Scotland – Thursday: Fort William to Glaick

The return from Fort William to Glaick.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about a Scottish holiday. Having finished the account of my experience with The Jacobite, this penultimate post for the Thursday deals with the return journey from Fort William to Glaick. 

LEAVING FORT WILLIAM

Before heading back to the cottage in Glaick where were staying we visited the Morrison’s in Fort William to stock up on food, including some ingredients which feature in the next post in this series. That done we headed off back towards Glaick, me with the camera at the ready.

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Scotland – Thursday: Farewell to the Jacobite

The final stages of The Jacobite jnourney.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in the series I am doing about my holiday in ScotlandThis post brings to an end the account of The Jacobite train journey. 

THE LAST STAGE OF THE TRAIN JOURNEY

Once we were able to move on from Glenfinnan we encountered no further hitches and the train chugged into Fort William at 3:55PM, within a few minutes of the stated return time. 

GV2GV3GV41175117711851188119311951196120012011202Island and boatlock gates1205Loco at rear of trainFarewell to the Jacobite

A FEW FINAL THOUGHTS
ON “THE JACOBITE”

This is unquestionably a very fine train journey, and to experience it on a steam train added something to it. However, I have to disagree with the ‘selectorate’ who named it The World’s Greatest Train Journey. Inlandsbanan in Sweden is one that I rate ahead of it, the other section of this same railway, Glasgow to Fort William, is as impressive in its own way, sweeping across a moor that sees it at one point seven miles from the nearest road, and as you will be seeing later in this series of posts the rail route from Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness is pretty special as well. 

 

Scotland – Thursday: Fort William to Glenfinnan

An account of the Fort William – Glenfinnan section of The Jacobite journey.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the next post in the series about my holiday in ScotlandToday we deal with the first section of The Jacobite journey, including a stop at Glenfinnan. 

ON THE TRAIN

The train was full, although of course on a journey of this nature no-one was made to stand by the time we got under way exactly according to schedule. The limitations that an aisle seat facing against the direction of travel impose on photography notwithstanding I did get some pictures.

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The first station beyond Fort William

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The first of two shots that I got featuring the Glenfinnan Viaduct on the outward journey.

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A view from the Glenfinnan Viaduct

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Approaching Glenfinnan station.

AT GLENFINNAN STATION

At Glenfinnan we had a stop of about 20 minutes. There is a small museum there, but I did not venture in. Unfortunately the circular walk was too long to accomplish in the time available, so I acquainted myself with the station and augmented my stock of photos. I was not going to take any chances time wise because we had been warned when we needed to back on the train by, and such warnings need to be backed by action, i.e leaving late returners behind, if they are to have any force.

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Ironic that the London and North Eastern should be featured here given that as you will be seeing in a later post while North we are most certainly not East.

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The Jacobite at Glenfinnan station .

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The Oban branch diverges from this line at Crianlarich, between Glasgow and Fort William.

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Scotland – Thursday: The Preliminaries

Setting the scene for several posts about The Jacobite.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in this series of posts about my Scottish holiday. We have reached the Thursday, on which day my parents were scheduled to look at houses in the Fort William area (about two hours drive from where we were staying) and I was hoping that The Jacobite, a steam train journey from Fort William to Mallaig, an hour in Mallaig and then back, would be available as a way to fill my day.

THE PRELIMINARIES

The advance bookings for The Jacobite had closed, but tickets were available for purchase on the day. With this in mind we set forth from Ferry Cottage at about 7:30AM. Barring the very start of it I had never previously experienced the route between Glaick and Fort William before, and although the best pictures I got of it were on the way back having mentally noted potentially good possibilities on the way down, I did get a few pictures on this journey.

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The white spots at the top of this hill are unmelted snow.

