The best way to view the Jacobite Steam Train on the Glenfinnan Viaduct (aka Hogwarts Express)

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The Glenn Finnan Viaduct is a stretch of track traveled by the old Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig, made famous by the Harry Potter movies as the Hogwarts Express. In recent years, it has become a popular tourist destination for fans and train enthusiasts alike.  We made it a stop on our drive North to the Isle of Skye. 

Finding the right viewpoint can be a little intimidating when you arrive, so here are some directions to help you along the way.  Our favorite spot is shown in the pictures here, with a great view of the viaduct and the lake in the background.  

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Instructions: 50 meters up the road from the main car park at the visitor center (towards the Glenfinnan Village), is another small car park on the same side of the road.  Walk out the back of this car park along a paved path for about 10 minutes until you reach the foot of the viaduct.  Cross the river at the small bridge just before the viaduct, go under its arches, and take the footpath alongside the viaduct that climbs away from the river. After just a few minutes climb you should see a rocky outcrop to your left.  Find a suitable place to set up camp and watch for the train.

Pro Tip: Make sure to check the current schedules of the train (found here).  The steam train crosses the viaduct roughly an hour and a half from Mallaig.  As it stands now, the best time to go is in the afternoon.  Just past 15:00, you can catch two trains within 20 minutes, one heading toward Mallaig and one returning.  From the viewpoint discussed here, the first train (toward Mallaig) will be heading away and the second will be approaching.  If you would like to get a view from the opposite side, before you cross under the viaduct, follow the path up to the left.


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