If you are Planning that Trip to Scotland and the Kingdom of Fife in particular, then one of your main questions will be how you will get there. Do also check out the page on Travel AROUND Scotland 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, 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 get you to Scotland.
If, of course 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.
Travel to Scotland by Ferry
There are also 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 Scotland.
Of course I would also like to mention that a number of Cruise Ships come into Edinburgh - so if you are on one of these, you might have just 1 or 2 days in Scotland. On the other hand if you have a reasonable amount of time, you could always TAKE a cruise FROM Scotland. There are several companies who go to various parts of Scandinavia such as Norway. If this appeals to you, check out Ann's website about
to learn more of this beautiful country, the land of the Vikings.
However, back to travelling TO Scotland - you can take a Ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium right to Rosyth in The Kingdom of Fife. This is a very pleasant route and my husband and I have done in several times. We took the overnight Ferry from Rosyth, arriving late morning in Zeebrugge, then got trains via Brugge to Paris. (all it meant was a change of trains at Brussels). We chose NOT to take the car as driving in Paris can be a bit scary and we arrived at our destination refreshed. So this is a very good option for anyone coming from any part of Europe. The ferry trip is 17 hours but we found the cabins clean and comfortable and while not exactly cruise standard, was 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/motorhome – as the ferry will bring you into Scotland and then travelling around here is not so tiring, than travelling all the way up from the south coast of England.
The Superfast Ferry from Zeebrugge to Rosyth Coming under the Forth Rail Bridge
Travel to Scotland by Car
Driving from England or Wales into Scotland usually poses no problem. The road signs are clearly marked and often with mileage to the next city on the boards. There is no issue at borders or border control 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 if you are coming into 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 Road named A1, which comes from London via Peterborough, Doncaster, Durham, Newcastle and Berwick-upon-Tweed to the Scottish Border.
There is a more scenic route north of Newcastle, which is called the A68. I think it takes just a wee bit longer than the A1, but it is very picturesque.
You can also come west of the country using the roads named the M6, A74(M) and M74. This route which goes around the huge city of Birmingham, bypassing Manchester and Liverpool, via Preston and on to Carlisle, is either good motorway or dual-carriageway most of the way. I have to say the traffic in my opinion on the west route is much heavier than the A1.
Either way, it takes around 8 – 10 hours to get from London, 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, well at least north of the border.
Of course if you get here by any other means, you may still want to be 'driven' about when you are here. Try the services of a Chauffeur Company, whether to be collected from the airport, ferry or train station and taken to your hotel, or for a full tour. click the link to learn more.
Please use the tool below to get your directions.
Travel to Scotland by Train
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.
GNER Trains go from mostly to Edinburgh to London King's Cross and run up the east coast via Newcastle, York and Peterborough, although some do go on to Glasgow, and onward cities like Inverness and Aberdeen or Inverness.
Virgin Trains go down the west coast from Glasgow via Carlisle, Preston and Crewe and go into Euston Station in London. Virgin Trains also travel from Bristol, but like many train services, you may have to change in Birmingham.
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 by Train.
Travel to Scotland By Bus or Coach
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 travelling 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. For more details see the page Travel by Bus
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