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.



    Your name


    Founded: 1897-1901


    4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

    User Reviews

    Tom Veitch (11 months ago)
    Recommend not to view a train passing from the viewing point by visitor centre. You are just so far away and can't appreciate the curve of the Viaduct. Recommend to walk much closer. There are so many great spots.
    Maria Kajda (12 months ago)
    As a Harry Potter lover I really enjoyed coming here, walking up the paths and hiking up the hill above the viaduct to watch the trains passing over. Great scenery, car parking close by and a chance to stretch your legs. The paths and walk up the hill are easy and accessible for most.
    Alex I (12 months ago)
    Magical but not that magical. You need to have some spare hours to walk around the footpaths to get the best views and take great pictures. The most magical is when the steam engine passes through. So you also need to check the times of that. Otherwise it is just a normal viaduct, yes full of history. When I was there the car park was full, o place to park and it was very busy.
    Gayle MacLeay (12 months ago)
    Glenfinnan is absolutely stunning, managed to catch the Jacobite going over the viaduct which made my day! It does get very busy and there isn't much parking so visitors should arrive in plenty of time to find a spot. The gift shop is also nice.
    Denise Speirs (14 months ago)
    Amazing place to visit. You must walk round the full trial, the views are spectacular. Not too tough and about 2 miles total. The cafe is amazing, THE BEST CHIPS! Portions are big and the food is very tasty. Staff extremely friendly in the busy summer months. Brilliant place.
    Powered by Google

    Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

    Historic Site of the week

    Petersberg Citadel

    The Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest extant early-modern citadels in Europe and covers the whole north-western part of the Erfurt city centre. It was built after 1665 on Petersberg hill and was in military use until 1963. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organised by Erfurt Tourist Office.

    The citadel was originally built on the site of a medieval Benedictine Monastery and the earliest parts of the complex date from the 12th century. Erfurt has also been ruled by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and post-World War II Soviet occupying forces, and it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). All of these regimes used Petersberg Citadel and had an influence on its development. The baroque fortress was in military use until 1963. Since German reunification in 1990, the citadel has undergone significant restoration and it is now open to the public as a historic site.