Monthly Archives: September 2014

Glenfinnan Viaduct Circuit, Lochaber

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Total distance – 3.5 kilometres

Ascent – 130 metres

Walking conditions – Good footpath with no difficulties. Walking along side of road on return journey.

Time required – Around 2 to 3 hours

Nearest town – Fort William

Sometimes you know you’re lucky. This was one such occasion.  During the school October Week last year we stayed for a couple of nights at the Ballachulish Hotel. To our astonishment the weather on the second day was fantastic so we decided to head off to Glenfinnan.

After the usual stuff like visiting the Glenfinnan Monument and having a picnic at the edge of Loch Shiel, we decided to go for a walk. We noticed a track leading towards the viaduct which we duly followed. On reaching the viaduct to our very pleasant surprise, we discovered a newly constructed footpath leading up the hillside. Unable to resist we promptly set off up this footpath. After approximately a 90 metre ascent the path levelled out and skirted along the side of the hill for about 600 metres. This provided us with one of the most magnificent views we had ever witnessed. This statement should not surprise any Harry Potter fans. The footpath then led down to Glenfinnan Railway Station which is also a museum and is something of a must-see for anyone with a passing interest in steam trains. We then made our way back by following the road for 700 metres.

As we had a Dinner, Bed and Breakfast deal at our hotel,  unlike last time we didn’t go to the Glenfinnan House Hotel where I ate the best steak I’ve ever eaten nor did I then look out the window and see some deer bounding up and down the lawn in the most spectacular fashion. Maybe next time!

Glenfinnan

Route

Mull of Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway

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Total distance – 3 kilometres

Ascent – 30 metres

Walking conditions – Flat, grassy terrain and single track road. Several faint footpaths. 

Time required – Around 1 to 1.5 hours

Nearest town – Stranraer/Portpatrick

Driving South from Portpatrick you will eventually get to Drummond. This place is well worth a visit but don’t make this the end of your journey. Take the single track road to Scotland’s most southerly point.

The Mull of Galloway website describes the lighthouse as one of the UK’s best kept secrets. However, judging by the number of visitors we saw someone has blabbed. And a good thing too!

The lighthouse itself is 115 steps to a glorious view of the Isle of Man, England, Ireland and some of the best of the Scottish coastline. The Gallie Craig coffee House is less than 100 metres from the lighthouse so you can then relax with tea and scones or perhaps a steak pie if you think you deserve it. This café is also a shop, has excellent toilets and is perched precariously on a cliff edge,

Why not go for a pleasant walk along the single track road to meet the cows and watch them have fun stopping the traffic. There are also a number of footpaths for easy walking. Just be careful if you are walking with young children as some of the footpaths are only a few feet away from the sheer cliffs.

The cottages beside the lighthouse which were originally used as quarters for the lighthouse workers are now available as holiday lets. We haven’t stayed there yet but it certainly seems like a good idea, although I must confess I might find it a little spooky!

Mull of Galloway

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