Many of our Inverness and Loch Ness visitors arrive in the area by air or rail. And although hiring a car is very popular, it’s not a must. Whether you prefer a car-free holiday to help our environment or because you’re a bit wary of driving on the left and on single-track roads, there are plenty of transport options on a Scottish Highlands trip. So, here’s our guide to Loch Ness and Inverness public transport and tours.
Loch Ness and Inverness Public Transport
The secret to using public transport in the Highlands is to be prepared! Buses don’t tend to come along every few minutes like in the big cities. So, once you know where you’d like to go, have a look at the helpful Traveline Scotland website. This will give you timetables, journey times and also the price. Using the bus is a great way of getting rid of your unwanted coins. But on many services like Stagecoach you can also use your contactless card or ApplePay to make life a bit easier!
Using local bus services, you will also meet the locals, who are usually chatty and willing to help out. So if you’re not sure at which stop you should get off, or how far it is from the bus stop to your accommodation or visitor attraction, just ask! One of my first memories of backpacking in the Highlands and using the bus to get around is the elderly lady who offered me and my friend a can of the famous Scottish soft drink Irn Bru. The whole bus wanted to know what we thought of it! I will not try to describe the taste, you will just have to try it yourself.
Seeing the Sights
Inverness and Loch Ness’ main visitor attractions can be easily reached by public transport. There are regular bus services to Urquhart Castle and Culloden Battlefield and also to villages like Fort Augustus, where you can catch a Loch Ness Cruise.
Tour operator Loch Ness by Jacobite also offer coach tours that will take you to the main attractions like a Loch Ness cruise, a visit to Urquhart Castle and a visit to the Loch Ness Exhibition. All with a helpful guide and informative commentary.
Day Trips and Short Tours
Being a rural area, not all parts of Inverness, Loch Ness and the surrounding villages are serviced by frequent buses. But that doesn’t mean you can only travel in Scotland by car! There are many guided tours from Inverness that will take you on day trips and short tours to amazing places like Glen Affric, South Loch Ness or the Isle of Skye. There are also Whisky or Outlander themed tours run by knowledgeable local guides.
Find Out More
We hope this guide to Loch Ness and Inverness public transport has given you a few ideas how to go car-free in the area. Using our great transport links you can really make the most of your Inverness and Loch Ness holiday! Find out more in our travel section of the website.