Glenfinnan Scotland

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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.

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Welcome to Glenfinnan Scotland

Glenfinnan MapGlenfinnan 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

Prince’s House HotelGlenfinnan  accommodation
The Prince’s House Hotel, a privately owned and run characterful small hotel set amidst the stunning scenery of "Bonnie Prince Charlie" country in the Highlands of Scotland.

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Glenfinnan House Hotelorkney accommodation
This fine Scottish country house has attractive rooms include a comfortable drawing room, a beautifully appointed dining room and traditional music is often heard from a welcoming bar
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Glenfinnan Lodgescotland vacation
Situated in a elevated and private location the Lodge offers some of the best equipped and spectacularly located luxury self catering accommodation in the Scottish Highlands.
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Glenfinnan Station scotland vacation
The coach is part of the heritage rolling stock collection at Glenfinnan Station Museum. With many of its original features but converted into a comfortable sleeper for up to 10 people.
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Distances to Glenfinnan from:-
Fort William
121 miles
80 miles
18 Miles
567 miles
(via sleeper from London Euston to Fort William)

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.
A variety of different cruises are available ranging from an hour to a day,


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.
Off Beat Bikes in Fort William hire out bikes and have tandems and children's bikes for hire.

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.

Day Trips

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:
* Fort William and Glen Nevis. Only 25mins away the town has a wealth of tartan and souvenir shops, as well as a cinema, leisure centre with pool, sauna, climbing wall, squashand fitness room, museum with Jacobite artefacts and of course the tourist information centre. The beauty of Glen Nevis with walks, waterfalls and visitor centre is only a short drive away, and the road home crosses the Caledonian canal with the famous "Neptunes Staircase" and the best views of Ben Nevis. An alternative route back is to head out of Fort William South to the Corran Ferry, cross the narrows of Loch Linnhe, and return on the opposite side of the loch with breathtaking views over to Ben Nevis.

* 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 beautiful West Highland Line runs through the village and during the summer steam trains run every day from 22nd July to September from Fort William to Mallaig except for Sundays.

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.

Glen Finnan
Starting from the Station there is a quiet track leading along the head of Loch Shiel and after a mile bringing you up under the Glenfinnan viaduct into Glen Finnan.There is then the choice of several walks:
* Glen road.
The road up the glen carries on for two miles to the bothy at Corriehoile after which it carries on over to Loch Arkaig as a track for seven miles. Gives stunning views of surrounding mountains and an easy "go as far as you want" walk for couch potatoes.
* Glen circular. At the bothy it is possible to climb up the lower slopes of Ben an Tuim for 300m to reach the forest track leading back at high level down the opposite side of the river, rejoining the road near the viaduct. Gives beautiful views down Loch Shiel but needs a bit of energy!
* Corryhully horseshoe. A serious walk even for experienced walkers, with a tiring walk back out down the glen road. A full day is necessary. Best done anti-clockwise to make easy use of the stalkers path which leads off from the track over to Loch Arkaig just after the first ford. Stunning views into Knoydart and over to the Inner Hebrides from the ridge.
* Loch Beoraid circular. At Corrhully bothy a side glen leads off west to Loch Beoraid. Just before reaching the head of the loch a track (undefined) leads south and back to the main road to give a short walk back to the village. This is a long walk at lower levels requiring some previous experience.

Loch Shiel
There is a private road running down the east side of the Loch which gives a lovely easy walk. It does however need a car to get to the start of the track which is some 2 miles east of the villagel on the A830.
* Loch Road.
As a walk in its own right the road is fairly flat and level and with only the occasional timber lorry to disturb the peace enables the view down and up the Loch to be appreciated. The croft at Guisachan is three miles down the track and is a good picnic spot.
* Ghuibhsachain.This cone shaped peak does not make a munro but is categorised as a Corbett. It is reached from the croft house either by walking up the corrie or straight up the ridge, both of which are quite taxing on the legs and definately not for the casual walker. From the summit one can come back down the other way or follow the tops round to Callop for a testing day long circular walk.

Glenfinnan is a classic starting point for acess into Knoydart by walking up Glen Finnan to Loch Arkaig and then via Glen Dessary into the Knoydart mountains. One can then walk through to Inverie, catch the ferry back to Mallaig and get back to Glenfinnan on the train. Definately needs a lot of planning and good fitness, allow at least three days!

Historic Glenfinnan

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.
* The Prince's Cave,near Lochailort, where he hid from the Redcoats.
* Culloden Battlefield, near Inverness, where the Jacobites were defeated.
* The Prince's Cairn, past Lochailort, where Charles departed from Scotland forever.