HANS ZELL PUBLISHING
[T/A Hans Zell Publishing Consultants]


 

How to get to Lochcarron

Last updated May 2013

By car

Lochcarron lies on the A896 about 63 miles due west of Inverness and across the sea from the Isle of Skye. By car Lochcarron is a 4-5 hours drive from Edinburgh or Glasgow. From Edinburgh the fast route is up the A9 through the Athol and the Cairngorm mountains to Inverness. Edinburgh-Inverness is 154 miles, Glasgow-Inverness is 175 miles. From Inverness take the A835 for Ullapool; at the junction just beyond Garve turn left on to the A832 (going to Gairloch) and drive through the wilderness of Strath Ban to Achnasheen. At Achnasheen turn left at the roundabout on to the A890, and follow it for 18 miles – driving through some very sparsely inhabited countryside – to the junction at the head of Loch Carron. Carry straight on, the road now turning into the A896 (going to Kishorn, Shieldaig and Torridon), and Lochcarron is about 2 miles from this junction.

For an even more scenic route follow the West coast on the A82 from Glasgow through Glencoe and Fort William to Invergarry, then turn off on to the A87 over spectacular Kintail country, sign-posted for Dornie and Kyle of Lochalsh. At Auchtertyre, about 6 miles before Kyle of Lochalsh, turn right to join the other end of the A890, sign-posted for Lochcarron, passing Strathcarron railway station and thereafter turning left on the junction for Lochcarron. Thereafter proceed as above. Glasgow to Lochcarron via Fort William is about 195 miles.

By train

Lochcarron is served by rail connections from Inverness on the famous Kyle line, one of Britain’s most scenic railways. The journey takes 1hr 45mins, and the nearest station is Strathcarron, about 3 miles from Lochcarron village.

Inverness can be reached by overnight Caledonian sleeper from London Euston. The cheapest London-Inverness return fare is for seated accommodation, ‘Seated APEX’ fare (booked at least 7 days in advance), others are sleeper APEX (sharing twin berth cabin), Standard, flexible, (sharing twin berth cabin), while sleeper 1st class (or Leisure first) is for a single berth cabin. For fares information, special offers, and the latest timetables, visit the First ScotRail Caledonian Sleeper service website at http://www.scotrail.co.uk/caledoniansleeper/index.html 

The Caledonian Sleeper departs Euston daily at 21.15 (20.55 on Sundays; no Saturday service in either direction) arriving in Inverness at 08.31 the following morning, with 29 minutes to spare to connect with the Kyle of Lochalsh train departing at 09.00 and arriving at Strathcarron at 10.46. A later train leaves Inverness at 11.01, arriving at Strathcarron at 12.43. For both of these there is a minibus bus connection to Lochcarron, see Table 3 in our Public transport in the Lochcarron area and some points beyond, dep. Strathcarron 10.50, arr. Lochcarron at 11.00; or dep. 12.50, arr. Lochcarron 13.00. When necessary, the bus will wait for the trains if they are running late. The official bus stop at Lochcarron is the Village Hall, but the driver will drop you off at hotels, guest houses or B&Bs if they are on the route.

Unfortunately there is no longer a bus connection for the evening service (arr. Strathcarron 19.43), nor is there a local taxi service.

For a condensed rail timetable see Table 1 in Public transport in the Lochcarron area and some points beyond, and which also includes links to the full rail timetables. There are usually only very marginal differences between the Summer and Winter timetables. The Scotrail general timetable pages (including Glasgow/Edinburgh to Inverness) can be found at http://www.scotrail.co.uk/content/timetables-connections 

Inverness can also be reached using daytime rail services (average journey time from London around 8-9hrs), usually involving a change of train at Glasgow or Edinburgh. The only direct service, “The Highland Chieftain”, is operated by East Coast trains. Their timetables can be found at http://www.eastcoast.co.uk/ 

Telephone bookings: 08457-225225. It is an enjoyable rail journey, particularly the route from Perth to Inverness or v.v., and especially during the summer months. For fare quotes check out the operator’s website. As at April 2012 the timings for the direct service are: dep. London Kings Cross 12.00 arr. Inverness 20.11; dep. Inverness 07.55, arr. London Kings Cross 15.54. (Mondays to Fridays, slightly different timings for the Saturday and Sunday service in either direction, see East Coast timetables at above website).

