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Mcr Warrior

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The Spirit of Scotland Travelpass, Scottish Grand Tour Travelpass and Highland Rover are all available for sale from 16/08/21
Are these the ones which were "temporarily" withdrawn because they included ferry journey inter-availability?
 

trei2k

Member
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25 May 2010
Messages
34
I see that you get a hefty amount included with the Spirit of Scotland Travelpass:

Rail:
  • Unlimited train travel in Scotland to/from Carlisle and Berwick-upon-Tweed with ScotRail, Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, LNER and First TransPennine Express
  • Unlimited travel on the Glasgow Subway
  • 10% discount on standard fares with the Strathspey Steam Railway
  • 10% off Keith & Dufftown Railway standard fares
  • £1 off standard fares with Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway (excludes Thomas Days Out)

Bus:
  • Travel on the following routes with Scottish Citylink* and West Coast Motors:
    • Oban/Fort William - Inverness
    • Oban - Campbeltown
    • Fort William - Kyle of Lochalsh - Uig
    • Inverness - Ullapool
      *Book your Scottish Citylink journey in advance on 0871 266 3333 (24 hours). There's a £1.50 reservation fee.
      Calls cost 12p/minute from BT landlines plus network extras. Charges from other providers or mobiles may vary.
  • Travel with Stagecoach East Scotland and Stagecoach in the Highlands on the following routes:
    • Dundee/Leuchars - St Andrews
    • Services on the Isle of Skye
    • Wick - John O'Groats
    • Thurso - John O'Groats
    • Thurso - Scrabster
  • Travel with West Coast Motors/Borders Buses on the following routes:
    • Melrose - Galashiels - Peebles - Edinburgh
    • Carlisle - Langholm - Hawick - Galashiels - Edinburgh
  • £1 off adult and concession tickets with City Sightseeing Glasgow
  • £1 off adult and concession tickets with The Edinburgh Bus Tour
  • £1 off adult and concession tickets with City Sightseeing Inverness

Ferry:
  • Travel free with Caledonian MacBrayne on all ferry routes in Scotland
  • Travel between Gourock and Dunoon with Argyll Ferries
  • Get 20% off these Northlink Ferries journeys when Seated Standard tickets are purchased on the day of travel:
    • Scrabster - Stromness
    • Aberdeen - Lerwick
    • Aberdeen - Kirkwall - Lerwick
  • 10% discount on standard fares with Sweeney Cruises (Loch Lomond)
  • 10% discount on standard fares with Jacobite Cruises (Loch Ness)

(Source: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/tickets/combined-tickets-travel-passes/spirit-of-scotland)

I've highlighted the main included elements. In particular, has anyone faced any resistance in the past when trying to use the pass on buses or on CalMac ferries? Back in the old days, I would have found a leaflet for the product and have used this as a source of info to wave in front of a resistant bus driver/ferry worker.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Messages
5,029
Back in the old days, I would have found a leaflet for the product and have used this as a source of info to wave in front of a resistant bus driver/ferry worker.
Have had to do that in the past when using a 'Lakes Day Ranger' ticket when boarding a Stagecoach bus in downtown Workington.
 

Kite159

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27 Jan 2014
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15,654
Location
West of Andover
I see that you get a hefty amount included with the Spirit of Scotland Travelpass:

Rail:
  • Unlimited train travel in Scotland to/from Carlisle and Berwick-upon-Tweed with ScotRail, Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, LNER and First TransPennine Express
  • Unlimited travel on the Glasgow Subway
  • 10% discount on standard fares with the Strathspey Steam Railway
  • 10% off Keith & Dufftown Railway standard fares
  • £1 off standard fares with Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway (excludes Thomas Days Out)

Bus:
  • Travel on the following routes with Scottish Citylink* and West Coast Motors:
    • Oban/Fort William - Inverness
    • Oban - Campbeltown
    • Fort William - Kyle of Lochalsh - Uig
    • Inverness - Ullapool
      *Book your Scottish Citylink journey in advance on 0871 266 3333 (24 hours). There's a £1.50 reservation fee.
      Calls cost 12p/minute from BT landlines plus network extras. Charges from other providers or mobiles may vary.
  • Travel with Stagecoach East Scotland and Stagecoach in the Highlands on the following routes:
    • Dundee/Leuchars - St Andrews
    • Services on the Isle of Skye
    • Wick - John O'Groats
    • Thurso - John O'Groats
    • Thurso - Scrabster
  • Travel with West Coast Motors/Borders Buses on the following routes:
    • Melrose - Galashiels - Peebles - Edinburgh
    • Carlisle - Langholm - Hawick - Galashiels - Edinburgh
  • £1 off adult and concession tickets with City Sightseeing Glasgow
  • £1 off adult and concession tickets with The Edinburgh Bus Tour
  • £1 off adult and concession tickets with City Sightseeing Inverness

