(correct for July-August 2014)
on the sadly limited public transport options
Afraid we’re not the bus-friendliest of locations (well, WE’re bus-friendly!…it’s just that bus timetable-planners don’t seem to think we need much of a service), at least at weekends, but early-risers could do worse than make use of the great wee Highland Bike Bus, run by D&E Coaches – leaves Inverness at 08:50, gets into Elphin at 11:05, which is admittedly a bit early, but you could go for a wee wander down to Loch Veyatie or visit Jan’s Studio in Elphin and Ray’s Art Studio in Knockan. Timetable here.
If you just want to come for the evening, Citylink’s 961 leaves Inverness at 15:40 & arrives in Ullapool at 17:00 – should be plenty of lifts from there…961 timetable.
This bus should feed the 809 (Highland Scotbus - timetable here), which leaves the ferry terminal at 17:22, arriving at the school at 17:41 (on its way to Drumbeg) – this bus waits for the ferry to come in, but looking at the weather forecast for Saturday, this shouldn’t lead to any delays. If anybody wants to get into Elphin much earlier, there’s an 809 which leaves Ullapool at 09:05, reaching Elphin at 09:25. No Sunday service for 809, unfortunately, however.
On Sunday the 961 returns to Inverness from Ullapool at 17:10, arriving at 18:40. If you wanted to maximise your time between buses in Elphin you could wait for the Bike Bus – which comes through Elphin at 17:44 on Sunday evening and reaches Inverness at 19:44.
For those who intend to make a long weekend of the festival the weekday services linking Lochinver and Ullapool will be useful - http://www.stagecoachbus.com/PdfUploads/Timetable_38430_61%20167%20Highland.pdf (not sure if this still current).
If you’re coming from other parts of Assynt, you could make use of Highland Council’s new Dial-a-Bus service - - tel no. 01571 844607, but please note this service only runs between 09:30 and 17:30, Monday to Saturday. Lochinver to Elphin should cost £3.65-£3.80…and you ideally should book it the day before.