Updated: Oct 1, 2020
The Glenfinnan Viaduct is probably more popular nowadays due to it being used in the Harry Potter movies. Many tourists flock for the chance of seeing the Hogwarts express, better known as the Jacobite Steam Train, as is passers over this grand structure.
If you’re in the area, then it’s definitely worth a visit, but when the train is due, there are quite a few tourists gathered at the viewpoint.
I stayed at Fort William and took a train to Glenfinnan to undertake the short but beautiful hike. I think this was actually my favourite hike in all of Scotland, simply for how beautiful the scenery was. The heather in the hills and Loch Shiel added to the surroundings to make it such a beautiful location to walk around.
There are a couple of routes up to the view point, but I recommend the trail leading from the train station, even if you drive and park in a carpark, walk to the station and up that way, you won’t regret it!
The hike is a simple one, but it will take around 30 minutes each way, so try to time it well ahead of when the train is due so you can really take in the surroundings and so you’re not in a rush.
One thing to be aware of are the midges. I returned covered in bites on my arms, and discovered how vicious the highland midge can be. So cover up any bare skin if you’re prone to being bitten.
Take some time to walk around, especially up close to the viaduct and underneath it. I was able to get some beautiful shots from my drone, but I don’t think they are allowed as the train is passing.
The train passes four times per day, twice in either direction or you can find up to date timetables with a quick google search.
Due to getting the train back I had to leave the viewpoint before I saw the train pass, but I was lucky enough to see it from quite a distance, and then again as it arrived at the station, just as I was rushing to get my own train.
If you do decide on public transport to get to Glenfinnan, the bus may be a better option as the timings seem to be better than that of the train.
Check out my other guides to Scotland here.