Ferry:
  • Travel free with Caledonian MacBrayne on all ferry routes in Scotland
  • Travel between Gourock and Dunoon with Argyll Ferries
  • Get 20% off these Northlink Ferries journeys when Seated Standard tickets are purchased on the day of travel:
    • Scrabster - Stromness
    • Aberdeen - Lerwick
    • Aberdeen - Kirkwall - Lerwick
  • 10% discount on standard fares with Sweeney Cruises (Loch Lomond)
  • 10% discount on standard fares with Jacobite Cruises (Loch Ness)

(Source: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/tickets/combined-tickets-travel-passes/spirit-of-scotland)

I've highlighted the main included elements. In particular, has anyone faced any resistance in the past when trying to use the pass on buses or on CalMac ferries? Back in the old days, I would have found a leaflet for the product and have used this as a source of info to wave in front of a resistant bus driver/ferry worker.
I could swear at one stage it even included the Edinburgh Trams in the "City Zone" (so excluding the last stop into the airport)
 

Blinkbonny

Member
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16 Mar 2018
Messages
272
With Rovers (where applicable) and indeed with PlusBus I more or less set out expecting to have difficulty on Buses in both Wales and Scotland. (I have an English Bus Pass so I don't know if they are any better.)

The lack of any printed material is a serious drawback and most drivers can't be arsed to look at your phone. (As indeed why should they?) You can print something off yourself, but that's hardly the same.

Thankfully, most drivers just want a quiet life and just nod you on - but there's always the exception!
 

RJ

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25 Jun 2005
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Rail replacement bus cab
Great timing - I'm doing a grand tour of Scotland this week including a day trip round all the bits of the Highlands I haven't done. Kyle, Mallaig-Fort William and Oban in one go!

I'm on a train buying tickets now and the Highland Rover is showing at a price of £9999.99.

The Spirit of Scotland 4 in 8 is going for the expected price of £37.25 so I've gone for that. I will need to use a ferry from Armadale to Mallaig and a bus from Fort William to Oban so will report back if all is good.

Well I did my Highlands trip yesterday and all went well . On presenting my ticket for the ferry at Armadale they did radio through to check if it was accepted which was confirmed within a minute. A polite and efficient way of verifying validity.

As for the 918 bus from Fort William to Oban, I completely forgot my ticket was valid and paid the £10.40 fare. Whoops. At least I got 12% cashback on that.

Some questions and notes that probably belong in the trip reports section

1. Is the Highlands Rover intended to be available?

2. Are Class 66s the in thing for passenger trains now? I saw one atop a Belmond train at Garve, one coupled with and plugged into a Sleeper 73 at Fort William and the same at Inverness.

3. I was going to ask if the Class 156s are powerful enough for what they do - the one I was on seemed to be struggling to reach 20mph at times despite going flat out on sections that didn’t look severely graded. But on arrival at Fort William, it turned out the engine of at least coach hadn’t been on and the coolant tank was being replenished.

4. The train stopped briefly at Loch Eil Outward Bound then set off again with a couple of dozen ramblers intending to get off still on board - I don’t think anyone got off. Presume some issue with the leading unit but how would those people get back to that stop?

5. Oban was a new experience - I’ve not previously been to a station where the access to platforms and facilities is blocked between trains during the day.

6. The Harry Potter theme being played over the tannoy going over Glenfinnan Viaduct was a nice touch.

7. I was at Helensburgh Upper shortly before the Sleeper came and there was a notice up saying that it was reservation only due to Covid 19 and that daytime tickets were not being accepted.
 
