Scotland is one of the most beautiful parts of the United Kingdom. It has everything: breath-taking scenery, centuries of history, and of course fine whiskey. Part of what makes Scotland so attractive to tourists is the sheer sense of desolation you feel when you leave the major cities behind and head out into the Highlands.
At times it can feel as if you are the only person left on earth when all you can hear is the sound of the wind. For this reason alone you really should make the time to visit Scotland, especially when there are some wonderful routes—travel from Glasgow to Mallaig by train and you will think you have died and gone to heaven. So why is the train the best mode of transport when travelling to Scotland?
Enjoy the Scenery
The UK is blessed with some of the finest scenery in the world and what better way to enjoy these fantastic views than from the window of a train? No matter what route you take, you are assured of some fabulous views along the way. The East Coast mainline to Edinburgh will give you some glorious views of the Northumbria coastline, but if you want a real treat, take the overnight sleeper train from London and then travel on from Glasgow to Mallaig by train; it is one of the most iconic railway journeys in the UK.
Wake up in Scotland
Scotland is a very long way from London and although it is perfectly possible to drive there in one go, catching the train is a far more sensible option. If you, like me, find long distance travel rather tedious, then book tickets on the “Deerstalker” sleeper train from London Euston to Fort William. You can shut your eyes as the train departs the smoky grime of London and then wake up to the sight of mountains and heather in Scotland the following morning.
A Relaxing Trip
Driving is not exactly relaxing, especially if you end up sitting in stationery traffic for long periods of time. It is approximately 500 miles from London to Fort William and it would take you the best part of nine hours to drive that kind of distance—and potentially even more if you were caught up in any road works or accidents along the way.
As a result, the last thing you would feel when you arrived would be ‘relaxed’. Passing the time on the train is infinitely more relaxing—you can even sleep through the journey if you travel overnight.
Cheap at the Price
It would cost you around £200 in fuel to drive to Fort William and back from London. Obviously this figure will vary depending on how aggressively you drive, what type of vehicle you have, and how often you fill up at prohibitively expensive motorway service stations. The cost of a return train ticket from London to Fort William is only £156, and if you travel from Glasgow to Mallaig by train you can enjoy the great views for free.
Keep the Kids Entertained
Imagine the horror of being stuck in a car with small children for up to nine hours and then picture the difference if you spend the same amount of time on the train. On a train kids are free to wander around, play games, and generally burn off some excess energy. Doesn’t that sound better? To take advantage of cheap train tickets to Scotland, make sure you book well in advance.
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By Anna Lua
We are a huge fan of the Caledonian sleeper train to Scotland. We don’t have time to drive such a vast distance, so when we have to travel to Scotland on business, we book a seat on the train and spends her time working and sleeping as the miles roll by seamlessly.