SCOTTISH DEPARTURES

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The Independent Travel
Getting there

From London and south-east England, fares competition to Scotland is intense. To reach Glasgow from London, try the following:

pounds 25.50: National Express bus from Victoria Coach Station, taking about eight hours.

pounds 34: train from Euston or King's Cross via Edinburgh, taking between five and six hours. This price applies to the SuperApex ticket, booking two weeks in advance (0345 225 225).

pounds 75: flight from Stansted to Prestwick on Ryanair (0171-435 7101), with reduced-rate rail travel from Liverpool Street to Stansted and from Prestwick Airport to Glasgow. Total journey time about three hours. Note that this price covers travel to any ScotRail destination, the best bargain for most places in Scotland.

Getting around

Fares on ScotRail services are high, so an unlimited travel deal is worthwhile. The ScotRail Rover covers the entire network. The options are: pounds 60 for any four days in eight; pounds 88 for eight straight days; pounds 115 for 12 days in 15.

Only slightly more expensive is the Freedom of Scotland Travelpass, which includes free use of Caledonian MacBrayne ferries. Eight consecutive days cost pounds 99, and longer periods are available. More details from ScotRail on 0345 212282.

Cycling through

The journey from Carlisle to Inverness is covered by two maps (7b and 7c) in the National Cycle Network series, published by Footprint and available from cycle stores or direct from Sustrans (0117-926 8893).

Walking across

Scotland's coast-to-coast footpath is the Southern Upland Way, which traverses the south of the country from Portpatrick near Stranraer to Cockburnspath near Berwick. Details from the Ranger Service of Scottish Borders Council (01835 830281).

Celebrating Burns and Mackintosh

An exhibition of the "Life, times and legacy" of the poet is on show at the Royal Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh; it opens 10am-5pm daily (Sundays from noon).

The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Exhibition runs until 30 September at the McLennan Galleries, 270 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow (0141-331 1854). It opens 10am-8pm daily (Sundays from 11am); adult admission is pounds 4.

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