Getting to Scotland

A Scotland travel guide and blog wouldn’t be much good without the vital step of actually getting yourself to Scotland. How you do that will depend on a lot of factors, such as:

  • Where you’re coming from
  • The length of your trip
  • Whether you are including other countries in your trip
  • Your budget

There are four main methods that we’ll cover briefly on this page and in more detail on separate pages of their own:

Flights to Scotland

If you’re coming from somewhere other than Britain or Ireland, you’re not going to have much choice but to fly. Most international flights will come into either Edinburgh Airport (EDI) or Glasgow International Airport (GLA), but quite a few European airports have direct flights to Aberdeen and a few even fly into Inverness.

Many visitors, especially those from far-off shores, combine Scottish vacations with a trip to England or Ireland, and there are regular flights from both London and Dublin to all of Scotland’s major cities. Many of these are on low-cost carriers like RyanAir, which can be pretty amazingly cheap, especially if you’re used to commuter rates on U.S. airlines. Just watch out for the hidden fees. These airlines pay for themselves by adding on charges for every bag and some other fees that might surprise even the most experienced traveler.

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Trains to Scotland

For travelers coming from England or Wales, especially those who have time to relax and take their trips at a more leisurely pace, taking the train into Scotland can be a great option. There are several trains a day from London to both Edinburgh and Glasgow. It’s not the fastest way to get around, and often not the cheapest, but if you want to see some of the countryside you pass by, without having to drive the whole way yourself, this can be a great middle ground.

Driving to Scotland

Both British citizens and travelers to England and Wales can drive up to Scotland relatively quickly. From London, the drive to Glasgow is about six hours, or seven to Edinburgh. The drive times from Cardiff are roughly the same.

Ferries to Scotland

This is probably the least obvious option, but if you’re in Ireland and want to skip over to Scottish shores, a ferry can be a quick and lovely way to make the trip. The trip from either Belfast or Larne in Northern Ireland takes about 2 hours, and lands you in either in Cairnryan or Troon, just outside Glasgow. The ferry can be significantly more expensive than flying, but it’s an entirely different experience, approaching Scotland from the water.