By bus (and minibus from Inverness)

From Glasgow and Edinburgh, and Oban/Fort William, Inverness can also be reached by CityLink coach services, in each case several services daily. For timetables (and online bookings) click on to http://www.citylink.co.uk/index.php 

There is also a minibus service from Inverness to Lochcarron, albeit only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The bus, operated by Skyeways, departs Inverness at 15.00 usually from Stance/Bay 1 at the main bus station, but this can vary. The bus station is in easy walking distance from Inverness railway station (follow the signs to the bus station). It arrives at Lochcarron Village Hall at 16.45 but the driver will drop you off at hotels, B&Bs, or private homes if they are en route. The bus goes on to Kishorn, Shieldaig and Applecross by request, but seats need to be pre-booked before 18.00 on the day before, by phoning +44-(0)1599-555477. Booking a seat for Lochcarron is not normally essential, but as it is only a minibus it is usually a good idea to book in advance regardless to ensure you get a seat. The Lochcarron-Inverness service departs Wednesday and Saturday from Lochcarron Village Hall at 09.30 (coming from Applecross and Shieldaig, dep. Applecross 08.00, dep. Shieldaig 09.00), getting to Inverness bus station at 11.25. For full timetable and sample fares see Table 2 in Public transport in the Lochcarron area and some points beyond

The daily (except Sunday) mid-day minibus which serves the route Strathcarron-Lochcarron-Kishorn-Shieldaig-Torridon and v.v., also connects with the Kyle train twice a day, in the direction of Inverness, or going to Kyle of Lochalsh (see arrival/departure times in Table 3 above). 

Concessions:

The over 60s, in possession of a valid Highland Council Travel Card/National Entitlement Card, travel free on all Highlands and Islands bus services. Scottish National Entitlement Cards are not valid for travel on a few premium Citylink services (for example from Glasgow to Edinburgh at certain hours), but the card allows free bus travel throughout Scotland on all scheduled local registered and long-distance bus services. English concessionary travel passes are not usually valid in Scotland.

By air

UK flights: 
Inverness airport at Dalcross, about 10 miles to the east of Inverness and close to the A96 Inverness-Aberdeen trunk road, is served by a small number of airlines.

Easyjet http://www.easyjet.com/ flies daily from/to Inverness from London-Luton, London-Gatwick, as well as Bristol.

Flybe http://www.flybe.com/ has daily direct flights from/to Belfast City (Wednesdays and Saturdays excepted), Birmingham, London Gatwick, and Manchester. Additionally, on Saturdays, from 08 June to 21 September 2013 only, it flies to Jersey. It also operates to and from other Highlands destinations: Stornoway in the Isle of Lewis, Sumburgh airport in the Shetlands, Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, and the Isle of Benbecula.

International flights: 
Flybe provides seven flights a week from/to Inverness to Amsterdam Schiphol during the summer months, and six per week during the winter months. 

As from 21 December 2013 Flybe will also have a once weekly flight to Geneva, on Saturdays. Check the Flybe website for timetable information.

The Swiss Helvetic Airways http://www.helvetic.com/hdc/ (in association with Falcon Travel http://www.travelhouse.ch/reisen/falcontravel) has a once weekly flight from and to Zurich, Saturdays only from 18 May to 24 August 2013.

