This is a Wednesday to Saturday outing. Scenic views over two of the Great Railway Journeys of the World and a taste of Iona, Mull, Staffa, Fingals Cave, Oban and Glasgow. Wildlife and history.Wednesday
To see the most in the day needs an early start from Derby ( or Burton 10 mins earlier ) station, so we get the following through train to Leeds
Glasgow Central arr 13:18
Put the luggage in the left luggage lockers at Glasgow Central Station and spend an afternoon in Glasgow, with lunch at ( say ) The Horseshoe Bar, a glass and brass Victorian Bar with lunches served at the bar counter whilst you sit on high stools. After lunch maybe a trip to one of the museums or galleries or just a stroll around the parks and a look at the architecture of John Renee Macintosh. Collect the bags from the left luggage locker and walk through the centre of Glasgow to Queen Street Station. Then, an evening trip on part of the West Highland Line.
Into Glen Cruitten, and from the summit the line winds downhill. Enjoy the splendid views of Oban, now only a few minutes away. Oban Station is a sad modern platform, which replaced the splendid original station in the 1970s. But at least it is in the middle of the town, right by the ferry terminal.
Register at the B&B - 'Maridon House' Dunuaran Road, Oban 01631 562670 (http://www.west-scotland-tourism.com/maridon-house/Map.html), only 800 yards from the Station. An alternative guest house Briarbank, on Glencruitten Road Oban PA34 4DN (Contact: William Lockwood a bit further and a climb up to the house but nice people Phone: 01631 566549, http://www.oban.org.uk/cgi-local/accomdb/bandbmember.pl?briarbank). After finding accommodation, head out for a late evening meal in Mexican Pete's or the Curry House (well known for Scottish Cuisine!) but usually the only places open for food at that time of night.
Oban is a small busy seaport that has a nice esplanade and was once a fashionable holiday resort. In Victorian times, the middle classes came from all over Europe to sample its delights. It has a wonderful folly called McCaigs tower a replica of the Roman Coliseum. Today Oban is the place to get the ferries to all the Inner and Outer Hebrides islands.
The ferry picks you up again at 18:40, for dinner, drinks and a cruise round Mull, returning to Oban at 22:00. The pubs in Oban shut 3 hours later (just in case it is of interest)Friday
Several Options Option One. On to one of Bowman's excellent tours. This tour departs by ferry, crossing the Firth of Lorne to Craignure on The Isle of Mull where you join their coach. This takes the scenic route through the Isle of Mull is via Glen More to Fionnphort where you board the boat for Staffa. After landing on Staffa and visiting Fingal's Cave and seeing the Puffins, then we sail south to Iona. Take a leisurely stroll through the Benedictine nunnery and the Reilig Oran - the burial place of kings (Macbeth and pals) - on the route to Iona Abbey. Then ferry and bus and ferry back to Oban (http://www.bowmanstours.co.uk/).
Option Two Same Ferry, but walk the 2 miles to the two castles on Mull, stroll the ornate gardens and have lunch in the local pub Isle of Mull cheese a speciality.
Option three Same Ferry, and then a Landrover tour of the wild places see the Sea Eagles and Otters, if you are lucky(http://www.mullwildlife.co.uk/).
Option Four Same Ferry and Service bus to Tobormoray, delightful Island capital and home to TV series BalamoraySaturday
Saturday morning around Oban perhaps a tour of the distillery, and a walk along the Esplanade then home on the afternoon train.
Oban dep 12:35
Glasgow Queen Street 15:45
Glasgow Queen Street 16:30`
Edinburgh a 17:18
Edinburgh d 17:33
|Glasgow Central||arr 13:18|
|Glasgow Queen Street||dep 18:12|
|Crainlarich( Train splits we want Oban, not Fort William carriage )||20:09|