Travelling to and around Scotland
Flights to Scotland
Most trans-atlantic flights to the UK arrive at London Heathrow, but there are a few airlines which offer direct flights to Edinburgh (EDI) and Glasgow (GLA). Direct flights to Glasgow/Edinburgh from New York/Chicago/Toronto usually take about 6-7 hours. US cities/airports with direct flights include:
New York (Newark, EWR) - United Airlines operate daily flights to Glasgow and Edinburgh throughout the year. United also operate a direct flight from Chicago (O'Hare, ORD) to Edinburgh. Delta Virgin / American Airlines operate flights from New York (JFK) to Edinburgh.
Air Canada operate daily flights to Glasgow from a number of Canadian cities during the summer months and Air Canada subsiduary 'Rouge' also operate a Toronto service direct to Edinburgh (3 days a week).
Emirates operate services from Australia and New Zealand to Glasgow via Dubai.
Glasgow and Edinburgh both have direct flights from all the the major European capitals and hub airports, e.g. London Heathrow, Gatwick, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, Copenghagen, Zurich and Geneva. The other Scottish airports - Aberdeen, Prestwick and Inverness - also have some international flights, for example Eastern Airways operate direct flights from Norway (Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger) to Aberdeen, and Scandinavian Airlines operate a flights to the UK from Oslo, Bergen and Copenhagen). Low-cost airlines like Easyjet operate services to Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Inverness from many European cities. RyanAir also operate daily flights from many European cities to Prestwick (PIK) which is 40 miles south-west of Glasgow, and also to Edinburgh airport. Note that Prestwick airport is also known as 'Glasgow International', which is confusing when it is not really that close to Glasgow.
It is also possible to take internal flights in Scotland - LoganAir / Flybe operate flights to the more remote islands, like Islay, Tiree, Barra, Lewis (Stornoway), Orkney (Kirkwall) and Shetland (Sumburgh) from Edinburgh or Glasgow.
Hebridean Air Services also operate flights to Coll, Tiree and Colonsay from Oban and also offer a charter service to numerous other small airfields in mainland Scotland and the islands.
There are hourly train services from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh, the journey takes about 4 hours. This service is now operated by Virgin East Coast (formerly East Coast, and GNER). Virgin Trains operate frequent services from London Euston to Glasgow up the west coast line. This journey usually takes an hour longer than the service via the east coast line.
If you plan to travel around Scotland by train, it is worth considering Scotrail 'Rover' or 'Freedom of Scotland Travelpass' tickets. (You can also get similar TravelPass tickets which cover train services throughout the rest of the UK and Ireland). These tickets can be purchased from main stations in the UK or in some Travel Agents in the USA and Europe. If you are phoning from within the UK:
There are frequent bus services throughout Scotland. Scottish Citylink, run most of the buses between the major towns and cities. Visit their website or phone 0871 266 3333 from within UK, or try +44 141 332 9644 from overseas.
If you want to visit any of the Hebridean islands off the West Coast, contact Caledonian MacBrayne regarding ferry services, Tel: +44 1475 650 100. Fax: +44 1475 637 607. Northlink Ferries now operate the car ferry services to Orkney and Shetland from Aberdeen and Scrabster (by Thurso). Pentland Ferries operate the faster car ferry service from Gills Bay (4 miles west of John O'Groats) to Burwick on the Orkney mainland. JOG Ferry also operate a boat from John O' Groats to Burwick, which takes only 40 minutes (foot passengers and bicycles only). Orkney Ferries operate the inter-island ferries in Orkney.
Visit Traveline Scotland for online timetables for most bus, train and ferry services in Scotland. Or telephone +44 870 6082608 during UK office hours.
Last update 16th December 2016. If you find that any of the above information is incorrect, please contact us with details so we can keep this page up to date.