Can You Visit Scotland Without a Car?

Scotland, a picturesque country steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty, is a dream destination for many travellers. A common question we are asked by potential visitors is whether it’s possible to experience Scotland without a car. Fortunately, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” 

From the rolling highlands to the rugged coastline, Scotland’s landscapes beckon adventurers to explore its wonders. In this blog, we delve into the various transportation options available, proving that you can embark on a memorable Scottish adventure without the need for a car.

As Purple Scottish Heather Tours, we’re a big fan of all things Scottish and sharing brilliant sights with visitors from around the world. Our Day Tours in Scotland and Multi-day Vacations in Scotland are great for exploring without having to worry about transport — let us do that for you!

Take a browse through our tours online and just get in touch if you’re keen to start your Scottish trip today! From Glen Coe and Loch Ness to the Isle of Skye and beyond, our tours offer small parties unforgettable experiences in Scotland. 

Taking Public Transport in Scotland

Scotland boasts an efficient and well-connected public transportation system that allows visitors to access the most popular destinations without hassle. 

Trains, buses, and ferries provide extensive coverage throughout the country, enabling travellers to explore both major cities and remote regions. 

It’s very easy to travel by bus in Scotland, as the country is served by operators including Citylink and Stagecoach, offering affordable and comfortable travel between cities and towns. Megabus and National Express also run between England and Scotland are a great option for budget travellers.

Public transport offers an easy way to connect to various spots across the country and is relatively cheap if you plan in advance. Plus, you can feel good about taking an eco-friendly option while enjoying the view!

A Citylink Bus

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Trains in Scotland: A Scenic and Convenient Option

Travelling by train is not only a practical means of getting around but also a delightfully scenic experience. The main rain operator in Scotland is ScotRail, which runs several routes across the country, including the Highland Main Line from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Inverness.

Scotland’s rail network traverses some of the most stunning landscapes, like the iconic Jacobite Steam Train journey, famously known as the “Hogwarts Express” in the Harry Potter movies, running from Fort William to Mallaig. AvantiWestCoast

The West Highland Line between Glasgow and Mallaig is another breathtaking route that takes you through dramatic glens, lochs, and mountains. Visitors from London can also take the Caledonian Sleeper train to Fort William or Inverness.

A ScotRail Train

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Discover Scotland’s Islands by Ferry

To fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Scotland, you cannot miss the enchanting islands dotting the coastline. Ferries are an integral part of Scottish transport, providing access to islands like Skye, Orkney, and the Outer Hebrides. 

CalMac Ferries, the largest operator in Scotland, connects the mainland to several islands, granting visitors a chance to witness rugged coastlines, ancient ruins, and diverse wildlife. Without a car, you can hop and off easily without having to book too far in advance.

Scotland Island Ferry

Explore the Cities by Walking

Scotland’s cities, with their rich history and vibrant culture, are best explored on foot. Edinburgh, the capital city, is a treasure trove of architectural marvels, hidden closes, and bustling markets. 

A stroll through the cobbled streets of the Royal Mile, a visit to the majestic Edinburgh Castle, and an ascent up Arthur’s Seat for panoramic views are a few must-do experiences.

Glasgow is also a very walkable city with a central shopping area, with plenty of restaurants and bars nearby. Highlights like Glasgow Botanical Gardens, Glasgow Cathedral, and the Necropolis are great places to stretch your legs and discover the city’s history.

Edinburgh Castle Panorama At Dawn

Embrace a Cycling Adventure in Scotland

For those who enjoy cycling, Scotland offers an array of cycling routes, catering to all levels of expertise. The National Cycle Network boasts over 2,400 miles of trails, offering riders the chance to discover the country’s natural beauty at their own pace. 

The Lochs and Glens North cycle route from Inverness to Glasgow is a popular choice, encompassing mesmerizing lochs and lush greenery.

Biking in Scotland

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Embark on a Guided Tour in Scotland

If you prefer a structured experience, guided tours and day trips are excellent options. Many tour operators provide exciting packages that cover key attractions and activities, including Purple Heather Scottish Tours! 

All of our tours include transport, allowing you to relax and enjoy the journey without worrying about logistics. Take a look at our day trips for some destination inspiration, including one of our most popular adventures, The Braveheart Tour of Scotland.

Join us for this historic tour that will walk in the footsteps of legendary figures William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Embrace Scottish history from the fourteenth century and discover the lasting beauty of Fife and Stirlingshire. Don’t forget your camera for plenty of photo opportunities at the historical sites.

Tour guide with 2 tourists in Scotland

Exploring Scotland without a car is not only feasible but also an incredibly rewarding experience. Embrace the convenience of Scotland’s transport options, and you’ll discover a land of rich history, breathtaking landscapes, warm hospitality, and unforgettable memories.

So, are you ready to book your trip to Scotland yet? If any of our tours have sparked your interest, or you’re seeking a custom tour around your own Highland highlights, just get in touch! Our local team of tour guides can’t wait to welcome you to Scotland.

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