Monthly Archives: March 2016

Scotland Trip – Fort William to Edinburgh via Mallaig – Part 2/2

We left on the West Highland line for a short two hour run to Mallaig, this line has apparently been voted one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world.

Fort William to Mallaig: 41 miles (Running total: 683 miles)

01

We passed the Glenfinnan Viaduct which you might remember featuring in the Harry Potter movies, and were shortly in Mallaig; a small coastal ferry port on the west coast of the Highlands.

02

After a brief stop at the B&B, we found the lifeboat and the two pubs. My 100th beer on Untapped was actually in Mallaig.. Tennent’s Lager at The Steam Inn! Probably could of made a better choice for the 100th, but nevermind now.

03

Early to rise the next day, we got the 6.02 to Glasgow Queen Street and settled in for the six hour journey. Along the way, we saw the highest station on the network (it’s also 10 miles from the nearest public road) and lots and lots of mountains. It was the prettiest of all of journeys all week.

Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street: 161 miles (Running total: 844 miles)

We got the Glasgow and found the obligatory Spoons for lunch then headed to [Central Station for our tour] we’d booked weeks before. I highly recommend the tour if you ever find yourself in Glasgow as the guide (a former station manager) is full of knowledge and excitement about the station and it’s history of the last century. The story about the fish and chip shop was a highlight, but you’ll have to go and do the tour yourself to hear it!

Appearing out of a side corridor behind the ticket barriers was amusing, and confused the commuters who we emerged into. I imagine they were considering just why we were wearing hivis and orange caps!

 

Thirteen quid might seem a bit steep, but no. Just do it. Paul makes it well worth it, he doesn’t have [771+ 5 Star reviews on TripAdvisor] for nothing!

The next stop on our adventure was Edinburgh, and the final night of our holiday. We checked in, and started exploring. I took us back to The Boozy Cow for dinner (I went last year when I was in Edinburgh last) and it was just as good as I remembered. Afterwards, we found a cocktail bar called Panda and Sons. Worth a visit!

Glasgow Central to Edinburgh Waverley: 46 miles (Running Total 890 miles)

 

The next day we headed back to Glasgow, found a Wetherspoons (lol, ….) and went to the airport to catch our flight that afternoon. We didn’t do much, and I don’t have any more interesting photos.

In my next trip blog, I am going to dissect from Untappd history from the week, and talk about all the fun beers I tried!

Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Queen Street LL: 44 miles, Total Rail Miles for the Week: 934 miles

Advertisements

Scotland Trip – Glasgow to Fort William via John o’ Groats – Part 1/2

scotland-map

We arrived at Glasgow on Saturday morning, the flight was fine (the breakfast not…) and headed into Glasgow city to get our train onwards. We travelled on a rover ticket which was pretty cool in itself, £118 for 8 days of travel within 15 days which I’ll talk about in the next blog post.

01

Glasgow Queen Street to Aberdeen: 155 miles (Running total 155 miles)

Aberdeen was our first destination, Brewdog Brewery our goal. The train to Aberdeen was uneventful, we found our hotel and went to find the bus to Ellon.

The bus that greeted us was fairly fancy; a coach with USB ports and reclining seats! It was a comfy ride to Ellon.

Brewdog was a short walk away from the bus stop but it was pissing it down so felt like an age. But once we got there… It was awesome.

02

Good people drink good beer!

The next day we headed to Inverness. It snowed a bit, but nothing major. In fact, it was the most snow we saw all week.

Before we left for Inverness we had something to do… Find the RNLI Lifeboat which Laurence actually started the wiki page for…

I didn’t actually get a photo of the boat, but I did take this cool timelapse. Laurence probably has some video from his GoPro he hasn’t bothered to watch since.

07

Aberdeen Station

08

River Ness, Inverness

Aberdeen to Inverness: 108 miles (Running total: 263 miles)

We didn’t do much in Inverness; looked for cheap GoPro accessories for Laurence and found somewhere to drink. We didn’t find any accessories that weren’t fifty quid, but we did find a Wetherspoons so not all bad.

Inverness to Wick: 161 miles (Running Total: 424 miles)

Onwards to the far north of Scotland. We got a 7am train to Wick/Thurso the next day. It was fairly desolate and remote, but Wick bigger than we were both expecting. I think we’ve now frequented the most northerly branch of Wetherspoons in the UK.

We got the bus to John o Groats and think we were pretty much the only tourists around this early in March. Everyone else on the bus had their shopping..

Fun fact.. John o Groats is not the most northerly point of the mainland UK. That is nearby Dunnet Head.

09

Anyway, we’ve done John o Groats! Ten minutes of taking photos of the sign, and an 1 hour 50 minutes waiting for the next bus.. Hmm. Anyway, we got to Thurso late afternoon and checked in to our hotel for the night.

There was nothing to do in Thurso. We had a pint in the hotel bar and went for a wander. We literally didn’t find a single pub, and ended up having dinner at a local Chinese restaurant.

We got the first train out the next morning back to Inverness along the line we were on the day before where we stopped for lunch, and caught the coach to Fort William.

Thurso to Fort William: 218 miles including the coach (Running total: 642 miles)

10

Fort William Station

This day was the longest of the lot. We found a Wetherspoons in Fort William and stayed for a while…

In the next post I’ll write about the scenic railway to Mallaig; and our trip to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Read it here.