FORT WILLIAM STATION

We got to Fort William station just after 9:30, and an inquiry at the ticket office saw me pointed to a queue for the train. I joined this queue although I was not expecting success (I was assuming ill-fortune so that I could not be disappointed, only get a welcome bonus). However, as time passed and the queue moved forward with no-one being turned away I began to speculate on the possibilities. Then came the moment when I was the next person to be served and I thought that it would be seriously rough luck to miss out at that juncture. I was duly issued with a ticket and took my place in coach C. Lady Luck’s support had been limited – although I had a seat it was an aisle seat facing against the direction of travel, which meant that taking pictures of the journey would be a challenge.

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The Jacobite, Fort William Station
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Inside Coach C
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Slightly blurred, but proof that even from an aisle seat I could take pictures through the window.
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The ticket
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The back of the ticket.

Scotland: Setting the Scene

Setting the scene for a series of posts about my recent holiday in Scotland.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this first in what will be a substantial series of posts about my recent holiday in Scotland. Although I still have a lot of photo editing to do from said holiday I do now have enough photos at my disposal to start the series, and I will look to interleave the rest of the editing with producing posts for you. 

THE HOLIDAY TIMELINE

I travelled up on May 26th and back on June 4th. These two dates were entirely taken up with travelling (14 hours each way approximately). In between these two days there were:

  • Saturday – most of the day spent waiting for my parents to arrive so we could go up to the house that would be our base for the week, three miles from Kyle of Lochalsh.
  • Sunday – a quiet day featuring some walking in the immediate vicinity of the house
  • Monday – A walk to Kyle of Lochalsh, lunch there and a bus back. A quiet afternoon. 
  • Tuesday – a visit to the Talisker Distillery on the Isle of Skye.
  • Wednesday – a brief visit to Plockton to book the a table at the Plockton Inn for supper, a trip to Applecross and then back to Plockton for the supper (the birthday meal).
  • Thursday – The Jacobite Rail Journey (steam train between Fort William and Mallaig, a section of railway known to vast numbers of movie goers as the route of the Hogwarts Express).
  • Friday – the final full day.

THE LOCATION

Kyle of Lochalsh is on the mainland of northwestern Scotland, very close to the Isle of Skye, to which it is nowadays linked by a road bridge. Ferry Cottage, where we were staying is located at Glaick (pronounced Glike), three miles from Kyle of Lochalsh. Here are some maps for further clarification:

Decorative MapWestern Isles Map, Ferry CottageMap, Ferry CottageLocal MapJigmap1Jigmap6Jigmap7

SOME PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE AREA

Here are a few photos from the immediate area in which we were staying:

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Kyleaking from above
Kyleakin viewed from high above
Ferry Cottage
Ferry Cottage, where we stayed.

Skye Bridge from above

Kyle of Lochalsh from above
Kyle of Lochalsh from above

Loch Alsh from the bridgeKyle and the minor bridgeKyle of Lochalsh from the bridgeView from the Skye BridgeUnder Bridge ViewLighthouse below bridgeSkye Bridge minorSkye Bridge both bits

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These last two pictures show the stretch of shoreline that includes Ferry Cottage.

Balmacara House to Craggan Cottage

THOMAS’ CALENDAR CHALLENGE

I saw some quite amazing scenery while in Scotland, and it has become something of a tradition to produce a photographic wall calendar each year. A number of my Scottish pictures will undoubtedly feature. If in the course of this series of posts you see a picture that catches your eye as worth a place in the calendar there are two things I invite you to do:

  1. Post a comment identifying the photo that has caught your eye and/ or…
  2. Create a blog post about the picture that has caught your eye explaining what it means to you and why you think it should be included. If you do this I will reblog your post.

Should you succeed in convincing me to include the picture in my calendar I will give you credit for doing so. I end with two final pictures, the second of which is almost certain to be in the calendar:

Double Framed Lighthouse
A rarity – the lighthouse is framed twice over, once by the bridge and once by the masts of the boat in the foreground.
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This is the view across Loch Alsh from outside Ferry Cottage on a sunny day (yes, Scotland does have such things) with the additional feature of the world’s last remaining ocean going paddle steamer – this will almost certainly be in the calendar.