For more information see also http://www.hial.co.uk/inverness-airport.html, while "Real-time"/Live timetables of arrival and departures (showing live status of all incoming/outgoing daily flights) are displayed at http://www.hial.co.uk/inverness-airport/flight-information/live-flight-information/

The complete Summer schedule of arrivals and departures (31 March to 26 October 2013) can be found at
http://ripassetseu.s3.amazonaws.com/www.hial.co.uk/_files/documents/apr_13/hia__1366818117_Inverness_Summer_Schedule_2013.pdf

For flights after 26 October 2013 check out the Winter schedule of arrivals and departures at http://www.hial.co.uk/inverness-airport/

Transportation from Inverness airport to city and v.v./Taxis and car rental

A bus service operates between the airport and Inverness: this is the Stagecoach coach service route no. 11 and 11A (to Nairn/Elgin and v.v., via Inverness Airport), with frequent departures, approximately every half hour for most periods and in both directions to/from Inverness. The bus departs from Inverness Bus Station, or you can catch it in Falcon Square just outside the railway station (opposite Marks & Spencer). For the timetable see http://www.stagecoachbus.com/PdfUploads/Timetable_38432_11-JET%20Inverness.pdf

Taxis are available at the airport and in the town, e.g. Inverness Taxis http://www.inverness-taxis.com/ Tel: +44-(0)1463-222222 ; Text-a-taxi 07867-977233 ; or City Taxis Tel: +44(0)1463-222555 A taxi ride into the city costs approximately £17 and takes about 15-20 minutes, or a bit more during rush hour. Self-drive cars can be hired from several car rental firms at their desks on the public concourse, or can be picked up in Inverness. See contacts for car rental firms below, in Inverness and locally.

In Inverness (city and/or airport):

Car rental and private hire


Avis 
http://www.avis.co.uk/  
Tel: +44-(0)1667-464070 

Budget Car Rental 
http://www.budget-uk.com/  
Tel: +44-(0)1463-713333 

Focus Vehicle Rental 
http://www.focusvehiclerental.co.uk/  
Tel: +44-(0)1463-236684

Hertz 
http://www.hertz.co.uk/  
Tel: +44-(0)1667-462652 

Thrifty Car Rental 
http://www.thrifty.co.uk/cgi-bin/gen5?runprog=thuk  (then select Inverness or Inverness airport from the location menu) 
Tel: +44-(0)1463-224466 

If you arrive in Inverness railway station after the last train to Strathcarron/Kyle has left (dep. 17.54) a taxi fare for the 63 miles trip to Lochcarron will cost approximately £85-£90.

In Lochcarron: 

Car rental, and private hire minibuses.

DMK Motors, Unit 1, Industrial Estate, Lochcarron, IV54 8YS 
Contact: Donnie Mackenzie, Tel: +44-(0)1520-722682 
Email: pedromack@hotmail.com  

Lochcarron Garage, Main Street, Lochcarron, IV54 8YS 
Contact: Duncan Ross, Tel: +44-(0)1520-722205 (day), +44-(0)1520-722458 (night) 
Email: lochcarrongarage@tiscali.co.uk  
Web: http://www.lochcarrongarage.com/  

Local taxi service in Lochcarron

Unfortunately Lochcarron no longer has a licensed local taxi service that can provide transportation between Lochcarron (or further afield) and Strathcarron railway station. However, one local firm can do airport taxi transfer services, as can taxi operators in Plockton or in Kyle.

In Lochcarron:
John Crosby, Tel: +44-(0)1520 722153 or Mobile: 07969 897618
Email: jonnycrosby2003@yahoo.co.uk 
This taxi firm also offers bespoke tours of the Highlands with an experienced tour guide. 

Taxi operators in Plockton and Kyle:
Plockton Taxis, Ian MacLennan, Tel: +44-(0)1599 544389 
Web: http://www.plockton.com/how_to_get_here/plockton_taxis.shtml  

Kyle Taxi Company, Tel: +44-(0)1599 534323 
Email: kyletaxis@aol.com  
Web: http://www.lochalsh.net/taxi/ 
Car hire (including vans and minibuses) is also available. 

 

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