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I am planning to travel from London to the following destinations by train: Edinburgh, Inverness and Windermere and then back to London. My questions are:

  • What would be the best itinerary (order of the destinations, number of days in each, kind of train pass)?

  • I would probably spend a total of 7 days to do this, is it too little time?

  • Should I leave from London to Scotland as soon as I arrive at Heathrow airport?

Any other ideas or suggestions are more than welcome!

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5  
If you have arrived in London after a very long flight, it maybe best to have a one night stay before departing for Scotland. If your flight to London is short, and you don't want to waste any time, then head straight for Scotland. –  Simon Mar 15 '13 at 12:36
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Where are you flying to London from? You might want to look at flights straight to Edinburgh. Even if there is a stop in London it might be cheaper than flying to London and then a second ticket to Edinburgh. –  DJClayworth Mar 15 '13 at 13:18

1 Answer 1

Airport

If your goal is Scotland than yes, go straight to Edinburgh. London deserves some time to visit, if, with your question, your implying that you could spend some time there.

Period (7 days)

That's allways a bit subjective. You can always spend more time in a place. I would say that, for the itinerary you want, that is the minimum comfortable time span.

Itenerary

Quick notes:

Edimburgh is a very nice city, you can easily spend there 2~3 days.

Inverness is nice but small. You should think of it more as a good departure point than for the city itself. From here you can easily reach the highland lakes and the islands, in particular the isle of Skye.

If I had to make an itinerary based on your information I would do it like this:

  • Edinburgh (2 days - don't forget to visit the world famous Greyfriars Bobby and greyfriars cemitery... ... I leave it up to you to discover why).
  • Glasgow (I haven't been there) but I am sure it's worth checking (0 or 1 day maybe?)
  • I would definitely stop in Fort William. It's very beautiful, specially if you like the outdoors. It has some amazing trails near by (1~2 days). It's a ver nice place for camping if you enjoy it.
  • Follow the lakes (caledonian canal). You will pass Loch Ness (not the most beautifull lake but it's allways worth looking for the famous monster). After some more miles you're in Inverness. You can spend there half a day. No more than that.
  • From Inverness you can go north to the lakes (1~2 days)
  • And also to the isle of Skye (1~2 days) (Don't forget to stop on the Donan Castle :) on your way to the isle of Skye).

Donan Castle

(It's up to you to decide where you want to spend more time and manage those days. The days mentioned are just a reference).

Transport

Train is nice but more expensive than Bus. If you're lucky you can get very nice prices with MegaBus.

It might be a good idea to rent a car in Inverness.

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You can safely skip Glasgow on a short trip. Or you have to be a football fan or something. –  Bernhard Mar 15 '13 at 13:04
    
@Bernhard Glasgow is a fantastic city & has far more to offer than football. It has really come a long way. However for a short trip it may not be necessary, agreed. –  Simon Mar 15 '13 at 13:39
    
Going North from Inverness for more lochs is not going to be a good use of time. There are some good mountains up there, but if you want lochs, coming back down past Loch Lomond is much more picturesque from a tourist point of view. –  Rory Alsop Mar 15 '13 at 15:14
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Two things to add: 1) Transport - also consider the " Caledonian Sleeper", an overnight train with berths beds and seats. Probably the nicest way to travel, but not the cheapest (it's no Megabus...). Try to book in advance. 2) Glasgow is a great lively place to live and has great music / arts / cultural scenes - but it's not ideal for a day trip unless you know people there or are interested in a specific event. –  user568458 Aug 25 '13 at 21:57

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