Planes, Trains and Buses
Your Ardnamurchan adventure starts long before you arrive. The journey through the bonny Highlands, whether by car, bus, train, bike or foot is stunning and awe-inspiring. Look out for red deer over Rannoch, golden eagles above and otters by the shore as you approach the wilds of Ardnamurchan. Though remote, Ardnamurchan is just three hours drive from Glasgow and an hour or so from Fort William with its rail and bus connections.
If you are travelling from overseas, or from the south of England, your first port of call may be one of the airports at Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness. All three cities have good connections by coach to Fort William and Glasgow and Edinburgh have good train connections too (see below). It is more likely that you will hire a car though and drive through the scenic Highlands, remembering to drive on the left.
It is around a four hour drive from Edinburgh airport to Acharacle, a distance of 145 miles or 232 km; a 3 hours 15 minutes drive from Glasgow airport (120 miles or 190 km) and a 3 hour drive from Inverness airport (117 miles or 190 km). Of course the journey may take longer in peak season and as you stop off to admire the scenery. if you are heading further out west, then Kilchoan is another hour's drive from Acharacle (21 miles or 35 km).
One of our favourite ways to travel from London to The Highlands is by The Caledonian Sleeper with regular departures from London Euston. The train departs at 21.15 Monday to Friday and at 21.00 on Sundays. Check out the timetable for up to date times. It's best to arrive as soon as boarding starts 45 minutes prior to departure to bag a seat in the dining car and enjoy some hagis, neaps and tatties or a wee nightcap. The sleeper service has recently been upgraded and there is a choice of Classic, Caledonian Double, Club Room and Seated accommodation.
The sleeper service arrives in Fort William at around 10am and although you may snooze through the whole journey it is worth getting up after Glasgow to enjoy some breakfast and savour the delights of the journey through the Highlands.
Once in Fort William you can either hire a car, travel by a Loch Shiel bus to Ardnamurchan or continue by rail along the Road to the Isles to Mallaig.
Services from Glasgow and Edinburgh
As well as the sleeper there are also regular Scotrail services from Glasgow to Fort William (journey time approx 3 hours and 45 minutes) and Edinburgh (one change - journey time approx 4 hours and 53 minutes). The rail journey from Inverness takes over 7 hours and travels via Glasgow so is not really practical, but there is a regular and comfortable coach service. Train tickets are best booked in advance to get the best price and are available via The Scotrail website or The TrainLine website.
The West Highland Line
The journey between Fort William and Mallaig is one of the most scenic in the country. As well as a regular ScotRail Diesel service (timetable) you can choose to travel on the famous Jacobite steam train with West Coast Railways, though trips on the popular steam train have to be booked months in advance. Both services take the same route and cross the Glenfinnan viaduct made famous in the Harry Potter films.
Just after Glenfinnan you reach the small station at Lochailort. if you are cycling or have an arranged pick up you can hop off the train at Lochailort Station and head along the A861 towards Glenuig, Acharacle, Salen and westwards to Kilchoan and Ardnamurchan Point. You can also pick up a bus from Lochailort to continue your journey into the wilds of Ardnamurchan.
Coaches and Buses
There are regular coach services run by CityLink from Glasgow and Inverness to Fort William and from Fort William you can pick up one of the local buss run by Shiel Buses to travel to the Ardnaurchan area.
The journey by coach to Fort William takes around 3 hours and 15 minutes from Glasgow and 2 hours and 5 minutes from Inverness. Tickets are best bought online in advance to get the best price and to ensure a seat during busy seasons. The coach station in Fort William is just outside the Morrisons supermarket so you can pop in for a coffee or snack whilst waiting for your connection. Shiel Buses also depart from the same point to Mallaig, Acharacle, Kichoan and Lochaline and Drimnin. The journey is very scenic and along winding roads into the wilds of Ardnamurchan. Our top tip is to grab a seat near the front of the bus for great view and comfort.