Train at Glenfinnan Station Glenfinnan Monument

Glenfinnan is a place steeped in history. It is most famous, historically, as being the place where Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) raised his standard on 19th August 1745, to start the Jacobite uprising. Trying to regain the throne from King George, he marched first on Edinburgh and then South towards London. He got as far as Derby before being persuaded to retreat. He was eventually defeated at the battle of Culloden, and forced back into exile.

Looking down Loch ShielIn 1815, a tower designed by James Gillespie Graham was built there by Alexander MacDonald in memory of the Jacobites who had fought and died during the uprising. This is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, and has a nearby visitor centre which tells the story of the Prince. There are fine views along Loch Shiel from the top of the tower.

Glenfinnan ViaductIn 1901, the train line from Fort William to Mallaig opened, passing through Glenfinnan. Becuase of the geography of the area, a 376m long viaduct containing 21 arches was built to span the valley. Designed by Sir Robert McAlpine, this was the one of the first in the world to be built from mass concrete. The viaduct curves around on a 201.17 metre radius, before the line reaches Glenfinnan Station. Of course, this viaduct was a famous sight before Harry Potter came to town, but now it is instantly recognisable by children (of all ages!) worldwide. During the summer there is a daily steam train service along this line, and on a fine day there is many a camera to be seen near Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Signpost to CallopLess than 2 miles from Glenfinnan is Callop. This is a tiny place that has paths leading to Polloch (alongside Loch Shiel) and to Loch Linnhe via Cona Glen. It is a popular start/finish point for expeditions, as well as a good place to spend the night en-route.