The West Highland Railway

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Sue and Mike Ellis have always wanted to travel by train along the West Highland Railway and recently, we did. Quite rightly, it is recognised as one of the world’s great train journeys and, without a doubt, it is! It was an amazing experience and one we would recommend to all of you. We travelled from Preston to Glasgow and then spent the night there before setting off early the next morning on the Glasgow to Mallaig train. It’s a five and half hour journey that climbs up through the Highlands and stops at some incredibly remote stations. After crossing Rannoch Moor, the train arrives in Fort William before continuing to Mallaig along the line made famous in the Harry Potter films. The scenery is stunning all the way and the Glenfinnan viaduct is particularly impressive.

We spent the night in Mallaig and stayed in a lovely B&B on East Bay. Mallaig is an interesting place with great views of the Isle of Skye, Eigg and Rhum. We spent the morning exploring before catching a steam train back to Fort William. This was the famous Hogwarts Express as seen in the Harry Potter films and it was a very special journey. After an hour or so in Fort William, we then headed back to Glasgow on a standard train – what a day!

The next day, we visited the City Chambers in Glasgow. This building apparently took 5 years to build which given all of the Italian marble used within it and the amazing interior details it is hard to believe. Expecting a thirty minute walk through, we were treated to a full afternoon which was fascinating. This kept Sue out of the shops which are also fantastic so well done the City Chambers! This is a stunning building and well worth a visit if you are in Glasgow.

Our final day was spent in the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. This is a lovely museum and we were treated to an organ recital at lunch time. It was good to see the Charles Rene Mackintosh furniture, paintings and interiors that are on display there as well as an interesting proposal for a monorail train powered by aircraft engines – The Bennie Railplane of 1929. It was proposed to run a line from Blackpool to Southport but it was never built. Fancy having to go to Glasgow to find that out! We caught the later afternoon train back to Preston and were home for 7.00. What a brilliant week.

 

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