"The greatest railway journey in the world."
Monday to Friday 9th May to 28th Oct.
Saturday & Sunday 18th June to 2nd October.
Described as the greatest railway journey in the world, this 84 mile round trip takes you past a list of impressive extremes. Starting near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, it visits Britain’s most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig; passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis!
The train stops en route to Mallaig at the village of Glenfinnan (see below). Beyond Glenfinnan are the beautiful villages of Lochailort, Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig. You may alight at Arisaig by request to the guard. From here, on a clear summer’s day, you can see the “Small Isles” of Rum, Eigg, Muck, Canna and the southern tip of Skye. The train continues on from here passing Morar and the silvery beaches used in the films “Highlander” and “Local Hero”.
Mallaig is our destination
But as the travelling is as much a part of the experience as the arrival we hope you enjoy this spectacular railway journey, regarded as one of the greatest in the world.
Fort William, the largest town in the Highlands and situated at the southern end of the Great Glen, lies in the shadow of Ben Nevis, Britains highest mountain. This area is a fine location to use as a base to discover the West Highlands.
We cross the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct (a location made famous in the Harry Potter films) which overlooks Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument. The train may pause on the viaduct, time permitting, to allow you to take in the magnificent view. Once stopped in Glenfinnan station there will be time to stretch your legs and, if you wish, visit the West Highland Railway Museum located in the restored station building. The Jacobite may also stop at Arisaig by request to the guard.
The village of Arisaig (the Safe Place) is centred on the sheltered shore of Loch nan Ceall (Loch of the Cells).
From this very tranquil village it is possible to take the boat, The Sheerwater to the Small Isles (until mid September). The local Highland Games takes place here annually on the last Wednesday in July at Traigh Farm.
The end of the line, Mallaig was founded during the 1840s when the owner of the North Morar Estate, Lord Lovat, divided up the farm on the coast here into a series of parcels of land and encouraged his tenants living around Loch Morar and Loch Nevis to resettle in what became Mallaig and establish a fishing village.
Today Mallaig is a busy fishing port and ferry terminal with services to Skye and the Small Isles. Arriving in Mallaig we have over an hour and a half to enjoy a walk round and take in the atmosphere: there are shops, bars, restaurants and plenty of fish and chips to be enjoyed during the lunchtime stopover.