All of Scotland's major towns and cities are served by short and long-distance bus services. Long-distance buses are known in Britain as coaches and are a popular way to travel across the country.

Coach operators

Most of the inter-city and longer distance coach services around Scotland are provided by: 

Tickets for these services can be bought in advance by phone, online, in stations and often on board. For busy routes and when travelling  at peak times, such as weekends or national holidays, it's a good idea to book as early as possible to guarantee a seat.

Coach discount fare options

If you plan to do a lot of travelling by coach, save money with multi-journey tickets, such as:

  • Explorer Pass - offers unlimited travel on Scottish Citylink network.
  • Megarider -  offered by Stagecoach and provides unlimited travel within certain areas.
  • National Express Brit Xplorer Pass - ideal if you're planning to travel in England and Wales too. This ticket gives you unlimited travel throughout Britain on National Express coaches.

Local services

Four main operators, First, Stagecoach, Lothian Buses and National Express, and a number of independent operators, run local bus services in Scotland between the main cities, towns and villages.

Services in cities and towns are usually frequent, while in rural areas there is a reduced service, with more buses running around school times (approximately 8.30am and 3.30pm).

For information on all services in and around Scotland's towns and cities, contact  Traveline Scotland  on 0871 200 22 33.

Postbus services

Some rural areas, particularly in parts of the Highlands and Islands, are only served by the Postbus network, which sees numerous minibuses carry between 3 and 10 fare-paying passenger, as well as mail.

The post buses set off early in the morning, usually around 8am from the main post office, and collect and deliver mail in the surrounding countryside. This is a sociable way to travel and although it's not the fastest mode of transport, it's a great way to get to hidden attractions and B&Bs in rural areas if you don't have a car.

Details of Postbus routes and timetables can be found on the Royal Mail website or from the Royal Mail Customer Service Centre on 08457 740 740. Textphone users should call 0845 600 0606.

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