If you are planning to travel to Perthshire Scotland, then one of your main questions will be how you will get here. Check out the page on Self Drive vacation tours to determine how you want to get around when you get here.
The first consideration will be to determine which airport you will fly from, and which airport you will fly to. This of course depends on the airline routes. However, Scotland has four main airports, Glasgow, Glasgow-Prestwick, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. The majority of transatlantic flights fly into Glasgow airport, although some do fly into Edinburgh. If, however you plan on spending some time in England (say London), then you may get one of the regional internal flights to travel to Perthshire Scotland.
If you are coming from Europe, Scandinavia or even Ireland then flying is just one of the options of getting here. There is an excellent train service, which takes passengers from all around Europe via the channel tunnel to UK, followed by excellent rail routes when you are here. Back to top
There are a number of Ferry Ports in Scotland where visitors from Ireland, Scandinavia or any part of Europe can drive, bringing your own car if you prefer. Coming from Scandinavia, Holland and northern Europe, you would have to get a ferry to the north of England such as Newcastle or Hull and drive or take a bus or train to travel to Perthshire Scotland.
However, you can take a Ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium right to Rosyth in the Kingdom of Fife. This is a very pleasant route and a very good option for anyone coming from any part of Europe. The ferry trip is 17 hours, the cabins clean and comfortable and while not exactly cruise standard, is a very pleasant experience.
You may be interested to know that this is also a great way if you are looking for a cycling holiday (or motor-cycling) in Scotland or even with a caravan/motor-home – as the ferry will bring you into Scotland and then traveling around Perthshire is not so tiring as it would be if you traveled all the way up from the south coast of England. Back to top
Driving from England or Wales into Scotland usually poses no problem. The road signs are clearly marked with mileage to the next city on the boards. There is no issue at the Sottish border as it’s still part of the United Kingdom. So contrary to what you might have heard, there is no passport control, customs or immigration when you travel to Perthshire Scotland this way.
There are two main driving routes from England to Scotland. The first is straight up the east side of England on the A1, which comes from London via Peterborough, Doncaster, Durham, Newcastle and Berwick-upon-Tweed into Scotland.
There is a more scenic route north of Newcastle, using the A68. It takes a bit longer than the A1, but it's quite hilly but very picturesque.
You can also come up the west of the country using the M6, A74(M) and M74. This route which bypasses the heavily populated cities of Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, Preston and finally Carlisle. Theses roads are either motorway or dual-carriageway standard over the entire route. I have to say the traffic in my opinion on this west route is much heavier than the A1.
Either way, it takes around 8 – 10 hours to get from London to Glasgow, depending on road works and/or other hold-ups. There are plenty motorway service stations en route on the west side, but less so on the A1 route, especially once you are in Scotland.
Travel to Perthshire: Hiring a Car
Of course if you got here other than by driving you may wish to hire a car to contue your vacation. Back to top
For the smoothest, most stress-free route to London, hop on the Eurostar from Paris or Brussels. If you're coming from Brussels, travel with Eurostar direct from Brussels-Midi to St Pancras International in as little as 1h 51. Or from Paris, travel with Eurostar direct from Paris Gare du Nord to St Pancras International in a mere 2h 15.
To other London stations
If you need to connect to any other London terminal, remember that your National Rail ticket will be valid for transfers on the London Underground, so you won’t have to stand around queuing for Underground tickets on the way there (or back). St Pancras International is the best connected station in London with 6 Underground lines within easy reach.
Please note the following conditions:
For those passengers who wish to travel to Perthshire via Edinburgh, the London terminal will be Kings Cross, those traveling to Glasgow need to leave from Euston. Both of these terminals are only a few minutes away from St Pancras International.
If you don't want to struggle with your luggage on the London Underground, pickup a cab as you leave St Pancras International at the taxi rank. Back to top
If you travel to Scotland by train, then it is likely that you would come into one of the two main cities in the central belt of Scotland, either Glasgow and Edinburgh. Both have good and frequent direct train services from London, as well as other main English towns and cities. Sometimes however, there is a need to change trains. There are several Rail companies who serve the England to Scotland Route.
