Glenfinnan, at the head of Loch Shiel, may be best known for its monument and magnificent viaduct, as featured in the popular Harry Potter films.
This is also a great place to watch pinewood wildlife. Look out for darting dragonflies, the oldest and fastest insects in the world, as well as tiny butterflies, secretive otters and soaring golden eagles. A stroll through the ancient Caledonian pines is a chance to discover the wonderful wildlife that thrives alongside the tourists and to enjoy alternative bird’s-eye views of the monument, viaduct and passing steam trains.
A gentle wander over the Callop river and along wetlands, where dragonflies and damselflies buzz round the sides of the path.
Gentle slopes with smooth tarmac and gravel sections. Boardwalk and a bridge with moderately steep ramps.
Allow ½ hours
Cross the Callop river and climb the pine-clad knoll of Torran Dubhais. There are great views of Loch Shiel, the monument and the viaduct.
Narrow and steep firm gravel path with tight corners. Includes low stone steps, uneven surfaces and low branches.
Glenfinnan is a popular stop for visitors attracted by the dramatic lochside monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie. The landmark monument commemorates the final Jacobite rising in 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s doomed attempt to take the throne for the Stuart family. The National Trust for Scotland’s Glenfinnan Visitor Centre is the place to find out more about the monument, the prince and the Jacobite cause.
The Glenfinnan Station Museum tells the story of the magnificent viaduct that sweeps around the head of the glen, as well as of the Highland Line, steam trains and the Hogwarts Express of Harry Potter fame.
The car park at the Glenfinnan Visitor Centre can be very busy.
There are toilets and a café at the National Trust for Scotland Visitor Centre, and places to eat and drink in the village of Glenfinnan. There are public toilets, shops and plenty of cafés and restaurants at Fort William.
From Fort William take the A830 west for 15½ miles (25 km). Look out for the National Trust for Scotland Visitor Centre at Glenfinnan on your right.
PH37 4LT is the nearest postcode.
There is a regular bus service from Fort William to Mallaig that stops at Glenfinnan. Find timetables at Traveline Scotland.
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