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Scotland is served by an extensive bus network that covers most of the country. In remote rural areas, however, services are geared to the needs of locals (getting to school or the shops in the nearest large town) and may not be conveniently timed for visitors.

First (www.firstgroup.com) Operates local bus routes in several parts of Scotland.

Scottish Citylink (www.citylink.co.uk) National network of comfy, reliable buses serving main towns. Away from main roads, you'll need to switch to local services.

Stagecoach Operates local bus routes in many parts of Scotland.

Bus Passes

National Entitlement Card (www.entitlementcard.org.uk) Available to seniors and people with disabilities who are Scottish citizens; allows free bus travel throughout the country. The youth version, for 11- to 26-year-olds, gives discounted travel, and SYHA members receive a 20% discount on Scottish Citylink services. Students do, too, by registering online.

Scottish Citylink Explorer Pass Offers unlimited travel on Scottish Citylink services (and selected other bus routes) within Scotland for any three days out of five (£49), any five days out of 10 (£74) or any eight days out of 16 (£99). Also gives discounts on various regional bus services, on Northlink and CalMac ferries, and in SYHA hostels. Can be bought in the UK by both UK and overseas citizens.