Virgin Trains go up the west coast to Glasgow via Crewe, Preston and Carlisle go into Euston Station in London.
The main long-distance direct service to Scotland that doesn't originate in London is on Virgin from Bristol to Edinburgh via Birmingham.
From London to Glasgow and Edinburgh by train, allow around 4½ - 5 hours. If you’re planning to go to the north of Scotland, allow around another 2½ hours to Aberdeen, and about 3½ hours to from Glasgow or Edinburgh to Inverness. For more details see the page Travel to Perthshire by Train. Back to top
The UK has good bus services both within towns and between cities and towns up and down the land. (the inter-city ‘buses’ are normally referred to as ‘coaches’).
They go the same routes as the train companies, although they take much longer but are much less expensive than traveling by train. They are also quite comfortable, and on longer journeys there are toilets on board and often have drinks and sandwiches available.
They offer ‘overnight’ travel from Glasgow or Edinburgh to London, although I personally find this quite uncomfortable. But it is a cheap way to get around.
Getting to and around Scotland is easy if you want to travel by bus. Scotland is well served with long-distance bus services, or as we call them “coaches”. So if you're Planning your Self Drive Vacation it is a popular and inexpensive way to travel between major towns and cities. You may of course prefer to travel to Perthshire by train, or if money is not an issue and you want to see Scotland in luxury, you could always travel in a Chauffeur Driven Car.. Of course this can be great value for money if you just want meeting at the airport and taking to your hotel.
But if you are still looking to travel by bus, then coaches are a lot cheaper than the equivalent train journey. But because of the great financial saving, they can be popular and therefore busy. So it’s a good idea if you plan to travel by bus to book your seat ahead; and especially if you have an important ‘Return Journey’ to make – such as a flight to catch. When you book as for a 'reserved-journey ticket', which guarantees you a seat. Of course they CAN take longer than the train, but not always, and sometimes the cost and convenience are more important than time.
If you’re traveling to or from England or Wales then I would strongly recommend using the National Express . There are various ‘passes’ for different age groups and if you are touring UK then the “Brit Xplorer Pass”, will give you unlimited travel throughout Britain on National Express coaches. As well as National Express, many of the inter-city coaches are run by Scottish City-link. The other big company that you might use is Stagecoach. Back to top
There are a huge variety of different cards available. There are ones for those with children, full-time students or under 26 years old or the over 50’s. Each bus company has their own, so contact National Express or City link to find out the details. If you plan to do a lot of traveling by coach, it may be worth buying an Explorer Pass, which offers unlimited travel on Scottish City link.
A large number of Local bus companies run services in every local area and throughout Scotland. Sometimes there are so many it can be a bit confusing, and it can be a bit frustrating understanding the timetables and routes which are subject to change.
Obviously, the more urban the area the better the service; whereas in some rural areas the service can be not so frequent. In some very remote parts, the only service will be the school bus, running at roughly 8.30 am and 3.30 pm, and even then that is only in term times. Back to top
Some rural areas, particularly in the Highlands and Islands, you can use the post-bus system. This is not really 'travel by bus' in the usual sense as they are normally minibuses which take the mail and maybe also three to ten fare-paying passengers. They leave usually about 8.00 am from the main post office, and collect mail (or deliver it) along the way.
It can give you a real chance to meet locals but can be an unbelievably slow way to travel. But as I said it can be a great way to meet the locals and especially if you’ve found some really lovely gem of a Bed and Breakfast hidden away in some rural out-post. Details can be found on the Royal Mail website or from the Royal Mail Customer Services Tel: 0131-550 8232, while details of relevant local services are available at local Tourist Information Centres found in most towns.
Travel to Perthshire by Bus and Coach to your destination.
Getting to Perthshire from the major airports is quite easy. You can get buses or taxis or indeed a private chauffeur to take you into the city centre Bus Stations, where you only have to ask at the Inquiries or Ticket office to confirm the right bus or coach to your destination. Most bus journeys within Perthshire and to Perthshire from Edinburgh, Dundee, Perth and Glasgow are operated by Stagecoach. Local bus information can be had at any Bus Station.
The Scottish City-link and National Express provide long distance coach services to and from all parts of mainland UK.