Get to know the real Spirit of Scotland

Last updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2023

From 25 April 2023, ferry travel is no longer included within the Spirit of Scotland pass. Any ferry travel should be purchased separately and directly from

Explore every corner of Scotland with the Spirit of Scotland travel pass. Enjoy four or eight days’ unlimited travel by rail and coach.

In a nutshell

Highland wilderness. City luxury. Something in between. What’s the true spirit of Scotland? This ticket gives you the chance to find out. Travel by road and rail across the length and breadth of Scotland. Where you stop is up to you.

Here’s what you get:

  • Unlimited journeys - four days’ travel over eight consecutive days (£149), or eight days’ travel over 15 consecutive days (£189)
  • Leisurely travel - you can travel on any off-peak, standard-class service
  • Hop on, hop off - no need to book in advance, just show up and set off
  • Free coach travel - on selected routes, including Argyll, Skye, the Borders and Northern Highlands
  • Ferry rides - 20% off Northlink Ferries to Orkney and Shetland
  • And even more – your pass includes travel on Edinburgh Trams and Glasgow Subway. Plus, money off local heritage railways and loch cruises

What about kids’ tickets and railcards?

Kids under five travel for free. Five to fifteen-year olds pay half the adult price.

You also get money off with your 16-25, senior, or disabled persons railcard.

Where to go and what to do

When we say unlimited travel, we mean it. Adventure up mountains, explore islands, or trace Scotland’s rich history. Here are some of our favourite stops:

Gallous Glasgow

You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to how to spend your time in Scotland’s biggest city. Luckily, your pass includes subway travel, so it’s easy to get around.

Art lovers can trace the legacy of Charles Rennie Mackintosh – starting at House for an Art Lover or The Lighthouse. You’ll find even more Mackintosh artefacts, and so much more besides, at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum – plus the chance to stroll through Kelvingrove Park and admire the iconic University building.

If retail therapy is your thing, there’s no shortage of designer purchases to be had in the famous Style Mile. More of a history buff? Head underground for a surprising tour of the secrets of Central Station.

However you spend the day, round off the evening sampling some famous Glaswegian hospitality. You’ll find the pick of the best bars and restaurants in the West End, Finnieston and the Merchant City.

Idyllic Kintail and Kyle of Lochalsh

Take the train to Kyle of Lochalsh and then hop on a bus to fairytale-worthy Eilean Donan Castle.

One of Scotland’s most photographed landmarks, this intriguing castle sits alone on an island overlooking the Isle of Skye. You’ve seen it in the pictures, now’s your chance to roam the halls.

If you’re feeling energetic, take the bus to nearby Kintail. Here, you’ll find one of the most popular ridgewalks in the country – the Five Sisters. The peaks in question include three Munros (mountains more than 3,000 feet high) but the whole trail can be completed in just one day. A challenge, definitely. But hugely rewarding. And the views are unforgettable.

From here, it’s a mere hop, skip and jump to the Western Isles.

Adventurous Thurso and Dunnet Head

The train north to Thurso is often packed with surfers making their way to enjoy some of the best waves in the UK. Don’t fancy tackling the swell? The dramatic ruins of Thurso Castle are just as thrilling in an entirely different way.

From here, take the bus to Dunnet Head, the most northern point of the Scottish mainland. You’ll get some great photo opportunities (hello Instagram!) and the views over the North Sea are mesmerising. Just be sure to wrap up – it gets super windy.

Eclectic Aberdeen

All aboard for the Granite City – the jewel of the North East. Venture a few minutes from the plentiful shopping and vibrant nightlife of the modern city centre, and wander along the cobbled streets of one of the city’s old towns – from the grand architecture of Old Aberdeen to the fishermen’s cottages of Footdee (or Fittie, to the locals).

Further afield, Aberdeenshire boasts more than 300 castles, more per acre than anywhere else in Britain. Not forgetting mile after mile of beautiful coastline, eight distilleries, 55 golf courses and five ski resorts.

Charming Aviemore and the Cairngorms

Ancient forests. Rolling mountains. Bonny lochs. The beauty of Scotland is in abundant supply here.

The Cairngorms National Park is the UK’s largest protected areas of countryside. It’s also one of the most picturesque. The train to Aviemore whisks you right into the park. From here, you can take the funicular up Cairngorm Mountain and take in the beautiful surroundings from 3,500 feet.

Then another rail journey: this time on the Strathspey Steam train – this isn’t included, but your pass gets you 10% off. This antique engine transports you back in time, as well as winding through the lush green hills. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of some wildcats, red squirrels, or a golden eagle along the way.

Get to know the real Scotland. All with one pass.
Find out more

Seen something else with your Spirit of Scotland pass? Tell us about it.

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