Day Tour in Scotland: Glenfinnan, Mallaig & Jacobite Steam Train

Day tour in Scotland

A few weeks ago I told you about a trip to England and Scotland we did this summer. I’ve wanted to tell you more about it and now it’s time to browse the pictures and write about a day tour in Scotland we took from Glasgow. We booked it through a company called DiscoverScotland. It was a tour that took us to Glenfinnan, Mallaig and Jacobite Steam Train.

Day Tour in Scotland

We stayed three nights in Glasgow and wanted to see some of the city as well so we didn’t have much time for the rest of Scotland. Taking a guided day tour to some parts of this pretty country seemed like a good idea and it turned out to be a great day out.

My boyfriend and I are Harry Potter fans and chose this tour partly because it took us on a steam train to Glenfinnan Viaduct, the famous bridge that “leads to Hogwarts” 🙂

Pick up from our hotel

We stayed at the best Premier Inn Hotel I’ve ever stayed at, Glasgow City Centre Buchanan Galleries Hotel, and the tour company picked us up at the hotel early in the morning. It was only a short drive to the starting point of the tour on George Street and before we knew it we were heading out of the city towards the Scottish Highlands.

Our mini bus was very comfortable and there were only 10 – 15 people in the bus so it wasn’t too crowded at all.

Scotland day tour mini bus
Scotland day tour mini bus

Scotland day tour route

Here’s the route of our day trip:

  1. Glasgow
  2. Loch Lomond
  3. Tyndrum
  4. Glencoe
  5. Glenfinnan
  6. Morar
  7. Mallaig
  8. Steam train from Mallaig to Fort William
  9. Drovers Inn
  10. Glasgow

We first headed from Glasgow to Tyndrum where we had a coffee break with great views of Loch Lomond on the way. After that we stopped briefly in Glencoe and the Caledonian Canal for pictures before continuing to Glenfinnan where we had a chance to see the Glenfinnan Monument and Viaduct.

Glencoe in Scotland
Glencoe in Scotland

As we approached the Canal the weather turned really wet and cloudy. By the time we got there it was so misty we couldn’t see much of the hills and scenery around it. By then it had stopped raining though so it was a nice chance to stretch our legs.

Caledonian Canal
Caledonian Canal

Impressive Glenfinnan

The most memorable stop of the tour was in Glenfinnan. Our driver/tour guide recommended a walk to the hill to see both the Monument and Viaduct from a nice viewpoint. The walk up wasn’t as bad as I expected and in just 5 minutes we had amazing views to both directions. Everything looked so green and lush and although there were other visitors there it felt quite peaceful.

Glenfinnan Monument from the hill
Glenfinnan Monument from the hill
Glenfinnan Viaduct
Glenfinnan Viaduct

After some pictures we still had time to visit the Glenfinnan visitor centre and walk to the Monument and Loch Shiel.

Closer look at Glenfinnan Monument
Closer look at Glenfinnan Monument

Silver Sands of Morar

After Glenfinnan we continued driving towards Mallaig but before arriving there we stopped for a while to see the beaches in Morar which were absolutely beautiful. I have to come back to this part of Scotland. Somehow I hadn’t realized there were beaches like this… in Scotland!

Silver Sands of Morar, Scotland
Silver Sands of Morar, Scotland

Lunch in Mallaig

Finally we arrived in Mallaig, which is a small seaside village in the west coast of Scotland.

Final destination: Mallaig
Final destination: Mallaig

We had lunch at a restaurant called The Tea Garden Cafe. It turned out to be a very good choice. Food was really nice and service very efficient. We were slightly worried because we only had about 30 – 45 minutes for lunch before our steam train would leave and the place was packed (we were very lucky to find a table). Our waitress however calmed us down by telling us that the driver of the train had just arrived at the restaurant as well and hadn’t even placed his lunch order yet 🙂

The Tea Garden Cafe in Mallaig
The Tea Garden Cafe in Mallaig
My lunch in Mallaig
My lunch in Mallaig

Jacobite Steam Train from Mallaig to Fort William

From Mallaig we took the Jacobite Steam Train to Fort William. The train ride was longer than I thought, I think it was a couple of hours. The scenery was beautiful obviously and it’s funny how you sort of get so used to everything being so pretty that you just become a bit numb to it and think “Oh there’s another hill or lake or whatever”.

We sat with two really nice and interesting nurses from the USA that were on the same tour with us and had a lot of fun chatting along the way.

Jacobite Steam Train at Mallaig Railway Station
Jacobite Steam Train at Mallaig Railway Station
Views from the Jacobite Steam Train
Views from the Jacobite Steam Train
Jacobite Steam Train
Jacobite Steam Train
Scenery on the Jacobite Steam Train
Scenery on the Jacobite Steam Train
Heading towards Glenfinnan Viaduct on the Jacobite Steam Train
Heading towards Glenfinnan Viaduct on the Jacobite Steam Train

Fort William to Glasgow

After our train trip we arrived at Fort William and our mini bus was already waiting for us there so it was time to drive back towards Glasgow. We had time for a couple of more photo stops along the way which was really nice.

Time to take some pictures
Time to take some pictures

Before Glasgow we stopped at the legendary Drovers Inn pub. The inn has a lot of history: It was built 300 years ago. We had plenty of time for a pint and a look around the pub before heading back to our bus.

Last stop for a pint: Drovers Inn
Last stop for a pint: Drovers Inn
Inside Drovers Inn
Inside Drovers Inn

Overall a wonderful day

We had a really nice day, brilliant actually. It was a long day but didn’t feel overwhelming or stressful at all. There were enough stops and breaks for pictures, drinks and food and our driver/tour guide Garry was friendly and knowledgeable. He played Scottish music – traditional and modern – along the way which added so much to the atmosphere. I’m not a great fan of bag pipe but I have to say that Scotland wouldn’t be Scotland without it.

I highly recommend this day tour in Scotland! 🙂

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Leave a Reply