Getting to Argyll & The Isles

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VisitScotland Argyll and The Isles Guides
E-brochure ››

Discover more about Argyll & The Isles with our handy brochure

Journey Planner
  • A car traveling along the A82 road as it skirts the edge of Loch Lomond
    The A82 road as it skirts the edge of Loch Lomond
  • Caledonian MacBrayne ferry arriving in Oban bay from the Isle of Mull
    Caledonian MacBrayne ferry arriving in Oban bay from the Isle of Mull

With its proximity to Glasgow and the Highlands, Argyll & The Isles is the perfect place to visit and you can experience a variety of landscapes and activities along the way.

By land and sea

By car

There are a number of ways to travel to Argyll & The Isles from the south. Take the M74 up to Glasgow and then join the A82 which runs alongside Loch Lomond. Here you can join the A83 towards Kintyre and the Cowal Peninsula or continue further north on the A85 to Oban, the gateway port to many of the area’s beautiful islands. From the north, the main route that leads to the region is the A82 from Inverness to Oban, which takes just over two hours.

To help you with your journey, read about driving in Scotland, find up-to-date traffic information from Traffic Scotland, or plan your route with Transport Direct.

By bus

National coach services run from cities and towns across Scotland to many of the larger towns in the area, including Campbeltown, Tarbert, Lochgilphead and Oban, from where you can link to local services.

By rail

There are good mainline rail links to the region on the west coast line. Travelling from Glasgow to Oban is an excellent way to begin your visit. Running alongside stunning lochs and mountains, this route is often considered one of the best train routes in the world. From Oban, you will find connecting ferry and road links to other parts of Argyll & The Isles. For all train times to Scotland and fares across the UK network, visit National Rail.

By ferry

Discovering the West Highlands and Islands by car and passenger ferry is a pleasure in itself. Although some ferries allow tickets to be bought on the day, it is recommended that they are booked in advance to avoid disappointment.

Visitors from Ireland can travel from Larne to Cairnryan with Stenaline or from Larne to Cairnryan and Troon with P&O Ferries, who also offer express ferries to Troon between March and October. From Cairnryan and Troon, in south west of Scotland, you can travel north to Argyll within a matter of hours.

Between May and September the Kintyre Express passenger service operates between Ballycastle (Northern Ireland) and Campbeltown and takes approximately an hour and a half.

CalMac operate car ferry services from Arran to Kintyre with a journey time of 30 minutes and also run a ferries between Ardrossan and Campbeltown three times per week. You can take a passenger from Gourock to Dunoon in 20 minutes with Western Ferries and Argyll Ferries.

Visitors can also take the Jura Passenger Ferry, which takes less than an hour, from Tayvallich on the mainland to Craighouse on Jura.

For information about all public transport in Scotland, the best place to check for information and timetables is with Traveline; you can also download their handy mobile app or call them on 0871 200 22 33.

By air

There are several options for flying to Argyll & The Isles - the best way to find the most competitive fares for flying around Scotland is to search on comparison sites such as SkyScanner, Travel Supermarket and Cheapflights.

There are national and international flights to Glasgow Airport and Glasgow Prestwick Airport which offer great transport links by rail or road to Argyll & The Isles. Flights from Glasgow Airport to Campbelltown, Tiree and Islay are run by Loganair.

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