Most Harry Potter fans will know Glenfinnan for the infamous Viaduct pictured below. It's from the flying car scene (pictured underneath the viaduct picture). If you are also a huge Harry Potter fan, I would highly recommend taking a ride on the Jacobite Train that goes over the viaduct on it's way to Mallaig. You can read my previous post on the Jacobite Train to get a better idea of what to expect on that.
However, while the Jacobite Train stops in Glenfinnan for about 5-10 minutes, it's not nearly long enough to see all that it has to offer. So, I'd like to share a few things that you can do while in Glenfinnan to make the most of your time there and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
1. Hike to the Viaduct & Jacobite Memorial
When you leave the train station, you will see a few signs for hiking trails. There is one that goes to the Viaduct and the other to the Jacobite Memorial. You can choose either and then loop around to the other. It's very easy and Glenfinnan is very small, so you should have no problem getting around.
The above path was from the Circle hike from the Viaduct to the train station. It was pretty steep for a bit but the views are so, so worth it as you will see below.
2. Glenfinnan/Jacobite Memorial
The Glenfinnan Monument, or Jacobite Memorial, is at the head of Loch Shiel and was erected in 1815. It's a tribute to the Jacobite clansmen who fought and died for the cause of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. If you are an Outlander fan, this might be of interest to you OR if you are a big, Scottish history buff. Loch Shiel is absolutely beautiful situated in a valley and so the backdrop for the Jacobite memorial couldn't have been any better.
3. The Viaduct i.e. the Harry Potter Bridge
A lot of you are probably big Harry Potter fans and Glenfinnan is exactly where you want to visit. The famous flying car scene from Harry Potter was filmed on the Viaduct bridge in Glenfinnan. It's a short hike from the train station and well worth it if you are able to catch the Jacobite train around 10:30am or 4:30pm.
The hike down to the viaduct is super easy, especially from the Jacobite Memorial, it's just down a straight path across the street. You can also hike up to the top of the hill (pictured below) to get a view of the Viaduct with the valley in the background and it's pretty spectacular. However, I preferred being up close to the Viaduct just because it was interesting to see how it was built on the underside and just how big it actually is.
Glenfinnan is one of those places that every time I recommend it to someone, they come back exclaiming "Thank you so much!! It was so pretty!!" It's just a magnificent place to visit and hike around. The views are spectacular, so if you are a photographer or just enjoy amazing landscapes - Glenfinnan is the place for you.
Up next I will be posting 3 day trips from Fort William you can take, which includes Glenfinnan as well. If you aren't able to go on the Jacobite train because of cost or what have you, the normal Scots Rail is just as pretty and about a third of the price. There is also a museum (that we weren't able to check out) at the Glenfinnan train station and a cute little eatery as well.
Spend a full or half day in Glenfinnan, I guarantee you won't regret it! There is also a postcard below that I have created if you'd like to save or share it, please feel free!