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Friday, 11 January 2013

Spean Bridge accommodation to Mallaig on the train

Thought I would tell you about our recent train trip on the West Highland railway line to Mallaig. You can also do this trip on the steam train from May to October (steam train from Fort William) but our £13 day return tickets on Scotrail's diesel was a perfectly acceptable alternative.

We caught the 11:54 train from Spean Bridge which still has the original station building and signal box (not like that modern thing in Fort William)
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The train arrived on time and we settled in to our allocated seating. I was looking forward to seeing the scenery without running the risk of driving off the road. Father in law enjoyed seeing the Spean Bridge golf course from a different view rather than from the rough.

Pretty soon we were coming out of Fort William and over the Caledonian Canal. In the video here you can see some of Neptunes Staircase which is a series of locks on the canal.
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The next major item had most people on their feet to get the best view as we came to Glenfinnan and the viaduct featured in Harry Potter.

There followed spectacular lochs and glens and tiny historic Victorian halts until we reached Arisaig. A lovely wee village and the most Westerly railway station in Britain.



After that views out towards Skye and Eigg and we pass the River Morar (Britains shortest salmon river at 400 metres) which flows from the deepest loch, Loch Morar (over 300 metres deep).

We roll in to Mallaig at 1:34 and stroll along to out lunch destination the Steam Inn. Plenty time for sight seeing afterwards. Lesley and I went straight for the prawn cocktail and chips. The prawns are fantastic, meaty and flavoursome and the bar lady very friendly.

After lunch we had a stroll around the village (although it could also be called a town) including the Skye ferry terminal, had a chat to a couple of guys from the terminal staff, the 8 foot fisherman statue, the Art Gallery (good to hear a local voice behind the counter) and the Visitor Centre (more West Highland accents).

(Update - the weather was not great on the day we went but if you would like a 1.5 hour walk circuit have a look at this one http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/fortwilliam/mallaig.shtml   )

It was then 4pm and time to depart. A wee glass of whisky and a snooze made for an enjoyable journey home to Spean Bridge. A grand day out.


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