Glenfinnan Viaduct

Highland, United Kingdom

Glenfinnan Viaduct is a railway viaduct on the West Highland Line. Located at the top of Loch Shiel in the West Highlands, the viaduct overlooks the Glenfinnan Monument and the waters of Loch Shiel.

The West Highland Railway was built to Fort William by Lucas and Aird, but there were delays with the West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (Guarantee) bill for the Mallaig Extension Railway in the House of Commons as the Tory and Liberal parties fought over the issue of subsidies for public transport. This Act did pass in 1896, by which time Lucas & Aird (and their workers) had moved south. New contractors were needed and Robert McAlpine & Sons were taken on with Simpson & Wilson as engineers. Robert McAlpine & Sons was headed by Robert McAlpine, nicknamed 'Concrete Bob' for his innovative use of mass concrete. Concrete was used due to the difficulty of working the hard schist in the area. McAlpine's son Robert, then aged 28, and his nephew William Waddell, took charge of construction, with his younger son Malcolm appointed as assistant.

Construction of the extension from Fort William to Mallaig began in January 1897, and the line opened on 1 April 1901. The Glenfinnan Viaduct, however, was complete enough by October 1898 to be used to transport materials across the valley.

Glenfinnan Viaduct has been used as a location in several films and television series, including Ring of Bright Water, Charlotte Gray, Monarch of the Glen, Stone of Destiny, German Charlie und Louise, and four films of the Harry Potter film series.



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Founded: 1897-1901
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in United Kingdom


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Lucy Dominey (2 years ago)
Was very cool to think they filmed parts of Harry Potter here, I came early in the morning around 9:30am, did catch a train but not the typical 'steam train' like in Harry Potter. I believe one goes by late morning and mid afternoon, as I was leaving there was a fair few people making the walk round so I imagine it gets really busy when it comes, get in early if your plan is to see it. Car park is free for Scottish National trust members but £3.50 otherwise, very small car park so again get there in good time, about a 10 - 15 minute walk from the car park to the view point of the bridge
Sam March (2 years ago)
Nice to take pictures of the train from here, but the bridge itself, other than being from the movies, is a concrete bridge, which is a bit boring. Would recommend if passing through, or a big Harry Potter fan. Would recommend also going to the monument also, which is located across the road.
Dan Stonestreet (2 years ago)
Lovely place. This is the viaduct featured in the Harry Potter movies. The nature surrounding this area is beautiful and you can follow a trail which will lead you to some spectacular viewing points of the viaduct. Entry is free as it is owned by the Scottish National Trust, you just have to pay for parking.
Kallen Tu (2 years ago)
Becoming very touristy because of the Harry Potter films, but it's not too bad. You can still find untouched nature further out from the main viewpoint. There's a lot of paths to explore while you wait for the train to come.
Victoria Wilson (2 years ago)
Nice walk, it was absolutely roasting, had a chill out at the top of the viaduct, saw some deer, had a cone of chips. Can't tell you anything about anything from Harry Potter because I've never seen any of them. But as a fan of Scotland is a great place to see ... it IS becoming very touristy because of the film obviously
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