerary. I read up on public transportation options in Scotland (especially in the Highlands). I tend to prefer the free & easy route over guided tours (what can I say, I like my freedom and independence) so I wrestled between the easy option of seeing the Highlands via one of the many multi-day guided tours available and seeing it on my own with public transportation. As I don’t have a driver’s licence (something I’m aiming to change this year!), renting a car and driving was not an option for me.

In the end, freedom and independence won out and I can say that, for me, it was an excellent decision.

I’ll be doing a series of posts on how I travelled solo in Scotland for 18 days on public transportation. But for now, here’s the route I took:

Day 1 – 3: Edinburgh

Day 4: Stopped at Stirling on the way up to Inverness by train.

Day 5: Inverness, including a half-day guided tour of Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle.

Day 6: Took the train from Inverness to Kyle of Loch, then the bus to Portree in Skye.

Day 7 – 9: SKYE! Including a full-day guided tour day of the island and a day of rock climbing.

Day 10: Left Skye to travel to Fort William via Mallaig. Taxi to the Armadale pier. Ferry, then the train which is said to be most of the most scenic train journey in Scotland (and it passes through the Harry Potter viaduct!)

Day 11: Trekked up Ben Nevis. Took the bus to Oban in the evening.

Day 12: Ferry to Isle of Mull, and stayed overnight in Craignure.

Day 13: Bus and then ferry to Iona. Including a morning tour to Fingal’s Cave and a one-night stay on Iona.

Day 14: Almost a full-day of travel from Iona all the way down to Glasgow. Ferry, bus, ferry, train. Yeah, it was a pretty long day…

Day 15 – 18: Glasgow. Including a full-day guided tour of some of the Highlands.

 

18 days may seem like a lot of time, but there’s so much more in Scotland that I wanted to see. Even spending 4 days on Skye wasn’t enough for me. But I guess that’s all the more reason to travel to Scotland again!