How to get to the Scottish Highlands

Inverness is the main hub of the Scottish Highlands. The city is well-connected with major cities in the UK and Europe, and there are good rail and bus links with smaller Highland cities and towns including Fort William, Aviemore, Oban and Skye.

If you’re travelling from overseas, the closest airport to fly into is Glasgow (GLA) or Edinburgh (EDI). From here, you can hire a car, catch a bus or take a train to the Highlands.


Driving is the best way to get around the Highlands and explore at your own pace. Don’t worry if you don't have a car or aren’t keen on self-driving: our Highlands tours allow you to hand over the organisational reins so you can sit back and immerse yourself in the beautiful scenery of the UK. Departures and drop-offs are in easy-to-reach places like Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness.

Public transport in the Scottish Highlands

Catching a train

ScotRail operates trains between the Highlands' biggest cities, including Inverness, Aviemore and Fort William, as well as smaller towns in the region. If trains aren’t available for where you want to go, chances are you can take a local bus with Stagecoach, Scottish Citylink or the National Express.

If you’re planning on getting around mostly by train, it might be worth getting the Highland Rover Pass (£95), which gives you four days of unlimited travel in the Highlands over eight consecutive days. The pass also includes ferry travel to Skye and other islands in the Hebrides.

Taking a coach

Travelling by coach is probably the cheapest option. The most popular bus companies are Stagecoach and Scottish Citylink. Stagecoach services more remote destinations, while Scottish Citylink services the main tourist hubs including Fort William, Inverness, Skye and Oban.

Taking a ferry

If you’re travelling to Skye, the Orkney Islands or other islands in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, you'll need to take a ferry. Popular ferry companies include NorthLink Ferries (for travel between mainland Scotland, Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands) and CalMac (for travel between mainland Scotland and destinations in the Inner and Outer Hebrides).

Want to learn more about the Scottish Highlands? Return to Scottish Highlands FAQs

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