Jacobite Express crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct

This evening, I am posting information on the popular visitor site of Glenfinnan in the Scottish Highlands.

Summary information as follows:

  • Name: Derived from ‘Fingon’s Glen’. Fingon was an Abbot of Iona in the 14th century. There is also a connection with the surname Mackinnon.  Today, Glenfinnan is famous for (a) the landing-place of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745 and (b) the Glenfinnan Railway Viaduct over which trundles the Jacobite Express Steam Train during the summer months.
  • Glenfinnan Viaduct: Built 1897-1898 as part of the West Highland Railway which opened in 1901. Construction was undertaken by ‘Concrete Bob’ McAlpine who was an early proponent of the then new construction material of concrete. The viaduct, has twenty-one arches, reaches a height of thirty metres (98 feet) and is 380 metres (1248 feet) in length.

Visitor Centre with viaduct in distance

Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland.

  • Filming: The location has become famous for filming, particularly the Harry Potter series following which the viaduct has become unofficially known as the ‘Harry Potter Bridge’ .
  • Loch Shiel: A 28 km ( 17.5 miles) long lake at the northern  head of which stands the Glenfinnan Monument.

Loch Shiel, Scotland.

  • Glenfinnan Monument:This  dates from 1815 and was constructed to commemorate the landing of Bonnie Prince Charlie in August 1745 in an ultimately doomed attempt to win back by force the thrones of Scotland and England for the Stewart cause. The Monument is 18m (60 feet) high and is surmounted by a statue of a kilted highlander.The Monument is now cared for by Scotland’s National Trust.

Glenfinnan Monument with Loch Shiel in background.

Glenfinnan Monument and Loch Shiel.

  • Jacobite Express: This steam train service operates from May to October over the line between Fort William and Mallaig, a 134 km (84 mile) round trip which has been described as one of the world’s great railway journeys. The train is very popular with fans of the Harry Potter series where the train was used as the Hogwarts Express.

Jacobite Express crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Jacobite Express en-route from Fort William to Mallaig.

  • Glenfinnan Village: A small community with three hotels and railway station. Located  19km (12 miles) from Fort William (east) and 42km (26 miles) from Mallaig (west).