Help: Public transport in Scotland

This page gives a general overview of public transport options within Scotland. If you're planning to hire a car (or bring your own), please see our Driving in Scotland page. For help on travelling to Scotland, please see our Travelling to Scotland page.


Despite the odd grumble by locals, Scotland boasts an excellent public transport system, providing a greener alternative to travelling by private vehicle. A comprehensive network of train and bus routes connect all mainland towns and cities as well as many smaller villages, and by using a combination of these you can generally get wherever you want to go. Ferry and air services connect the islands dotted around the north and west coasts, though Skye is also served by buses via its road bridge. Many routes are scenic and a few - such as parts of the West Highland Line - offer vistas you can't get from the roadside. Town and city centres are generally compact enough to explore on foot.

Of course, getting around Scotland…

Help: Driving in Scotland

A 2-year survey published in 2019 found that close to two-thirds of visitors to Scotland drive a car for at least part of their trip. If you're thinking of doing the same, this help page is for you - particularly if you live outside the UK. For help on travelling by public transport, please see our Public transport in Scotland page.

Scotland's roads

The well populated parts of Scotland have a decent, well-maintained road network in common with other European countries. High-speed motorways (with the "M" prefix) and dual carriageways link 6 of the country's 7 cities - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth and Stirling (with a major upgrade project currently bringing the main route north to Inverness up to scratch) - with fast roads also extending south to the English border.

Head to more rural regions, including most of the Highlands, and you'll be spending most of your time on single carriageway A-roads (the next best bet) or even B-roads. Finally, uncla…

Help: Travelling to Scotland

This help page deals with travelling to Scotland to start your holiday. For help on travel within Scotland, please see our Public transport in Scotland page.

Travelling to Scotland... from overseas

Scotland has 5 main international airports: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Glasgow Prestwick, Aberdeen and Inverness. Of these, by far the largest are Edinburgh and Glasgow, and these are likely to be your entry points if you fly into Scotland. Both of these airports have quick and straightforward public transport into their respective cities, for onward connections to the rest of the country. We recommend using Skyscanner to search for fares.

The interactive map below gives details of all of the country's airports, their official websites, and details of destinations served.

Alternatively, various English airports (particularly around London) are very well served by international flights. You can make the onward journey to Scotland by train, coach or hire car - see the section below.

For visitors …

Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World

Midlothian | Eskbank | Wildlife attraction | ★★★

Edinburgh's own tropical, butterfly paradise is found close to the ring road, adjacent to a large garden centre. It probably won't set your heart a-flutter, but its easily accessible location means you can tag it onto the end of a day out from the city. The butterfly house also claims to be the world's oldest, with dozens of species flying freely around a hangar-like space filled with lush vegetation and ponds. This is only half the appeal though: in fact, the attraction undersells itself. Featured species also include insects, reptiles, amphibians and (slightly randomly) chickens, many in a smaller room adjoining the rear of the main hall. Look out for advertised feeding and handling times, which give visitors a chance to see several of the animals close up. Worthwhile for kids and insectophiles alike.

📌Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World★★★
By the A772 a mile north of Eskbank, G.R.: NT 313675 ///fish.pace.rock
Open daily …

Walk: The slippery side to Largo Law

Fife | Upper Largo | Short walk | ★★★

In a landscape as flat as southeast Fife's, the grassy old volcano of Largo Law is a distinctive landmark, visible even from East Lothian on the other side of the Firth of Forth. At closer quarters the muddy path up the hill's southern slopes is unfortunately pretty distinctive too, eroded by decades of Fifers trying to get just a little closer to heaven. There are two main summits, both visited by the same path. The northern top is the higher of the pair with good views into the interior of the Kingdom, but the southern top boasts the best views across Largo Bay, hopefully sparkling in bright sunshine 280+ metres below. A third top - the volcanic side vent of Craig Rock - is visible to the east. The nearby village of Upper Largo is also worth a brief wander (as is Lower Largo on the coast), and we had a reasonable meal at the Upper Largo Hotel in summer 2019.

📌 Walk: The slippery side to Largo Law ★★★
▶ 3 km / 2 miles ▲ 220 metres