The Glenfinnan Viaduct All To Myself? My Memorable Scottish Adventure!

25 May 2021Rebecca Bradley

Over the last year, we all haven’t made many new memories. We’ve not had many things happen that we’d like to remember. But sometimes memories aren’t planned. They aren’t something you do everything in your power to make happen. They just happen. And that’s something I was recently gifted with.

I had the Glenfinnan Viaduct all to myself.

Well, along with my fiancé!

We sat on the hillside looking at the viaduct for hours. It’s usually always full of people, but this time we were alone. We are lucky that this is something we experienced. I know it is with thanks to Covid that is causing so much harm to us all, but in these times we need to treasure these moments. We don’t get them very often.

We spent a few hours in Glenfinnan taking everything in. We did enjoy the quieter roads compared to the usual hustle and bustle of everyone coming to see the viaduct and to catch a glimpse of the Jacobite Express going over on its way to Hogwarts. Although that is an amazing experience in itself and something I recommend!

If you’re thinking of going to see the viaduct when you can, there are a few things you can do on your visit to make it an enjoyable adventure.

You can:

We did all these except for the Monument and Visitor Centre as they were not open. But when they are open, there’s a gift shop, cafe and information about Glenfinnan and its significance to the Jacobite Rebellion.

We started with the Visitor Centre viewpoint. We climbed the small signposted hill and had a little sit down to admire Loch Shiel. Loch Shiel is where Hogwarts is – just pointing that out! Loch Shiel is the visual for the Black Lake and the aerial shots of Hogwarts. Is it silly to sit for half an hour dreaming of the castle and wishing it was there? Not at all. If I can’t see it, I guess it makes me a Muggle!

To make more of our little adventure, we decided to walk to Glenfinnan Train Station. Graham enjoys trains (being brought up with a father that works in the railways) so he was looking forward to it. As it was a Sunday there were no trains coming through.

It is a lovely station with the ‘Welcome to Glenfinnan’ sign. If you take a trip on the Jacobite Express, it will stop at Glenfinnan for passengers to have a walk around. There’s also the Glenfinnan Museum that’s located in the station.

We then headed back down to the car park and began the walk to the viaduct. The best way to see the viaduct is to get as close as possible! You can walk under and up to the viaduct viewpoint walk – there are maps that guide you.

Well, what can I say? To sit on the hill that is usually covered in people on our own was something else. I don’t think it’s something we’ll be able to recreate (unless we get up very early in the morning!) but it’s something we hold dear.

If you are heading to the viaduct, I recommend you do the walking trail. A little bit rocky in some bits, but it’s worth it. You can follow the map points that will guide you and show you where to go. The first point is the viaduct viewpoint that looks over the viaduct itself. It’s great for sitting down and taking everything in. It is the common spot for people to wait to watch the Jacobite Express go over.

Further walking on the trail will then lead you to the Loch Shiel viewpoint. This view overlooks Loch Shiel and with all the mountains around and the water, it is beautiful.

If you go further down the path you will come to the Glenfinnan train station which is the end of the trail. From here you can walk down the road and back to the car park.

There’s something about the viaduct that always gets me. I love Harry Potter and have memories made here. I’ve taken a ScotRail train over the viaduct. I have now visited in person three times. I’ve also gone over on the Jacobite Express twice. You can tell it’s one of my favourite places!

I can’t recommend this little Scottish adventure enough.

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