Hit the road: Explore the best Scotland has to offer by rail, bus and ferry

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  • 14 November 2019
Hit the road: Explore the best Scotland has to offer by rail, bus and ferry

Bloggers Katie Easton, Sophie Davies and Sarah Mckenzie show us how to enjoy hidden gems in Scotland the sustainable way

When it comes to exploring Scotland, it's as much about the journey and admiring the stunning landscapes on your way to your destination. Many of us are looking for simple ways to make travelling more sustainable, and using public transport is an easy step to get started …

Hit the road: Explore the best Scotland has to offer by rail, bus and ferry

Katie Easton, Mama Says …

The Borders is an area that provides a golden opportunity for those who dare to venture off the beaten path.

Getting to the Borders was much more straightforward than I had anticipated … a train to Edinburgh and then onto the Borders Railway line to Galashiels. For our trip we had a daily Borders Explorer ticket which allowed us to get the train from Edinburgh to the Borders and then hop on and off the buses.
We stayed in The Watson Lodge Guest House, which was five minutes' walk from the Transport Hub so made an ideal base for us. We headed off on the bus to Melrose and the Abbey. I could have spent ages here soaking up the history and atmosphere.

Next it was all about Hawick. We took a lovely walk to Wilton Lodge Park which has a brilliant play area for kids and is home to the Hawick Museum. Then we went to the Borders Textile Towerhouse, which celebrates the famed Borders textile industry, followed by the Borders Distillery, the first in the area since 1837.
On our last day we took a short train ride to Tweedbank to explore Abbotsford. Once the home of Sir Walter Scott, he wrote many of his famous masterpieces from the study in this house.

Slowing things down and travelling around the Borders the way we did was ideal. It let us truly enjoy the sights and experience it in a more relaxed and sustainable way.

Read more at mamasays.blog
@mama_says_blog

Hit the road: Explore the best Scotland has to offer by rail, bus and ferry

Sophie Davies, a considered life

If you're trying to be more mindful of the impact your travel has, there's nothing better than booking a trip closer to home using public transport.

I took a comfortable train journey to Edinburgh and then a short 30-minute trip on to North Berwick for my most recent trip to Scotland. Train journeys always feel like an adventure in themselves as you watch the rolling scenery shift and transform.

When considering where to stay, look for a welcoming B&B like No 12 Quality Street. Take time to explore the local area by foot as there's plenty to see in North Berwick. Stroll along West Bay to the Scottish Seabird Centre, round to Milsey Bay Beach and back up through the pretty streets. Visit the Coastal Communities Museum or walk up North Berwick Law to take in the view.

After travelling by bus to Tantallon Castle, on the coastal walk back to North Berwick stop off halfway for lunch at Drift café, a repurposed shipping container, where you can sit and overlook the sea.

Plan a trip to Dirleton Castle and stop by Gullane for lunch at The Bonnie Badger where the food is exceptional. Walk through the green to visit the ruins of St Andrew's Church, and then back to North Berwick on the bus.
The rolling countryside, fresh sea air and good food make East Lothian, and North Berwick in particular, an ideal location for a long weekend away.

Read more at aconsideredlife.co.uk
@ImSophieDavies | @aconsideredlife

Hit the road: Explore the best Scotland has to offer by rail, bus and ferry

Sarah Mckenzie, myveggietravels

Being one of Scotland's larger islands, there's plenty of things to do on the Isle of Arran. Its proximity to the mainland means those short on time can visit most of the main attractions without feeling rushed.

Leave the car at home. ScotRail's Rail & Sail ticket takes you all the way from Glasgow to Brodick and means that, from Ardrossan, you simply hop on the CalMac ferry service across to Arran.

The island has a regular bus service, but I recommend you try out an e-bike. Get your hands on one of these from Arran Bike Hire, just a few minutes from Brodick Pier.

I was also thrilled to discover Arran caters to vegans. Stonewater House in Lamlash Bay is a beautiful waterside B&B that takes pride in vegan breakfasts.

Enjoy a day of castle hunting, starting with an easy coastal stroll from Brodick Pier to Brodick Castle. After exploring, hop on a bus (or bike) to the ruined Lochranza Castle in the north. Look out for Pirnmill Church, a little blue place of worship on the road between Lochranza and Machrie.
Arran is famous for its mysterious standing stone circles on Machrie Moor, dating back as early as 1800BC. Goat Fell's 874-metre peak is a favourite for climbers, or for less experienced ramblers who can enjoy the gentler lower slopes.

Read more at myveggietravels.com
@myveggietravels | @sarahscotland

Hit the road: Explore the best Scotland has to offer by rail, bus and ferry

Fast Facts

Did you know that there are 111 train stations and 12,599 bus stops within 1km of mountains and moorland in Scotland? So there's no excuse not to get out and enjoy our stunning countryside!
ONS, UK natural capital for mountains, moorlands and heath

53% of international visitors to the UK use the bus, tram or tube while visiting the UK with visitors to Scotland making up 40% of the total, only behind London
International Passenger Survey 2013

35% of British travellers use public transport while visiting other parts of the country – that's 13,000 overnight trips using sustainable travel
Great Britain Tourism Survey / VisitScotland

In Scotland, the ultimate playground, outdoor recreation was valued at £1.3 million in 2017. From world-class watersports to walking, cycling to aqualining, the possibilities for getting active in Scotland's magnificent great outdoors are endless
ONS, UK natural capital for mountains, moorlands and heath

For more information and inspiration on getting around Scotland by public transport, visit visitscotland.com

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