Scotland – Homeward Bound 1: Ferry Cottage to Lochluichart

Starting the account of my homeward journey. This post covers the first part of the Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness rail route.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in my series about my Scottish holiday. This post starts the account of the homeward journey. We are looking at Saturday June 3rd for the record.

WHY LOCHLUICHART?

Those who recall my post Getting There, will remember that on the outbound journey I had to travel on a replacement bus rather than the railway line for the Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh leg of the journey. For the return journey I was on the train, and the railway route is far more scenic than the road route. Thus, this section of the journey warrants more than one post. As for the actual selection of a break off point, Lochluichart stuck in my mind both because of its name and because a large party of students (school or FE I think) who had clearly been on a field trip in the region boarded the train at that station. 

DEPARTURE

I had set the alarm on my phone, but being me actually did not need it, waking up before it was due to go off. Transferring sandwiches and bottle of cooled tap water from the fridge to the bag I intended to keep with me at all times accomplished, my parents were ready to give me a lift down to the station at Kyle of Lochalsh, and we arrived there nice and early. I had been assigned an aisle seat, but the train not being over full (this was a  train leaving at 6:11 on a Saturday morning after all) I moved to a vacant window seat later in the journey. As far as Plockton we were of course in an area that I had seen a lot of over the previous week, but the view from the train gave a different perspective.

1361136213631364136513661367136813691370137113721373137413751376Plockton

PLOCKTON TO STROMEFERRY

As one of the photos in my post about Plockton shows, Stromeferry was the original western terminus of the line when it opened in 1870, the Kyle end of the line only opening in 1897. The segment of line between Plockton and Stromeferry is very scenic indeed:

137813791381138213831384138513861387138813891391139413961397139813991400140114021403140414051406

STROMEFERRY TO STRATHCARRON

From Stromeferry the line heads to Strathcarron, the largest settlement in the vicinity of Loch Carron.

1407140814091410141114121413141414151416141714181419142014221423142414251426142714281430143114331434143514361437143814391440

STRATHCARRON TO ACHNASHEEN

After Strathcarron, through which we passed on the road route to Applecross – see these posts:

the railway route diverges from anything previously covered as it head rounds to Achnasheen.

144114421443144414451446144714481449145114521454145514561457145814591460146114621463146414651466146714681469

1470
Spot on for a floral display at a train station!

1471

ACHNASHEEN TO LOCHLUICHART

As we approached Lochluichart I was amazed to see the platform of this tiny station in the middle of nowhere looking crowded. It turned out that it was the student group referred to in the preamble to this post, and the rest of the journey to Inverness was rather less quiet than hitherto!

14721473147414751476147714781479148014811482148314841485148614871488

 

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.

12571258125912601261126212631264126512661267126812691270127112721273Flying gull127512761279128012811282128312841285128612871288129112921293129412951296129913001301130213031304130513061307130813091310131113121313131413151318131913201321132213231324132513261327

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.