Pottering around at Glenfinnan Viaduct

We visited the Glenfinnan Viaduct which is a concrete rail bridge built in the late 19th century. It’s located at one end of Loch Shiel, in the west of Scotland, about 17 miles from Fort William. It’s famous for being a film location in the Harry Potter movies: the Hogwarts Express traverses the Glenfinnan Viaduct on its way to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I was rather excited to see it up close, perhaps even more excited than the kids.

It’s made of concrete and was built by Robert MacAlpine & Sons. Perhaps engineers find it just as exciting as Harry Potter fans but for those not interested in either then the scenery is lovely.

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There’s a visitor centre at the viaduct with a toilet, shop, and cafe. Across the road is Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan Monument which was built in memory of the Jacobites.

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A lovely 10-minute walk from the monument is the Glenfinnan House Hotel where we had lunch. It’s large country home built in the mid-18th century which is now a hotel for overnight accommodation and also a pub where you can have meals.

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After lunch we went for a walk up behind the Ballachulish slate quarry. Ballachulish had a working slate quarry from 1693 through to 1955 and you can’t miss the charcoal splintered cliffs as you drive past on the A82. We went for a walk into the quarry and then followed a path up behind it where there’s a magnificent view.

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