Viewed 3588 times, downloaded 105 times
near Glenfinnan, Scotland (United Kingdom)
This hike takes in the main sights around Glenfinnan: the famous ‘Harry Potter’ steam train viaduct, the Glenfinnan monument, the Glenfinnan station on the West Highland Railway, and Loch Shiel. The walk starts at Glenfinnan station. You could arrive here by train, or by car. There is limited parking at the station. More parking can be found at the bottom of the station road, on the road near the Glenfinnan monument, and across from the Glenfinnan Pier Road. A lot of people walk along the Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail to obtain the best position for making a picture of the viaduct while the Jacobite steam train is passing. Enquire on the time the steam trains pass. Westbound and eastbound trains pass shortly after each other as they pass on Glenfinnan station. You can find something to eat and drink at Glenfinnan station, and at the National Trust visitor centre across from the Glenfinnan monument.
The hike starts on the parking at the station across from the Glenfinnan dining car (a railway car converted to a restaurant). You first walk onto the station to get an impression of the steam train station. You can also visit the signal box, where you can simulate operating the signals and switches (not sure about the opening times). After your visit to the station you start off on the Glenfinnan viaduct trail past the dining car. The trail takes you into the wood below the railway, passes through a tunnel, and climbs above the railway for a great view towards Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan monument. The trail continues towards the viaduct, and the views of the viaduct get better the closer you approach. When the trains are about to arrive, people collect along this trail to get the best view of the steam train on the viaduct. We continued until we got to an asphalt lane below the viaduct. Here you cross the river Finna, and walk up the hill on the other side of the viaduct. You can get here to the railway track, but access is forbidden. From a viewpoint close by we waited for the steam train to arrive (from Fort William). After the train had passed we went down to the asphalt lane and walked along the river to the A830 main road. You walk along the main road to the visitor centre, and cross the road towards the Glenfinnan monument (commemorating the start of the Jacobite rising when Prince Charles Edward Stuart raised his standard here). You walk to the shore of Loch Shiel, and then back to the visitor centre (close to the road is another boardwalk nature trail you could do adding a bit more than 1 km). You walk back along the A830, cross the river Finna and turn left on the Glenfinnan Pier Road. On the right side you pass St. Mary & St. Finnan Church, and on the left side you get close to Loch Shiel again. You follow this road until it turns left, and then go straight on back to the A830 and then walk up back to the station.
Here the path gets below the viaduct
Here is the Glenfinnan Monument. You can go up the monument; this requires tickets from the visitor centre.
Here starts the Glenfinnan Pier Road, towards the lake. You follow this road past the church and another Loch Shiel access.
Here you get to the shore of Loch Shiel
Here the path ends at the railway. A gate and a sign prevent access.
Here you cross river Finna just below the viaduct
The Signal Box is open for the public (at least it was during our visit). You can get information on how signals and switches are and were operated.
Here the Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail starts.
Viewpoint east of viaduct. Most people view the viaduct from the other side.
Viewpoint on the trail towards Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan Monument
Most people go to viewpoints west of the viaduct