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matt

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If Spirit of Scotland ticket is bought with a railcard does that mean I cannot take advantage of the easements that allow any trains on certain routes to be used such as Fort William before 0915?
 

alex17595

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Does anybody know if I can use buses to get between Kyle and Armadale on a highland rover? Its shown on the map as valid but theres nothing written about the validity anywhere.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Think it (the "Highland Rover") includes the CalMac ferry between Armadale and Mallaig but NOT any bus/taxi transfer on Skye. You'd have to pay extra for that.
 

Mcr Warrior

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I found a reference to portree not being included, if that's the case why even bother putting it on the map.
Portree is the main town on Skye, of course, but potentially misleading if you can't get there using a particular rover type ticket without paying extra, and/or with no discount available for such a ticket holder.
 

HantsExile

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22 Jun 2018
Messages
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I did a big Scotland tour in September 2018 using the Spirit of Scotland pass, possibly discounted with a Senior railcard? I definitely used it on ferries and buses without any issues - but yes had to use taxi across Skye from Armadale to Kyle. Smashing trip - hoping to do a similar trip round Wales when / if COVID tamed.
 

Bevan Price

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If Spirit of Scotland ticket is bought with a railcard does that mean I cannot take advantage of the easements that allow any trains on certain routes to be used such as Fort William before 0915?
The conditions say nothing about restrictions on railcards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Travel is valid Monday to Friday on trains departing after 09:15 and on any service at the weekend

The restriction does not apply to customers travelling on the following routes:
  • Glasgow Queen Street - Oban/Fort William/Mallaig.
  • Inverness - Kyle /Wick/Thurso.
  • Glasgow Central - Stranraer.
  • Direct services from Lockerbie to Carlisle, Carstairs, Motherwell or Glasgow Central. "
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
One snag seems to be that, if you do not live in, say, Glasgow, and want to go to Fort William, then you need the pay to use connecting services into Glasgow that start before 09:15
 

Meglos

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19 Dec 2020
Messages
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Location
london
Does anybody know if I can use buses to get between Kyle and Armadale on a highland rover? Its shown on the map as valid but theres nothing written about the validity anywhere.
In late september I travelled on the 08:22 from GLQ (Glasgow Queen Street) to MLG (Mallaig), which connects with the ferry to Armadale and arrives at 14:55. However the taxi to Kyle was quoted at £45.

So I waited just over two hours for the 17:05 number 52 Bus from Armadale Pier to Broadford (this only runs twice daily). I was staying in Broadford, but there are connections to both Kyle or Portree at Broadford Post Office.
 

alex17595

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In late september I travelled on the 08:22 from GLQ (Glasgow Queen Street) to MLG (Mallaig), which connects with the ferry to Armadale and arrives at 14:55. However the taxi to Kyle was quoted at £45.

So I waited just over two hours for the 17:05 number 52 Bus from Armadale Pier to Broadford (this only runs twice daily). I was staying in Broadford, but there are connections to both Kyle or Portree at Broadford Post Office.


Thanks, I worded the original post badly. I meant to ask if I could the highland rover on the buses.

I've done the trip myself a few time and always struggled with the bus segment. I'm thinking about taking my bike this time and just cycling between them.
 

paul1609

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Wittersham Kent
I was in the Outer hebrides and Skye in late Sept and Early October. I had no problems myself using the buses many of which are basically school buses advertised as services buses but Whilst waiting for the Citylink coach down to Glasgow in Portree I did see a row over whether they were accepting "tourists" on the local buses with several people refused travel on a service to Broadford.
 

matt

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The conditions say nothing about restrictions on railcards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Travel is valid Monday to Friday on trains departing after 09:15 and on any service at the weekend

The restriction does not apply to customers travelling on the following routes:
  • Glasgow Queen Street - Oban/Fort William/Mallaig.
  • Inverness - Kyle /Wick/Thurso.
  • Glasgow Central - Stranraer.
  • Direct services from Lockerbie to Carlisle, Carstairs, Motherwell or Glasgow Central. "
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
One snag seems to be that, if you do not live in, say, Glasgow, and want to go to Fort William, then you need the pay to use connecting services into Glasgow that start before 09:15

I had no issues using the ticket with a two together railcard on the service to Oban before 09:30.
 

alex17595

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Burton on Trent
It's a pleasant bike ride if the weather's OK.
They will love me when I roll up with a list of cycle reservations I need. Apparently you need them on the Far north but I can't see it being busy in Jan/Feb


edit: Looking at it, its really not worth the hassle.
 
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