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Glenfinnan, 19 miles west of Fort William at the head
of Loch Shiel, was where Bonnie Prince Charlie signalled the start of
the Jacobite uprising of 1745. This small, beautiful village has sat comfortably
among the hills of Glen Finnan for centuries. The village is located within
a lovely u-shaped valley that follows a north-east to south-west route
with Loch Shiel in the centre of the glen.
Welcome to Glenfinnan Scotland
Glenfinnan is a very special place, and is almost hallowed ground for many Scots because of the historic associations with the Jacobite cause. 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 17th August, the date on which the Jacobite standard was raised.
Glenfinnan is also home for the nearly 100 people who make up the local community
Accommodation in and around Glenfinnan
Price Guide - per person based on sharing room: under $40 - $41 - 70 - more than $70
Distances to Glenfinnan from:-
Things to do in Glenfinnan
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. The famous monument is the focal point of Glenfinnan, marking the point where the standard was raised to start the doomed 1745 Jacobite rebellion.
Cruise Loch Shiel
A cruise down Loch Shiel can be an unforgettable experience. Run by local
man, Jim Michie, the MV Sileas is an ex-Admiralty 52' cutter which has
been lovingly restored to offer passengers all weather comfort.
The area round Glenfinnan offers both mountain biking and touring routes.
The main drawback is that there are very few circular routes other than
those requiring a great deal of stamina.
The classic circular tour from Glenfinnan is the 65 mile round trip up to Lochailort, round the coast through Acharachle to Strontian, then back up the Forest track along Loch Shiel. There are some quiet demanding hill climbs, particularly out of Strontian, although the run down the other side to Polloch on Loch Shiel is one of the most exhilarating to be done on a bike! As a variation you can use the cruise boat service down Loch Shiel to make the return journey.
The other circular route is the 30 mile trip into Fort William , up to Loch Arkaig, then all the way back down the Loch to Strachan where a daunting 2 mile carry leads up to the head of Glen Finnan. From here starts one of the best downhill mountain bike tracks in Scotland, leading to the bothy at Corriehoille ( do read the bothy book!). Then there is a private tarmac road leading back to Glenfinnan. This is a serious undertaking and needs a high degree of fitness and experience.
For less energetic souls there are several easier trips:
It is possible to access the track up Glen Finnan without having to use major roads. Once on the glen track the tarmac road leads up under the viaduct and on to the bothy at Corryhoille(3 miles). There is then a choice of turning round, carrying on up the gravel track to the head of the glen(3m) or crossing over the river if not in spate , carrying up the hill opposite for 200m and then cyling back to the viaduct via the forest track.
The track along the side of Loch Shiel offers some superb views and fairly level gradients. Access to the track is some 2.5miles along the main A830 road which can be busy in Summer. Once on the track you can go as far as you want.
There is so much to do around Glenfinnan that it makes it impossible
to put in a short list! However here in a nutshell is a list of favourites:
* Loch Ness and Inverness. The road up the Great Glen takes you past Scotland's most famous Loch, Loch Ness with its elusive monster and the dramatic ruins of Urquhart Castle. Inverness is a pleasant city with our nearest Marks and Spencer, but the chief tourist attraction is Culloden Battlefield with its visitor centre, situated some 5 miles East of the city. It is possible to return down the minor road on the opposite shores of Loch Ness which follows the old General Wade Military Road to Fort Augustus.
* Mallaig and Skye. The "Road to the Isles" up to Mallaig is one of the most scenic routes in the world, with some of the most memorable views over the Minch to the Small Isles of Rum, Eigg and Muck, along with beautiful beaches which were used to film "Local Hero". From Mallaig regular (3hr) ferries sail over the 20 min crossing to Skye, which on a fine day has scenery out of this world. An alternative route home is over the Skye Bridge and through Glen Shiel past Eilan Donan castle to meet the Great Glen Road at Invergarry. A full day trip but with memories for a lifetime.
* Ardnamurchan peninsula. The road out to the lighthouse at Kilchoan, the most Westerly point on the British mainland, is one of the most remote and narrow in this country, but with a special blend of scenery that brings visitors back year after year. Once past the turn off at Salen you enter a different world where time slows down and you can appreciate this unspoiled and vast paradise. A whole day is never enough, particularly if the sun is out and you get glued to the beach at Sanna!
* The Rough Bounds. The traditional name given to the districts of Morar and Morvern because of their inhospitable nature, they were tamed in the 60's with the building of a new road which gives a beautiful circular day trip round a little known corner of Scotland. We still have visitors who have been coming to Scotland for years and have only just "found" this day out. The journey goes up to Lochailort, down through Glenuig to Acharachle and Salen (turn for Ardnamurchan) to reach Strontian, whence back via Ardgour to Home!
* Mull. If you only ever visit one island , Make it Mull! A regular ferry (20mins) runs from Lochaline, which can easily be reached from the Strontian road, allow at least 2hours from the village, tourists drive slowly! Tobermory on Mull is a picture-postcard village, and after lunch there you can come back over the Oban ferry to make a memorable round trip home.
Jacobite Steam Train
The train stops at Glenfinnan station for 20 minutes in the morning at 1110 and passes back through at 1510, giving an ideal chance for photographs either at the station or crossing the viaduct.
At the station there is the Glenfinnan Station Museum which has a fascinating collection of railway memorabilia associated with the railway and the building of the viaduct.
The area around Glennfinan is a paradise for walkers and climbers with many of the famous Munros within easy reach. There are also low level walks for strollers and taxing walks for enthusiasts.
Glenfinnan is famous as the place where Bonnie Prince Charlie, "The Young Pretender", raised his Standard on 19th August 1745 to rally the Clans loyal to the Stuart cause at the start of the doomed Jacobite uprising.
Later the hills around Glenfinnan were to provide a refuge for the fugitive Prince as he fled for his life after the defeat at Culloden. Flora MacDonald helped the Prince "Over the sea to Skye" and became immortalised in the romance of the lost Jacobite cause. From Glenfinnan it is easy to visit many of the other sites associated with Bonnie Prince Charlie:
* The Seven Men of Moidart, Trees planted after the rising to commemorate
the important men who helped the Prince in his cause.