Oh yes indeedy, the reason for the trip to Fort William
in May was to go on the famous steam train, the Jacobite Express over *that* viaduct, made even more famous for appearing in the Harry Potter films. Anne loves everything Harry Potter, I love steam trains - so we were both happy! Details here
of the train - book WELL in advance! We booked about January for our trip in May and even then had to change our dates to get the booking we wanted!
You have to book months in advance to get on, we chose to go First Class and to have the afternoon tea on board too - well why not.... it was a fab day out, the morning train to Mallaig
, and then the afternoon one back. The scenery is fantastic. It's also possible to do it by regular train at a fraction of the cost but frankly we wanted to do it in style! So here are some photos of our trip!!
Everyone crowds round the engine at the start at Fort William. This particular trip our engine had to be "helped" by a diesel. The Spring had been so dry there was concern about starting a fire with the steam engine so it wasn't going at full power.
The driver very kindly let us up into the cab to look at all the bells, whistles and levers AND the fire (no dragon in the fire though - that only happens in Ivor The Engine...)
The carriage we were in was very comfy. Lovely old seats...... we were in "Florence" carriage....
This was "afternoon tea" though we got it just before lunch! It was delicious with a selection of sandwiches and cakes. Anne got a vegan version too.
And for Harry Potter fans there's a chance to buy some tuck!
The train stopped briefly at Glenfinnan station just after going over the viaduct. The station is now a museum......
Station Masters office
The views from the train were just stunning! Ermm.... when the steam wasn't flowing past! But that made it all the more magical!
Approaching Mallaig, with the islands of Rum and Eigg in the distance.
Mallaig Harbour - a wee village on the coast, with ferries out to the isles. A few restaurants, cafes, shops and a gallery. A pleasant place to spend a couple of hours before we got back on the train to head to Fort William.
The island of Rum
, part of the Inner Hebrides
And the island of Eigg
Hmm think I have those the correct way round!
Back to our train - arrrggh this gull was either inspired or mad to nest here!
Some more stunning scenery!
And then back to the viaduct! Hundreds of people line the hills around to catch a glimpse of the steam train and take photos. It was quite incredible to see!
And the train pauses for a few minutes to give passengers a chance to hang out the windows and take photos! There's a better one at the top of this post...
So it was a brilliant day out and I highly recommend it!
And an interesting article in the UK newspaper "The Guardian" about the train line from Glasgow to Fort William and onto Mallaig here
Previous post about our stay in Fort William
And another view of the viaduct from an earlier blog post