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exploring north Soctland by train

York, United Kingdom
2 posts
exploring north Soctland by train

I have a free return ticket on the East Coast mainline to use before the summer is out, so was thinking of maxing it out and going up to Inverness, then getting a train to Thurso.

I don't drive, so hire car is not an option - I am entirely reliant on public transport. i'm conscious that Thurso is a small town in a wildly rural area and that everything may be very far apart - is it realistic to have a decent experience in the north of Scotland relying entirely on public transport? Will I be able to walk from the station to accommodation, will I be able to get out of Thurso to landscapes worth seeing - either by foot or bus?

Thanks in advance!

6 replies to this topic
Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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72,718 posts
476 reviews
1. Re: exploring north Soctland by train

Thurso station is in the town itself. Just make sure you choose your accommodation that is near by. There isn't a great deal of public transport, so check the Traveline Scotland website for any journeys that you want to make.

If your free ticket is only valid on East Coast services (now Virgin East Coast) then it will probably only get you as far as Inverness on the one through train a day. I expect you know that already, though.

York, United Kingdom
2 posts
2. Re: exploring north Soctland by train

Thanks for that! yeah, it will get me to Inverness - I have to spend my rewards points by September now they have switched to Virgin, so I thought I'd do the longest journey I can get away with and make the most of the free offer! Will have to decide whether to stay in Inverness overnight or attempt an epic 10 hours on a train in one day...not massively appealing!

I was worried that I'd end up just being stuck in a small town, on my own with nothing to do because everything was too far away. I come from a small village myself and being a tourist there by anything but car would be a nightmare.

I'm always amazed there don't seem to be more web sites with ideas for holidays in the UK done entirely by public transport

Aberdeenshire...
Destination Expert
for Fethiye
Level Contributor
19,627 posts
145 reviews
3. Re: exploring north Soctland by train

Stay over in Inverness. I have stayed in Thurso on business. Stayed at the Royal Hotel, which I would recommend. However, it is a small quiet place and not that much to do in the evening.

4. Re: exploring north Soctland by train

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5. Re: exploring north Soctland by train

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Glasgow, United...
Destination Expert
for Scotland
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5,026 posts
529 reviews
6. Re: exploring north Soctland by train

I was in that area just recently with a car but it looks like a bus from Thurso connects to some of the sailings to Orkney and ties in with day tours.

Dunnet Head, Castle of Mey and John O'Groats /Duncansby Head are all well worth seeing but without a car, I'm not sure if you could manage.But .....there must be local buses, surely!

Perhaps if you contact the local visitscotland office they could point you to tour or bus operators?

Edited: 15 June 2015, 19:43
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