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Time to see a bit of Glencoe?

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posts: 1,038
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Time to see a bit of Glencoe?

Hi everyone!

This April, we'll be arriving in FW via sleeper about 9:30 am. and planning on doing the scenic ride from FW to Mallaig. Seems there are 2 trains to Mallaig we could take... the 12:10 or the 16:28. From there we catch the ferry to Skye.

If we hired a taxi to take us around Glencoe, would we have any time to see anything if we had to be back for the 12:10 train?

If we took the late afternoon train to Mallaig so we could have more time in Glencoe, would there be any disadvantage there? Does the fog come rolling in at that time or anything? (although I sure that can happen anytime anywhere in Scotland)

My only real worry is that I believe the 16:48 is the last train to Mallaig with the last ferry to Armadale. Wouldn't want to miss it for sure! We'd be getting on Skye at 18:30 (6:30 pm) then we'll need to catch a bus to Portree. I think we'd still get there before dark, as it stay light out till 8pm?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

The Stunning...
Destination Expert
for Goa, Scottish Highlands
posts: 10,972
reviews: 141
1. Re: Time to see a bit of Glencoe?

Glencoe is around 20 mins from Fort William and is stunning. Glen Nevis (where parts of Braveheart was filmed) is also worth exploring and is 5 mins from the FW train station so maybe a better option if your on a tight schedule.

posts: 227
reviews: 57
2. Re: Time to see a bit of Glencoe?

Don't mean to argue with Goanjack but my experience is that it can take a bit longer than 20mins to get to Glencoe from Fort William (or vice versa) - I'd allow an hour. The roads are narrow and windy and if you get stuck behind a truck or freight lorry you'll be moving slowly... in my experience that happens frustratingly often.

But it's a nice drive and worth doing to see Glencoe.

The Stunning...
Destination Expert
for Goa, Scottish Highlands
posts: 10,972
reviews: 141
3. Re: Time to see a bit of Glencoe?

A quick add-on (and I hate to disagree also but) from Fort William to Glencoe is 15 miles and normally takes me around 20 mins.

The Stunning...
Destination Expert
for Goa, Scottish Highlands
posts: 10,972
reviews: 141
4. Re: Time to see a bit of Glencoe?

p.s. Glencoe is one of my favourite places, one 25th of June a few years ago and I took my girlfriend to see some of Braveheart being filmed in Glen Nevis and then we drove on to Glencoe where I proposed. So if you make it to Glencoe then raise a glass to Mr and Mrs Jock :-)

Fort William
posts: 17
reviews: 8
5. Re: Time to see a bit of Glencoe?

It will take you thirty minutes to get from the train station to the Glen itself (Glencoe), if you have a good run. I live here and know the road very well and would never expect to do the trip in twenty minutes. The road is not good enough for speed or overtaking. You will get to the village in twenty to twenty-five minutes but the Glen is another five minutes at least. You will have time to see Glencoe and catch the later train, but not the one at 12:10.

The fog will not come rolling in at that time of day, but low cloud can obscure the views at any time of year here. Even if you cannot see very far, the train ride to Mallaig is magical.

It will be sunset at the beginning of April at around 8pm and at the end of the month that will be back to 9pm.

Have a lovely trip.

posts: 227
reviews: 57
6. Re: Time to see a bit of Glencoe?

goanjock - we may disagree about the time it takes but I couldn't agree more about Glencoe itself - one of my favourite places too!

Los Angeles
posts: 68
reviews: 14
7. Re: Time to see a bit of Glencoe?

Well, those are the train times for the Scotrail train. The real kick is taking the Jacobite Steam Train along the same rails.


It leaves at 10:20AM each day to Mallaig and costs 20.50 Pounds. It is NOT covered under any Scotrail Travelpass.

I literally spent my whole day today planning my trip just so I could arrive the night before to take this train. If you are getting there at 9:30AM, you can grab it immediately.

It's slower, allowing you take better pictures and how often will you be able to say you were on a steam train through Scotland? I'm coming in to Fort William a day earlier so I can enjoy it's sights and wake up the next day and take this train to Skye.

Just my two cents.

Have a ball!!

- jason

Spean Bridge...
posts: 96
reviews: 7
8. Re: Time to see a bit of Glencoe?


I run Distant Hills Guest house in Spean Bridge and subsequently also know a liitle about the area.

First of all i was on the Glasgow/Spean Bridge train on Friday and the scenery on that trip was great. Snow on the hills, stags on the tops, remote lochs. So make sure you are awake on the sleeper after leaving Glasgow and particularly after Crianlarich.

The steam train to Mallaig is an idea to think about. Does anyone know whether there is more space for luggage on the steam train or the normal one?

If you take the normal scheduled train i would get the 12:10 especially as you say you have bus links etc to get later in the day.

So that gives you from 9:30 to 12:10 to do something. You might feel like stretching your legs after your long trip so rather than go for a taxi ride to Glen Coe why not consider taking a walk up Glen Nevis. There is a visitor centre, a couple of restaurants/coffee shops and great scenery which gets better the further up you go. There is a pavement from the town to the visitor centre and after that you can walk on the side of the road. You dont have to get your feet muddy but if you take one of the signposted tracks off the road and get a little height the views are better.

Mount Pleasant...
posts: 558
reviews: 16
9. Re: Time to see a bit of Glencoe?

Just a note that the Jacobite Steam Train won't be running in April. It starts during the week at the end of May and on the weekend at the end of June. I'll be there in May and will be taking the regular train to Mallaig- can't wait!

10. Re: Time to see a bit of Glencoe?

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