Things to see and do in Glenfinnan

Glenfinnan has a lot to offer, it's a small place but there are plenty of things to do right here. It's also a great base for days out to Fort William, Inverness, Mallaig, the Isle of Skye and Glencoe, with really great rail, bus and ferry links!

As well as the Station Museum and the Dining Car, there are lots of other things to do in Glenfinnan  (Photo: Glenfinnan Monument and Glenfinnan House Hotel, by Iain Ferguson @

Loch Shiel Cruises

MV Sileas is the largest vessel on Loch Shiel, and has a fascinating history. Take one of their cruises (from around one hour right up to a full day up the loch) for the chance to see wildlife including golden eagles, red deer, sea eagles, and the rare black-throated diver (loon).

The skipper and guides are very knowledgeable and super-skilled at spotting wildlife for guests to photograph and enjoy. 

A toilet and small honesty bar are on board, dogs are welcome and the crew are very child-friendly.

Church of St Mary & St Finnan

Built between 1870 and 1872, and funded by the Macdonalds of Glenaladale, this Gothic Catholic church was designed to match the splendour of its beautiful situation, perched on a hillside high above Loch Shiel. 

The bell, unusually, sits beside the church as there is no belfry.

The church is left open most days for visitors to look around and leave a wee donation for its upkeep, and perhaps light a candle.

The Glenfinnan Viaduct

At 380m long and with 21 elegant arches, the Glenfinnan Viaduct crosses the River Finnan at a height of 30m and its construction was a wonder of the Victorian age - it is made from poured concrete. 

It was built as part of the West Highland Line between 1897 and 1901 to link the fishing port of Mallaig with Fort William where fish could be sent down to Glasgow for distribution. 

The Viaduct is iconic, it even features on banknotes. But Harry Potter fans will recognise it from the films of the novels.

The Jacobite Steam Train

This steam-hauled service was first introduced in 1984 in an effort to encourage tourism to the area. The Jacobite runs twice a day, from Fort William to Mallaig and return, between April and the end of October. 

It has been called one of the world's most scenic rail journeys and runs alongside lochs, ancient woodland and rugged coastline as well as over the Glenfinnan Viaduct and past a second viaduct at Loch nan Uamh.  

It is also very popular with fans of 'Harry Potter', who know it as the 'Hogwarts Express'.

(Photo: Iain Ferguson @

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