Glenfinnan

Glenfinnan is a very special place, and is almost hallowed ground for many Scots because of the historic associations with the Jacobite cause. It was here in 1745 that Bonnie Prince Charlie raised the standard in front of his gathered army to signify the beginning of the doomed second Jacobite rising that would become known as the "45".

Many thousands of visitors come to Glenfinnan every year from all over the world to experience the special atmosphere and stunning scenery . Especially popular is the Glenfinnan Gathering and Games which is held in August every year, on the Saturday closest to 19th August, the date on which the Jacobite standard was raised.

The excellent National Trust Visitor Centre has detailed information about the rising and is well worth a stop, although the National Trust only see fit to open the centre from April to October.

There is so much to do in and about Glenfinnan. Walking, cycling and loch cruises can all be enjoyed from the village.Glenfinnan is also a stop for the Jacobite steam train, the only scheduled main line rail service in Britain still to be steam hauled. Here you can visit the fascination Glenfinnan Station Museum.

Down the pathway from the Station, do take a short while to visit the Glenfinnan Candles shop opposite the Princes House Hotel. All the candles are handmade and beautifully presented.

The famous monument is the focal point of Glenfinnan, at the head of Loch Shiel, marking the point where the standard was raised to start the doomed 1745 Jacobite rebellion. The statue on the top is not as many imagine that of the Prince, but one of his supporters. The monument was originally part of a hunting lodge which has since disappeared.

The other famous monument in Glenfinnan is the viaduct, which was 100 years old in 1998. This was the first mass concrete viaducts in the country, and the use of concrete rather than stonework is one of the reasons that the West Highland Line has remained usable to this day. The viaduct is of course now famous for featuring in the Harry Potter films as the Hogwarts Express steams across on its way to the school.

The road up Glen Finnan carries on past the viaduct and for the fit and well equipped it is possible to walk over the pass to Loch Arkaig. There is however a decent (private) tarmac road for a couple of miles up as far as the Lodge for Glenfinnan Estate, which these days can be hired out as self catering holiday accommodation. The lodge is set on the hillside above the Corryhully bothy, a venue much loved by the climbing and mountaineering community.

 

 


Glenfinnan monument sunset over Loch Shiel

Glenfinnan viaduct

 

Glenfinnan viaduct

 

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