Scotland is well connected. Large, modern and well equipped train stations are in all 7 cities and many of the towns and villages. There are two main lines – one which runs north to south down the west coast and one running north to south down the east coast. These are connected by a series of lines criss crossing Scotland, taking you through some stunning countryside.
Before you come
If you plan to travel by train often while you are here you can buy passes from Britnet before you arrive, online or from your local travel agents. There are three passes so it will depend on where you want to go.
This pass gives you four days of unlimited travel over 8 days. You can visit places such as Oban, John O Groats, Wick, Fort William and Ullapool. You also get free ferry travel between Oban – Mull, Mallaig – Skye and Gourock – Dunoon. Buses between Oban/Fort William and Inverness are also included.
Central Scotland Rover
This one gives you 3 days unlimited travel over 7 days. It includes Glasgow/Edinburgh to Dunblane, the Argyll line routes, Glasgow to Edinburgh via Falkirk, Helensburgh, Cumbernauld, Edinburgh to North Berwick and the Fife routes as far as Markinch. You also get unlimited travel on the Glasgow Subway.
Spirit of Scotland
This one is a biggie – Unlimited free train travel anywhere is Scotland using any service, free Calmac ferry journeys on any route, free ferry travel between Dunoon and Gourock with Argyll Ferries, 20% off Northland ferries, free coach travel on selected lines including on Skye and in the northern Highlands. You can buy 4 days unlimited travel over 8 consecutive days or 8 days unlimited travel over 15 consecutive days.
While you are here
If you’re not planning on travelling by train a lot it’s very easy to buy tickets while you are here in Scotland. It’s cheaper to buy them in advance on the Scotrail website, over the phone to Scotrail or from travel agents. This give you the option of discounts depending on your age, group size, time of travel and day you are travelling.
Anytime tickets can be used anytime of day, on an unreserved seat in standard class.
Off peak tickets are cheaper and can be purchased for tickets of less busy trains. Usually the times excluded are when people are going to or returning from work.
First class tickets are more expensive, as you would expect, but you will get more room, electric sockets and sometimes free refreshments.
If you can’t buy in advance, tickets can be bought from the train stations. Each will either have a desk or an automated ticket machine. If there isn’t tickets can be bought on board.
Are you looking for something a bit special? If you want to sit back and soak up some of the best scenery Scotland has to offer consider one of these six fantastic train journey. Book the tickets the same way as before.